Friday, April 22, 2016

My Prince experience

I feel like this whole Prince death thing is an elaborate hoax, funny only to Prince and his collaborators. I know he had the flu a few weeks ago... did his religiousness bar him from treating it? Has Prince ever been sick and cancelled a concert before? I thought he was immortal like Bowie. So many questions.

I gasped really loudly in a meeting when I saw my coworkers message. I was leading the meeting, and we had to pause so I could explain my exasperation.

On the scale of Prince knowledge and dedication, I would place myself on the above average part of the scale. I've never seen him live, nor waited for a record store to open to pick up his latest. I do have many of his CDs, and I even dressed as the Purple One circa 1984 on Halloween (and won a costume contest). I've read books lionizing him, podcasts in his namesake, and watched unauthorized biographies on Amazon Prime about the man. My Google+ icon is Prince, if that says anything. I respected his musical prowess, and his sexual allure to women even though he seemed quite effeminate.

I didn't really know him in the 80s until Batman hit. I was crazy about that film, even though I was too young to see it. But I do recall seeing "Batdance" on television.

In college, a friend of mine blasted "Pussy Control" in a public computer lab, and it changed my life. If you can recite the lyrics (even the Spanish intro), you're a fan. It made me download the instrumental album N.E.W.S.

I saw Purple Rain for the first time in about 2008, and I was blown away. I quickly bought the soundtrack, and it is part of my monthly routine to listen to a few tracks and maybe find a YouTube interview or two with him.

Prince appeared on SNL some years ago, where he played "Fury" from his Planet Earth album. If you want an example of his guitar virtuosity, you need to go find a video of this. The man could shred.

Advanced Genius Theory, which centers around Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, and David Bowie (the Trinity) also has Prince not far behind. Then there was this VH1 Countdown for the best bands/artists ever. Prince was voted by his colleagues as #8 on the list, which is an astounding feat. Being a top 10 musician is high honor.

Have you ever listened hard to the ultimate verse of "Little Red Corvette"? Prince's quasi-call-and-response is just astonishing. I once played it over and over for an hour. If history asks, "who was the Mozart of the 20th century?", it would be Prince Rogers Nelson.

I think rock 'n roll will be like this from now on--legends dropping like flies. Bowie and Prince were just the beginning, alas, but they were also the most important.

Related: The Overlooked Prince videos