- Birthday, Music, Quotes, Reading, Writing

“Like books and black lives, albums still matter.”

 

Happy birthday, Prince! Lucky to have seen him perform live dozens of times. Met him once, too, at Paisley Park no less. Still can’t believe he’s dead. Along with Albert, B.B., and Freddie King, Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, Count Basie, and Duke Ellington, Prince is the only royalty that matters to me.

“Sometimes I just stand in awe of what I do myself.”

“It’s a hurtful place, the world, in and of itself. We don’t need to add to it. And we’re in a place now where we all need one another, and it’s going to get rougher.”

“Music is real! It affects people, it’s real. … The other night I went to a club and I watched a DJ control an entire room. Even politicians can’t do that.”

“The most important thing is to be true to yourself, but I also like danger. That’s what’s missing from pop music today. There’s no excitement or mystery.”

“”I am music. I feel music. When I walk around, I hear brand new things. You’re almost cursed. You’re not even its maker, you’re just there to bring it forth. You know, ‘Can’t I go to sleep?’ No. You can’t. But, OK, now you can. And you go to sleep, and you don’t hear it, and then you’re lonely. No one wants to be on Earth alone.”

“The key to longevity is to learn every aspect of music that you can.”

“All people care about nowadays is getting paid, so they try to do just what the audience wants them to do. I’d rather give people what they need rather than just what they want.”

“I don’t want to get up on a soapbox. My view of the world, you can debate that forever. But I’m a musician. That’s what I do. And I also am music. Come to the show for that.”

“Everyone has their own experience. That’s why we are here, to go through our experience, to learn, to go down those paths and eventually you may have gone down so many paths and learned so much that you don’t have to come back again.”

“I don’t wanna die, I’d rather dance my life away.”

“I find freedom sexy. I find freedom so sexy I can’t even explain it to you. You wake up every day and feel like you can do anything.”

“I’m no different to anyone. Yes, I have fame and wealth and talent, but I certainly don’t consider myself any better than anyone who has no fame, wealth or talent. People fascinate me. They’re amazing! Life fascinates me! And I’m no more fascinated by my own life than by anyone else’s.”

“I make music because if I don’t, I’d die. I record because it’s in my blood. I hear sounds all the time. It’s almost a curse: to know you can always make something new.”

“Music was put on earth to enlighten and empower us and feel closer to our center.”

“Music is everything to me. I love making music. I am making music. Music is spirit, it’s therapy. It makes me feel a certain way, and if played with conviction and soul, the same thing occurs in other people.”

 

John Madera's fiction may be found in Conjunctions, Opium Magazine, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and many other journals. His criticism may be found in American Book Review, Bookforum, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Rain Taxi: Review of Books, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, and many other venues. Recipient of an M.F.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University, John Madera lives in New York City, where he runs Rhizomatic and manages and edits Big Other.

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