Why the deaths of Prince, Bowie and others in 2016 are so shocking

Prince“No, no, no, no!” On learning that Prince had died unexpectedly at just 57, the response of almost everyone I know yesterday was the same.

It was awful news. It was a complete and utter shock. It seemed faintly unreal. That it was just the latest in a seeming unending line of celebrity deaths in 2016 merely compounded the hurt.

David Bowie, Terry Wogan, Ronnie Corbett, Victoria Wood to name but a few.

But why are these deaths so shocking? In Prince and Victoria Wood’s cases it was their relative youth (57 and 62 respectively), but that could hardly be said of Ronnie Corbett or Terry Wogan.

The simple reason is this: for a generation of 30-50-somethings, our childhood and adolescent memories and heroes are being eviscerated. Continue reading “Why the deaths of Prince, Bowie and others in 2016 are so shocking”

A sense of physical loss

David BowieWe’ve all lost someone we care about. It’s devastating. You feel as if there’s a big hole somewhere inside you.

Today came the frankly-unbelieveable news that David Bowie has died from cancer. In the hours that followed, I went through emotions that I’ve felt before.

I sat staring at my computer screen, unable to do anything of any merit. I didn’t really want to talk to anyone. I got angry when I saw people talking about other, more trivial (in my view) things. Continue reading “A sense of physical loss”

Why talent isn’t enough

This week I read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and also watched 20 Feet From Stardom, which in their own way both tell the same story.

That story is that, no matter how talented you are, there are so many other factors that will determine whether the level of your success.

20 Feet From Stardom is a wonderful documentary about backing singers – specifically those who have quite remarkable voices – but who never quite made it.
Continue reading “Why talent isn’t enough”