A few weeks ago I saw two concerts; one by an artist whom I have never really cared about and the other from an artist that was my pet stylish darling back in the Eighties. Really when you play them back to back Sade looks like a pale version of Tracy Chapman today. Tracy is way more cool and rich than Sade. Sade is dry and her insistence on style makes her stiff, dry and, ahem, uncool. Who would think back then that they are comparable at all, and that Tracy would pull so much ahead. A story of the tortoise and hare, in a way.
But this post is not about them two. I saw Tracy playing livea couple of times, nice in a park in Manchester, NH back in the 1989. Quite boring, I have to admit, really not up to what she distilled herself into. Better than Joan Armatrading really.
Again, this post is not about black ladies at all. It is about all of us. Because Sade is B&W as is Lenny Krawitz is. Father w, Jewish actually and the mother b, Caribbean b and Dixie b. Huh? You see, it really does not matter what color a baby is. And the photo of a small baby Lenny in his diapers… on a blanket, pale green pillow beside his head (http://youtu.be/7wsqtg-Rs7Y, min 2.45), does it matter at all which color the blanket was? Well, baby Lenny looking into the lenses of his father’s camera did not seem at all aware he is b or w. it was so moving to see that pretty baby starting his life with this alert stare, oblivious to the weight of the color. Moving, teary eyed moving, the baby, on his own. Starting his life. The life that brought him to tell us his story of black and white America. Shrewdly, this tour was called black and white Europe. It must be a gentle reminder that EU is not a new world. His was much better concert. But does it matter at all, or does it matter within this story?
Is Europe new world now, or will it ever be? Enter the uncool black and white Sade. Nigerian father b, English mother w. A beautiful lady, funny they are both so pretty. Is it a coincidence they are so strikingly pretty, is it a coincidence they both played Zagreb just before the liberating elections of 2011 and on the eve of signing of the Croatian EU accession agreement? A story to tell. Some songs were great. Her story was told with great care, but did not have the moving quality Lenny gave us. Is the black and white Europe beyond moving just because it is not a new world? Or is it because it now is the new world. Or does it matter at all? Way too much effort to ooze style, rendered her totally uncool, verging on a bad taste. It was bad taste. But she was still really good in her own world and her audience liked it just their way. We will live each others’ own worlds.
These two beautiful individuals showed us the future. The world where the parents can have these beautiful kids in any color, and those kids will tell the stories that we will want to listen.