When I Love Tucson

Sometimes I really love Tucson.

What happened here after Prince died is one example. The music and movie community rallied and events were planned to celebrate his music. At our local, independent theater, The Loft Cinema, they hosted a Purple Rain Sing-a-Long. At another independent club, Club Congress, they had a dance party where they played Prince’s music. If you dressed as Prince, you got in for free! At the local live music venue, The Rialto Theatre, a painter created a mural on the side of their building devoted to Prince.

Prince mural at the Rialto Theatre. Artist: Joe Pagac.
Prince mural at the Rialto Theatre. Artist: Joe Pagac.

The event that was uniquely Tucson was the Prince Memorial Dance/Bike Ride. About 50 people showed up, on their bikes, all dressed up, and they hit several Tucson downtown hotspots where they’d stop and dance to Prince. One of the organizers is somewhat of a local celebrity: he rides a bike fitted with huge speakers that are covered in leopard print material. There’s even a tail!

I was in my regular dance class that night near where the bike memorial was going on. Towards the end of our class, I looked out the window and saw dozens of people on bikes pull up outside of our studio. Prince was blaring on the bike speakers. They jumped off their bikes and spilled into our studio and we spilled out front, all while Prince’s music played in the doorway.


A magic moment!

We all came together in celebration of a talented musician, one who had given so much to all of us with his music. Everyone danced, smiled, and celebrated. It didn’t last long. Like a flash mob, they showed up, we danced, and then they got on their bikes and rode off, the music of Prince floating into the distance.

We returned to our dance class, energized and happy despite the sadness surrounding Prince’s death. The happiness stemmed from this moment of communal grieving and celebration of a life.

What a cool place to live.

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