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.
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?
So obviously I walked along Smithdown to Granby for a look.
Two plays showing today.
And well done Michael Simon and Joe Farrag for organising it all.
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.
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.
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.)
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…
But though they’re playing his music:
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.
Time for a sit and a cup of tea back up in Bold Street.
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?
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.