The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Richard Pryor Dead at 65

Richard Pryor passed yesterday. And I doubt if there's a soul who grew up in the 1970s who doesn't know why this should be cause for mourning.

Here are three appreciations of the life and art:

The Times of London

The New York Times

The San Francisco Independent Media Center


Sam said...

The second I saw it over the wire while I was on the air, I quickly jumped on the aor and mentioned his passing. However I was working on a top forty radio station at that moment, so if I wasn't playing Fall Out Boy, the kids could have cared less aoubt it. Same thing for the classic rock staion later that night when I went on there. So, as a treat to myself, I did my Mudbone immpression and told the cold and deep joke as a tribute to Richard.

Thank you guys for mentioning his passing and reminding folks of who this man was.

Tom Sutpen said...

Thanks, Sam. If I were the PD at your station I would have let you do as much Mudbone as you damn well pleased . . . and do it over the air (you can tell why my career in radio was short-lived).

Personally I grew up on Pryor's LPs (and Redd Foxx, and Rudy Rae Moore) and . . . put it this way: There's a lot to be said for the therapeutic effect this kind of genius can have on the cloistered sensibilities of middle class whiteboys such as I was so long ago.

Richard Gibson said...

Someone in my office heard it over the weekend here, I completely missed this. Not for the first time I read it first on ICPWAG,TBAWLODC.

Kingo Gondo said...

"Is It Something I Said?" came out when I was 14, and I bought it back then--and my life was never the same.

Richard, may you wake up in the right motherfucking heaven this time.