Un’altra vittima illustre del Covid-19. Scompare a 73 anni uno dei grandissimi della musica americana. John Prine era stato ricoverato il 26 marzo dopo una settimana di quarantena in seguito alla scoperta della positività della moglie Fiona. Domenica 29 poi il drammatico comunicato: “John was hospitalized on Thursday. He was intubated Saturday evening, and continues to receive care, but his situation is critical. This is hard news for us to share. But so many of you have loved and supported John over the years, we wanted to let you know, and give you the chance to send on more of that love and support now. And know that we love you, and John loves you”.
Prine era nato in Illinois e nella seconda metà degli anni ’60 diviene una delle figure di spicco della scena folk di Chicago alle prese con un prezioso quanto personale revival. Viene di fatto scoperto da Kris Kristofferson e negli anni ’70 la sua discografia si arricchisce di autentiche perle. Negli anni ’80 fonda l’etichetta Oh Boy Records e la produzione rimane costante e significativa a livello artistico. Nel 1991 gli viene assegnato il primo dei due Grammy (il secondo arriva nel 2005). Nel 1998 e nel 2013 vince due importanti battaglie contro altrettanti terribili (soliti) mali che non gli impediscono di continuare a scrivere in maniera eccelsa come testimoniano gli ultimi due commoventi album ‘For Better, or Worse’ (2016) e ‘The Tree of Forgiveness’ (2018).
“I don’t listen to music much at the farm, unless I’m going into songwriting mode and looking for inspiration. Then I’ll put on something by the writers I’ve admired and used for years Rodney Crowell, John Prine, Guy Clark, and the late Steve Goodman are my Big Four…” [JOHNNY CASH]
“I don’t really listen to Radiohead. I listened to the albums and they just didn’t move me in the way, say, John Prine does. His is just extraordinarily eloquent music—and he lives on that plane with Neil Young and Lennon” [ROGER WATERS]
“Prine’s stuff is pure Proustian existentialism. Midwestern mindtrips to the nth degree. And he writes beautiful songs…” [BOB DYLAN]
It hurts so bad to read the news. I am gutted. My hero is gone. My friend is gone. We’ll love you forever John Prine.
— Margo Price (@MissMargoPrice) April 8, 2020
Just give me one thing I can hold on to. I'm just heartbroken. #johnprine
— rosanne cash (@rosannecash) April 8, 2020
My heart hurts learning that John Prine has passed away. He is singing with the angels. You will be missed but your songs will live on. ❤️
— Sheryl Crow (@SherylCrow) April 8, 2020
We are heartbroken to hear about the passing of John Prine. His life and music will be celebrated by us as long as we are able .. we send prayers and condolences to his family at this time.. ~ Lukas and POTR pic.twitter.com/nw72SDEjHq
— Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real (@lukasnelson) April 8, 2020
Coronavirus has taken one of the great ones: John Prine, dead at 73. So many memorable songs.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) April 8, 2020
Over here on E Street, we are crushed by the loss of John Prine. John and I were "New Dylans" together in the early 70s and he was never anything but the lovliest guy in the world. A true national treasure and a songwriter for the ages. We send our love and prayers to his family.
— Bruce Springsteen (@springsteen) April 8, 2020
A guy who dies in a car crash because his windshield is covered w/ US flag stickers, written 50 years ago, could be from today. RIP John Prine.
— Carl Newman (@ACNewman) April 8, 2020
As if we didn't have enough devastating news
The great John Prine has died & I am heartbroken.
I always saw him as a sort of Mark Twain figure
A humorist but mainly a humanist. He could make you laugh one moment and rip your heart open in the next.
He always very nice to me RS pic.twitter.com/qUqrkRYjZs
— Ron Sexsmith (@RonSexsmith) April 8, 2020