Elvis

And when memories haunt me
And the tears starts to flow
I’ll just think of the sorrow
You caused me to know

No more for the past
To return will I pray
Gonna live for tomorrow
Starting today

(Starting Today, Elvis Presley)
 
Life is a series of hardships, of pain.  Whether it was designed this way from the beginning, or a tragedy of modern society, I cannot know.  But it’s what we’ve been born into for centuries at the very least.  It’s simple to think that the person next to you, the one who has more money, who has a spouse, a child; the one who has the answers, that their life is simple.  But the one who sang the above, who had the beautiful wife, the daughter, the fandom and fortune, was one with little happiness at all.  Elvis Presley, King of Rock and Roll, Army Sergeant, cultural icon, died at age 42 due to complications stemming from barbiturate and pain killer addictions.  The difficulties of life left him with a desire to cover pain with narcotics, sedatives, and amphetamines: 10,000 doses prescribed in the 8 months prior to his death.  Society’s fond remembrance is of course due to his musical influence, but should maybe be more than that.  To understand that there is no easy solution.  To be optimistic- think of the wondrous loves tomorrow could bring- easier said than done.
Southend United FC, a League One English Football Club Team, tried to embody Elvis’ legacy, nobility, and spirit in their mascot.  The team first decided on an eel, but was unsure of how to ensure this eel was popular, and therefore wanted to personify an already popular celebrity.  And here’s what the got: 
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Elvis J. Eel is, quite personally, one of the biggest mascot failures.  And I’m not exactly sure why he’s still around, except that the team’s previous mascot, Sammie Shrimp, was seen as equally ugly, but more phallic.  
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But their logo has the shrimp guy in it!  AHH!
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Elvis Presley, we’re sorry.  
       
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Mercury

Since people seemed to enjoy the mascot post pertaining to Prince, I have decidedly made this “Music Week.” So another day, another notable artist.  Happy Tuesday!

When asked who you think the best musical artist of all time is, do you have difficulty choosing just one?  There is much talent out there, of course, and so deciding on the ultimate greatest might be challenging to some.  But for me it is easy – Freddie Mercury.  He can sing, write, and perform, in such different genres, without the A -Chorus – B – Chorus – Bridge -Chorus format that is almost every modern song.  He vastly outshines even David Bowie in ‘Under Pressure,’ and David Bowie’s talent was no laughing matter.

We often think of Freddie Mercury as a British talent, but in fact he is from Zanzibar, which is modern-day Tanzania.  He lived in Zanzibar until age 17, when the Zanzibar Revolution (overthrowing the Arab minorities in power) took place.  Mercury, born Farrokh Bulsara, relocated with his family to Middlesex, England, in 1964, where he went to school and held various jobs while continuing his interest and post-secondary studies in music.  That is until 1970, when he formed the band Queen.  The rest is history, forever being remembered for his theatrics, 5 octave vocal range, ingenius songwriting, gender bending, and AIDS awareness.
If I could only reach you
If I could make you smile
If I could only reach you
That would really be a breakthru
(Breakthru, Queen)
 
Hopefully between the release of this song in 1989, and his death in 1991, he was made aware of just how much of a breakthrough he’s made to so many of us, and the impact he’s had on the culture, both musically and socially.
Mercury, to me, you are the king of the musical jungle, the lion of composition, the simba.  Known mostly as the son from the Lion King, simba actually means ‘lion’ in Swahili.
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Which is likely why Tanzania’s most popular soccer team is Simba Soccer Club. Founded in 1936, the popularity is strong as ever, with a stadium for 60,000 fans.  And yet, none of those fans have suggested there be a mascot.  Lame.  So here is the logo:
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It’s cute and all, but will never be as memorable as Mercury.

Prince

Last Thursday, we lost an artist much bigger than I had ever imagined.  Prince was always big in my mind, but he was born where I was born, and therefore I assumed it was just a Twin Cities kind of thing.  But the mayhem in the music world since his death is shocking- I mean, MTV is playing music, in 2016!

Prince Rogers Nelson reminded us all that to be weird, to be absolutely-do-not-fit-in different, is not bad, and should even be celebrated.

Never let that lonely monster take control of you

Be glad that you are free, free to change your mind

Free to go ‘most anywhere, anytime

Glad that you are free, there’s many a man who’s not

Be glad for what you had baby, what you’ve got

(Free, Prince)
Easier said than done, of course, because loneliness is quite the ailment, but be proud, and stand tall.  Be authentic in life, no matter what people say.  If we were all as strong as Prince, the world would be much brighter, more colourful, and full of smiles.  The remembrance of such a musical hero has brought wondrous things out of his hometown, with thousands coming together to sing his songs, rainbows being photographed with smiles, and the Minnesota Twins (MLB) sponsoring screenings of Purple Rain at Target Field.  Good move, TC Bear.
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TC Bear has been with the Twins for 17 seasons, batting and throwing left, and just being all-around cute.
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The Twins also did this at Target Field:
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Goodnight, Sweet Prince.  But you’ll always be alive and well in Minnesota hearts.