Few song lyrics affected my adolescence (a phase I’m still hanging on to) as much as Prince’s 1999 line “Everybody’s got a bomb / We could all die any day / But before I’ll let that happen / I’ll dance my life away.” This, as a teen, I took extremely seriously and by the late 1990’s had certainly done my fair share of dancing.
How does Prince’s untimely death make us feel in terms of our quest for longevity? Is it telling that a rock-star dies so young on the same day that the Queen celebrates her 90th birthday?
I was just listening to Radio 2 in which a phone in comment went along the lines of ‘being a rock star is not conducive to longevity,’ which suggests that all rock stars live a wild existence; clearly a huge generalisation. From what I’ve read, Prince did not have a known history of drug use. He was a Jehovah’s Witness, and said he did not drink alcohol or use drugs. But who knows, that was his private life. Time will tell us.
I’m intrigued by the rock star/longevity link so looking into it a bit further afield I find that Bill Wyman is nearly 80, however he was known as the ‘boring one’ of the Rolling Stones in terms of drug and alcohol use. Paul McCartney is 73 and looks amazing. He is an ambassador for clean living though seemingly has had his fair share of dabbling whilst writing Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds with Lennon. Reportedly he does a yogic head stand once a day after his gym session. The committed vegetarianism may have contributed to his fitness too.
There are too few examples here to prove a point. The fact is, this is a hugely sad loss and I’ll be forever grateful to Prince for fuelling my desire to ‘live’ but equally glad that I’ve struck a balance.
At the other end of the spectrum we can look at the staunch moderation of someone who oozes longevity, The Queen. She follows a set of extremely mindful principles according to a patient.info document on ‘Live like the queen for a healthy long life!’ In short, these include savouring your food, eating a bit of what you fancy, getting a pet, being active, being loved and not smoking.
In Motley's popular novel, Knock on any Door which sold 47,000 copies in its first three weeks of release the hero Nick Romano famously said, “Live fast, die young, and leave a good-looking corpse.”
I do like the idea of living fully but fast possibly leads to number two, which I’m personally trying to avoid. Would love to know your thoughts on how Prince’s untimely death makes you feel about achieving longevity?