Now that it all sinked in, I decided to write about it… Luke Perry is dead. My best friend writes it to me via WhatsApp, I read the message while I’m cooking dinner. What does it mean that Luke Perry died? I ask myself and I don’t believe it. Yes he was sick, I know, but you can’t die at 52 for a stroke, so, just a couple of days in the hospital and you’re gone.
Start searching on Google, pass on social media, it’s all true. My Facebook homepage is crammed with pictures of Dylan, the Luke Perry we all loved, the beautiful dark of Beverly Hills 90210. He really died, risk of burning meatballs.
“He died in the hospital,” reads a press release issued by his publicist, “surrounded by the affection of family members who now demand respect for their pain”. And memories rain down everywhere, colleagues’ hugs arrive, but above all witness the pain of an entire generation, everyone was a kid in the nineties tonight (last night) crying.
I will forever bask in the loving memories we’ve shared over the last thirty years. May your journey forward be enriched by the magnificent souls who have passed before you, just like you have done here, for those you leave behind.
— Ian Ziering (@IanZiering) March 4, 2019
Why Luke, that is Dylan (it doesn’t matter if he recently came back on TV with Riverdale, and if he had tried all his life to get rid of those light jeans and the white t-shirt that had made him worship) it is the symbol of the youth who grew up on bread and Non è la Rai, Dr. Martins and Big Beat. And it gives me goose bumps to think that Keith Flint has also left a few hours before him, that with his Prodigy that kind of music had contributed to found it.
With the icons of the eighties it didn’t go that way, many of them are still there, photographed by some paparazzi, when they decide to show us that they exist. Others instead are young deaths, indeed very young, and it was that death that made them immortal. For our darlings, on the other hand, there is no escape, we are seeing them go out suddenly, one by one.
First there was Dolores O’Riordan of the Cranberries, then Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, but also Chester Bennington of Linkin Park. Now Keith Flint of the Prodigy and Luke Perry of Beverly Hills. They died neither young nor old, sick or depressed, suicidal or unlucky, sometimes all these things together. And a piece of us died with them, of our adolescence, of our being in power, believing in a different, distant, exotic world.
The bands in your hair, the shirts that leave your navel, Brenda or Kelly? Don’t even dare to compare Melrose Place to Beverly Hills. Our youth is over, it was already over, but we didn’t know it yet, carried away by a raised eyebrow, now lowered forever, buried along with that fake bad boy with a heart of gold, one who just wanted to be loved. That we just wanted to love.
And then we will remember this March 4th 2019, because it is the day when Luke and Keith left, and with them the life-size posters hanging in the bedrooms, the walkmans the size of a handbag, the trips experienced from the last row of the bus, the Invicta backpacks and the telephone card collection. Now of the nineties there remains just a fashion that re-proposes mum jeans, choker necklaces, hairpins in her hair. That’s enough? It is not enough.