Good-night, Sweet Prince

prince-hall-of-fame

Prince Rogers Nelson.

We had a meeting yesterday, Friday, the Granby ‘legal team’ of Tracey Gore and me, in her office at Steve Biko Housing. And did eventually get to talk about organising the sale of some of the Community Land Trust houses as we’d planned.DSC02399

But not at first and not for a while. While waiting for others to arrive, for a good while we talked about Prince. Of all the times Tracey has seen him and of how lucky we’ve both been to be alive as his glorious music and uncompromising career have enriched our days and lives.

Walking away later I surprised myself by thinking of these lines from Hamlet:

“Good-night, sweet prince;
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”

Every time I’ve turned on the radio, yesterday and today, I’ve heard Prince songs, sorrow and great anecdotes. Like Prince being friends with singer Lianne La Havas and playing a gig in her house.

I must have also been subliminally aware that it’s also Shakespeare’s 400th death-day to think of that line from Hamlet. Never having been a natural Shakespeare quoter. Or maybe it was because I was vaguely aware of some Shakespeare gigs in Granby 4 Streets over this weekend?DSC02400

So obviously I walked along Smithdown to Granby for a look.

Two locations, like a proper festival.

Two locations, like a proper festival.

This Gazebo outside what will be our Winter Gardens.

This Gazebo outside what will be our Winter Gardens.

And inside Granby Workshop's temporary home.

And inside Granby Workshop’s temporary home.

Here at 35 Cairns Street.

Here at 35 Cairns Street.

Two plays showing today.

Troilus and Cressida.

Troilus and Cressida.

And Pericles.

And Pericles. (Thanks to Michael Simon of the 4 Street for these last two pictures)

And well done Michael Simon and Joe Farrag for organising it all.

People arriving in twos and threes all afternoon to see the films.

People arriving in twos and threes all afternoon to see the films.

And also for a look around the Workshop.

And also for a look around the Workshop.

And at what we've been doing.

And at what we’ve been doing.

These houses up for sale very soon now.

These houses up for sale very soon now.

We already have a good list of applicants, but I’ll let you know how we get on. There’ll also be a couple more for sale when we’ve finished renovating them.

Leaving Granby I notice works taking place on Delucia's new shop.

Leaving Granby I notice works taking place on Delucia’s new shop.

Expanding her business after making such a success of here over the last year. Well done you.

Expanding her business after making such a success of Baby Dolls over the last year. Well done you.

I walk into town.

I walk into town.

Thinking of what else is going on nearby today.

There’s the Liverpool Food and Drink Festival once again charging people to get into part of Sefton Park. I’ve long and openly despised this as elitist and profiteering. This year the organisers had asked to talk to me about what I think, but I’d said only if they’d consider free access for all. I heard no more.

Along Percy Street in the sunshine.

Along Percy Street in the sunshine.

Then up in Anfield my Homebaked friends will have been serving pies and sandwiches to the LFC and Newcastle fans there for the match. Newcastle are desperately trying not to get relegated and so have taken on our beloved Rafa Benitez to help save them. Loving Rafa we won’t mind – all that much – if his team do well this afternoon. (They do, writing this the match has just finished as a 2-2 draw.)

Into Bold Street.

Into Bold Street.

And out the other end.

And out the other end.

I’m not here for anything in particular, I just always enjoy walking down Bold Street. Who wouldn’t?

But since I’m here and thinking about Prince I decide to go and see what’s happening in HMV.

As expected I walk in the shop to the sounds of Prince:

“Ain’t no particular sign I’m more compatible with
I just want your extra time and your…
Kiss”

But though they’re playing his music:

The racks are empty.

The racks are empty.

No one stocks up for death. But soon  they will. Like for our other great musical loss of the year, who’s now got his own special display.

"I know something's very wrong, the pulse returns, the prodigal son..."

“I know something’s very wrong, the pulse returns, the prodigal son…”

Time for a sit and a cup of tea back up in Bold Street.DSC02427

And no, I didn’t go and see any of the other Shakespeare films showing all over the city. What do you take me for, cultured?

It's a walk you know.

It’s a walk you know.

And it continues tomorrow, Sunday. Details here. In Granby you’ll be able to see Henry IV Parts One and Two.

Obviously we have to finish today with Prince though. However, as he was so determined that musicians shouldn’t be forced to give their music away there’s hardly any of his on YouTube. But there is this. A performance of George Harrison’s ‘While my guitar gently weeps’ where he not only wears the finest red hat you’ve ever seen but plays, probably, the best electric guitar you’ve ever heard:

And notice, at the end he throws his guitar up into the air – and it doesn’t come down. Pure Prince, only Prince.

Good-night, Sweet Prince.DSC02413

2 thoughts on “Good-night, Sweet Prince

  1. David Sakho

    Ronnie,

    I don’t know if you’ve already thought of this yourself, but how about compiling all of your Sense of Place posts, from the very first one, into a single volume that you can donate one day to the Liverpool Central Library Records Office or to a Liverpool/Merseyside historical association?

    I’m suggesting this because I think that your writings and photographs comprise a detailed record of what Liverpool and Merseyside was like at the beginning of the 21st century, and that is going to be priceless as an historical record in maybe 100 or 150 years’ time.

    David Sakho

    Reply
    1. Ronnie Hughes Post author

      Thank you David. I’m pleased that you think so highly of the blog.

      All of my writing and photography from these last 4 years is of course all in one place at the moment. In fact only yesterday, when uploading the photographs on this post, I reached the limit of my free WordPress storage space and so had to pay for some more. (An unexpected benefit of this being I can now use my real asenseofplace.com address rather than a WordPress one.)

      But I realise that webspace is temporary and books and more earthbound devices are where we need to store things for the future. And as it happens I’m doing some work at the moment with Liverpool City Libraries. So I’ll pass on your suggestion to them and see what happens. Who knows, the blog might end up in the ‘stacks’ behind Central Library, where all the City’s precious archives are kept. I’d feel at home there.

      Reply

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s