I didn’t know the man, but, then again, we all did. If not him, then another.
These words, written in the first week of October, 2020, are in response to the recent loss of Eddie Van Halen, but they could have been written anytime since the advent of the public figure.
The public figure: We don’t know them, but we do. They’re who a small part (or a larger part) of us wants to be. During the moments they’re at the forefront of our awareness, they’re what living vicariously is all about. In the case of Van Halen, he’s the reason we even have air guitar and the imagining that comes with it. Turn it up, please!
I’m reminded of the words of Bruce Springsteen during his recent recorded performance on Broadway. Describing his legendary (there’s that idea again) saxophonist, he said, “nobody captured my audience’s imaginations or their hearts like Clarence.”
That’s what they do, those musicians, those actors, those poets and performers. For that, I’m thankful.