Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Cruelest April Fools Joke!

R.I.P. Marvin Pentz Gaye Jr.
April 2,1939 - April 1,1984

I had meant to write this earlier, but of course..I had other things scheduled...I turned on the radio just a few minutes and I heard "What's Going On?" ,Marvin Gaye's signature song...The radio station has been playing his music all day long..."Heard It Through the Grapevine" , "Let's Get it On" , "Got to Give it Up" (What is a summer block party or barbecue without that song?) and of course "Sexual Healing".

That last one is sad because I realize it was his last big hit. Just the year before he died..he had scored with this number one smash and had won two Grammies ,(surprisingly..his first and second in a career filled with hit records.) He had been on a pretty successful tour and had sung the National Anthem at the NBA All star game. It seemed at least for the time that he was back on top of the world.

Neither I, nor the rest of the world could know that he was once again in the grip of a cocaine addiction that would consume him and tax problems with the IRS that would suck the rest of the life and comfort out of him...His old demons and problems with his eccentric Father, Reverend Marvin Gay Sr. still raged on behind the scenes.

I'll never forget that Sunday...April 1, 1984....My little cousin was born that day and while getting the good news that I had a new relative...I also got the shocking news...right around lunchtime, eastern standard time that singer, Marvin Gaye had been shot to death in Los Angelas..I remember thinking that it was a April Fools joke...The cruelest April Fools joke I ever heard....but it wasn't...This time it was no joke...It was
true...A domestic quarrel between father and son...a fight ,a conflict that had been brewing for 44 years had finally come to it's violent and tragic conclusion....and in it's of the finest and creative soul singer's the world had ever known lay dead.....The day before he would have turned 45 years old!

I won't dwell on the tragic...I will celebrate what would have been his birthday (Actually, it was yesterday) and the life...the life that gave us all such great music!  Happy Birthday Marvin...Thanks for everything!


Blackmary said...

very good story of Marvin Gaye - I love Marvin - Nice work,Congratulations

A Free Spirit Butterfly said...

Good morning Keith and thank you for visitng me. I've been meditating, working and just working on the next chapter of my life's story...

Thank you for this beautiful reminder of a very beautiful legend. He should have been my birth father because my mom certaintly had a love affair with him in "her mind." ;-)

Make it a great day and be blessed in the Lord and keep spoiling the Mrs. ;-)

Love and peace

Untouched Jewel said...

This was a great post Keith. During the time of his death, I was only 3 years old--months before my 4th birthday. Now even though I wasn't too too familiar with the man behind the music (like my mother and those in her generation), I definitely dig his music. My all-time favorite song of his is Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler). You can tell in that song he had seen a lot go on in his growing up as well as traveling the world in his career. I actually saw the performance he did of the National Anthem at the Lakers game on You Tube, and even I was amazed! I always hear my mom and some of her friends talk about how he wowed the crowd when he sang. When I finally saw it, she was absolutely correct. He was amazing, and there will be none like him...ever.


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