So Long, Gents

March 4, 2019

I’ve always looked at death a little differently than most other people. A natural end to all life, it’s inevitable, as much as we’d like to believe otherwise. While some deaths might be tragic and heart wrenching, there are others that come as expected and understandable.

When celebrities die, it’s always a big deal. We think of the joy they bring us, the great things they’ve done, and of course, how we’ve always perceived them. Some people can’t get over a loss, like they were planning on working with someone, while other times, you just kind of shrug.

Today, we’ve had two rather important celebrities who left us. Keith Flint, singer of The Prodigy, and Luke Perry, an actor who needs no introduction. Both of these guys were great at what they did, and made a big mark on us.

I was in high school when Prodigy’s Fat of the Land album came out. I wasn’t huge into electronic music like that, but man, did it blow me away. They were so heavy! Angry! Aggressive! I loved it, and that album played a big part in my own musical stylings. When I was in bands, I loved writing songs with fast, agro drumbeats, and pounding, running basslines.

But Keith was their singer, and his voice was damn near synonymous with the Prodigy. I loved how frenetic and chaotic he sounded, belting out his words like an angry, frustrated victim, but with the emotion and heart that let you know he truly meant it. His dancing, his antics, and even his style rubbed off on me, letting me know it was okay to let loose.

I don’t go out to clubs and go dancing very often anymore, but I used to. A lot! If you ever saw me out on that dance floor, you’d see some familiar dancing, something you may have seen Keith do in a Prodigy video. Sometimes, you just need to cut loose and enjoy yourself. (Don’t get me wrong, he could’ve danced me under the table any day!)

As for Luke Perry, he was a huge name for a good portion of my life. I was 10 when 90210 came out, and while I was never a fan of the show, I always liked Dylan McKay. He was just…cool. The cool older guy who wasn’t a total asshole, who had his own problems, and just wanted to be a person underneath it all.

That role haunted Luke for a long time, but I always got a kick out of his future appearances. I fell off the Jeremiah show at some point (always promised to finish the series, but I never did), and I watched Riverdale for the first two seasons. Maybe it’s because I’m pushing 40, but I actually liked the parents on that show a lot more than the kids (you know, the main reason for the show!).

One thing I can say about both of these guys—they were true gentlemen. Today, I’ve seen so many pictures and videos of both of them, interacting with their fans, loving life, and just being…great. It’s unfortunate that we lost them both, especially as young as they were.

I’ve lost a father, and a father-in-law. I’ve seen friends and many other family members go. It’s never easy, but the best thing we can do is remember the good they’ve left behind. So crank up that Prodigy album, turn on some 90210, and be happy for what these guys left for us.

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