Prince’s death yesterday confirms that 2016 will be the ultimate test of Keith Richards’ immortality. Counting Lemmy, who passed away last Dec. 28, we have seen the deaths of four iconic, irreplaceable artists—in order of departure: Lemmy, David Bowie, Merle Haggard and Prince—in less than four months. Not that I ever really thought about their respective mortality much, but it honestly never occurred to me that any of those four would die. Then they did. One after the other. It isn’t even May.
Bowie and Prince seemed, and looked, ageless—Prince was 57?!?!—and were possibly probably aliens. Lemmy and Merle are different of the other two in that they too have seemed ageless, but only because they’ve looked over 400 years old for the past four decades. The latter pair also seemed too cussedly stubborn and badass to die.
I have thought about Keith Richards’ mortality, and I was sure, up until yesterday, that the Rolling Stones’ guitarist would live forever. It’s been awhile, but in his autobiography, I remember Keith attributing some of his illogical longevity to using only pharmaceutical-grade cocaine back in the day. Think about that for a second.
All that said, I was going to list some of the remaining iconic, irreplaceable artists about which we should worry for the rest of the year. I don’t feel like doing that today. Screw it. Besides, Keith probably is going to live forever. He at least has to get through this year. That’s quite enough of this, 2016.
In place of some morbid list, let’s celebrate what we just lost with two clips. In one, Prince throws Kim Kardashian off stage because she doesn’t belong on the same planet as he does, let alone the stage.
God, that’s just perfect. And lest we get too depressed at the prospect of a world which still is still full of Kardashian bullshit and none of Prince’s magic, here he is, shredding his way through Honky Tonk Woman. Keith, I’m sure, approves.