I fell in love with Prince at age 8 when I first heard "Little Red Corvette". I didn't really know what sexy, erotic funk was and it both enticed and confused this little music lover from Indiana. My best friend Jason was totally on board the Prince obsession with me. For a bit, Michael and Prince were the tops of our list (Van Halen joined in '84). We tried to dress like him. It wasn't easy. I was frustrated. Where does he get his clothes? I assumed everybody got their clothes at the mall like I did.
We watched Purple Rain over and over and worked out the moves to "I Would Die 4 You". I dreamed of being Prince. I started out having certain favorites off of Purple Rain. I had the album on cassette tape. The tedious process of finding the beginning of the next track you wanted to hear definitely encouraged listening to every song. At some point, I realized that Purple Rain was a masterpiece to be played from beginning to end. The digital music phase has really weakened this phenomenon. Every human should listen to Purple Rain from beginning to end many times. It's beautiful, funky, soulful, sexy and fun.
My love affair with Prince grew over the 80's, although I was done with Michael after Thriller rocked my soul and he moved on to trying to be bad. Sorry folks, wasn't feelin' that. "Raspberry Beret" and ultimately "Kiss" kept me as a believer.
I'll admit that I drifted away from Prince as I got more and more into playing guitar. Partially, some of the music he put out after "Kiss" didn't reach me and I payed attention to Prince less and less. I was more, or less anti-pop. There was rock, blues from all eras, heavier and heavier rock and eventually jazz and funk. At that time, there wasn't much room in my heart for Prince, alas.
Part of the problem was that I had missed a lot of his best funk that came out before 1999 and also missed some great stuff that came out when I was busy drooling to Jane's Addiction, Living Color, John Coltrane, Grant Green and the Chili Peppers. Room mates, co workers and girlfriends who were into Prince hipped me to some shit! Thank god! I bought more albums and finally was blessed to see him live for the Gold Experience tour. The band, the style. It was killer.
But, I still didn't totally get it until last Thursday, April 21, 2016 when Prince passed on. As memories flooded through and I looked right into the grand scope of his work (and of course the incredibly amazing guitar playing, singing, producing, collaborating, funkiness with sexy style, I could go on!), it hit me.
Prince is the greatest.
Now I know. I'm joyful and so very sad.
Thankyou so much Prince Rogers Nelson for being such an amazing vessel who has fueled my being like no other. You inspired me throughout your life and that will always continue for everyone.