I expect there’s going to be a lot of clichés in this post, but I really don’t give a damn. If that’s what works, then that’s what I’m using.
In case you just got back from a trip around the moon or have been living under a rock, you may have heard Prince died today.
Yeah, I know, I still can’t believe it.
I first saw the news on Twitter, but I thought it was a joke. It wasn’t a joke. Fuck. It was real.
I was at work and I found myself starting to cry. Seriously. I had to go down the hall to the bathroom and hide in a stall for about 15 minutes. I wrote my thoughts down with a picture of him on Instagram and cried all the while I did so.
I moved to Minneapolis to attend college, but it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the city – and its music. The bands here were incredible – Hüsker Dü, The Replacements, The Suburbs, The Time and of course, Prince and the Revolution.
The Time and Prince and the Revolution were part of what was known as the ‘Minneapolis sound.’ The Minneapolis sound was a hybrid mixture of funk, rock, pop, synthpop and new wave. Prince pioneered this sound in the late 1970s, but it became very popular throughout the 1980s.
The first album of Prince and the Revolution’s I heard was 1999. I’d not heard anything like it; it was raunchy and filthy and I loved every minute of it. I almost felt guilty for loving his music, but I didn’t stop listening to it.
After 1999, came Purple Rain. The soundtrack and the movie and after the movie was released, everyone was crushing on Prince. Self included.
My favorite album of his is still Controversy. I’m listening to it as I write this post. And Do Me Baby just started. Oh yeah … it’s still fucking hot.
Prince was strangely and mysteriously sexy in an androgynous way. He influenced my dancing attire – I’d wear a tux shirt, tux jacket, bow tie, black hose and black heels. No pants. The shirt and jacket covered the girlie bits. And no, I’m not posting pictures, use your imagination. I’m so glad social media wasn’t even a glimmer in someone’s eye during that time.
Listening to different tracks this afternoon took me back to when his music became the music of my life. To a year where I hung with the same fun crowd. And to wonderfully hot, humid summer nights at our house – and house parties with same crowd dancing into the wee hours to Prince blasting on the stereo. To lusting over a guy named Pat who didn’t even know I existed. Spending every Friday and Saturday night at First Avenue dancing to his funky, hip-grinding songs. My favorite song to dance to was 1999; another favorite off the album 1999 is Automatic. And that summer was the first time I smoked pot.
It was probably one of the best – if not the best – summers of my life and Prince was my soundtrack. It just couldn’t have been better.
I still smile when I think about it. If I could relive any year over, it’d be that one.
I never met him, I never ran into him at a local sandwich shop. The closest I came to being in proximity to him was when I went to First Avenue on my birthday. My roommate was positively giddy and ran up to me and said “Prince is here! Prince is here! He’s really short!” I never did get a peek at the diminutive musician, but he had quite the effect on my roommate.
Brilliant. Eccentric. Enigmatic. A musical genius. That was Prince and so much more. There will never be another Prince and I feel so fortunate to have lived in the same generation as him.
Rest in peace doesn’t seem fitting for him, so I will say thank you Prince Rogers Nelson for bestowing the gift of your music on us – and thank you for all the memories made to your music. You will be sorely missed.
Today the doves cried.
So did I.