I am honestly not even sure what to say after today. So I am just going to lay my heart out and let it flow. Not only did Prince die today, but I found out my old pal Eric Brantley was murdered this week while getting off work in Charleston, SC.
I had not seen him in years, but about a year and a half ago we reconnected. My wife and I pulled into Charleston to the old Shovels and Rope compound after an insanely long confusing drive from Birmingham with our baby boy. We were greeted by the S&R tribe some of whom I knew and others we were just meeting, yet all felt immediately like family. One of those folks was Eric.
I was exhausted and delirious, but I knew I recognized him from years past. Turns out I was right. We immediately started catching up while he was working on a bike and talking about other old friends and bands and general good times. He was unforgettable. His wit and sarcasm were always on point and he was an bad ass musician and just one of the best damn humans around. Nothing I write will do justice to the man he was and what he meant to those who knew him really well. I am just glad we reconnected and for the stories and laughter we all shared that night. I will never forget it. Thank you Michael and Cary and Jack and everyone up in Charleston and Bill Bradley and his family here in Birmingham. I am so sorry for your loss. RIP Brother.
Prince’s music will always hold an incredibly special place in my heart and soul. Not just the songs he performed himself, but all of the songs he wrote for so many others all of whom were massive influences on me starting as young as elementary school and going through high school and beyond.
I always wanted to be a musician from a very young age, from seeing the Bee Gees at the age of 7, to hearing Prince in 5th grade and my soul being moved in ways I did not understand. I never knew the man, but that does not change the fact that myself and thousands upon thousands more all feel a beautifully deep connection to him and the songs he wrote.
I started to cry today when my wife texted me and it happened instantly without me even thinking I am crying for a man I never knew. I know I am not the only one.