And he was funky.
And rest assured that my Facebook friends are probably…well, most definitely tired of my posts about the man and his music which is why I’m here to expand my thoughts just a little bit more.
First off, I find it hard to believe that he’s gone. I was at work doing my thing when I got this text from Ann:
No. Seriously. What was the punchline here? There had to be one because this had to be some kind of horrible, horrible joke.
The old joke when we were kids was, “Hey, did you hear Alan Hamel died?”
“Yeah. Tell a friend.”
“And u think u got it bad?”
Money Don’t Matter 2 Night
This was Prince. Ain’t no way this was supposed to happen so soon, especially with so many other great musicians passing away in 2016 and late 2015.
But Ann’s not very good at telling jokes and I couldn’t really think of a punchline for this one, so I had to start my own investigating.
I immediately searched for more information on Twitter, my usual news source. Everyone was all reporting the same ongoing “death investigation” with no definite word on what had happened.
But then the confirmations started. This was the very tweet that crushed my soul.
Note that I got it via Roku. I don’t give TMZ any more attention than I wish to as they mostly report trash I’m not remotely interested in.
I’m a fan of all kinds of music and I know what I like, and I like Prince. That’s why it was so incredibly shocking to hear he had died. Music is a very important part of my life probably because I can’t play an instrument and appreciate those who can, and admire those who are masters.
Well, I try.
Upon reading this tweet, I sat at my desk and out a huge, disappointing sigh that sounded like more of an annoyed grunt. It could have been. My coworker laughed and asked if I was okay.
Then I showed her the tweet.
“No way,” she exclaimed. As the news spread across almost every person/business I follow on Twitter, it was apparent that there would be no punchline as it was no joke. We were both shocked.
At age 57, Prince Rogers Nelson was gone.
“We could all die any day”
Granted, I’m not his biggest fan in that I don’t have many of his albums nor did I ever witness him live, something I most definitely regret now. But I do enjoy music — all kinds. And you don’t have to be a big Prince fan in order to appreciate his contribution to the music world – at least if you grew up in the time he was at the top of his game.
That year was 1984 when his quasi-biographical Purple Rain hit the theaters. While people were still singing his hits from 1999, the movie propelled him to a level of success and attention that was incredible to witness.
I can recall seeing Purple Rain shirts by the handful in high school with their proud owners bragging about his incredible concert at The Forum. Back then, you couldn’t turn on the radio or MTV without hearing/seeing Prince, most likely “When Doves Cry,” even though all of his singles from 1999 were still popular.
Prince had arrived only a few years after being booed off the stage while opening for the Rolling Stones, and he was still about pushing boundaries.
“Whenever my hopes and dreams
Are aimed in the wrong direction
She’s always there
Tellin’ me how much she cares”
She’s Always in My Hair
Distributing his album Planet Earth via Sunday newspaper in the UK. The Lord’s Prayer in “Controversy.” His name change to an unpronounceable symbol. The buttless chaps he wore on the MTV Music Awards. And, of course, his reluctance to be a part of the Internet by not having an official website, his videos on YouTube (and his threats to sue anyone who posted them), or his albums on streaming services.
Of course in 1999, the eponymous song became the anthem of the year. If you went to a New Year’s Eve party you know it was played allllll night.
But as fans continue to mourn, videos are starting to show up. Here’s one I remember seeing a ton of times on MTV and it’s one of the rate videos where you’ll see Prince sit behind the drums and madly pound out a solo.
While this entire performance is worthy of watching, the solo begins at 7:45.
And let’s not forget that his song “Darling Nikki” and not a rap song was responsible for this sticker:
I can think of songs on the radio today that are even more explicit than that one but hey, it gives Tipper Gore something to be proud of I guess.
There was never a doubt that he was an incredible musician, songwriter, and performer and like the man himself, his music knew no boundaries. This is perhaps why so many musicians paid tribute to him on the day he passed away, most of them playing his somber “Purple Rain.”
Corey Taylor of metal band Slipknot:
A student choir at the Disney Concert Hall:
Adam Levine of Maroon 5:
The cast of The Color Purple:
As musicians paid homage to Prince, cities around the world did the same.
The Eiffel Tower.
Downtown Los Angeles, who may just win the prize for tributes.
The Minnesota Twins. Ironically, it was raining the day he passed.
New Yorker Magazine.
The Forum in Inglewood, where Prince played 21 nights in 2011.
Long Beach Transit.
The local news during the Entertainment Report.
A church in Tulsa, OK.
When applicable, people will flock to Hollywood leave flowers and mementos at the Walk of Fame star of a recently deceased star. Prince, of course, was not your average star and does not have a star on the Walk of Fame. As a result, a someone decided he needed one where fans could mourn.
“Baby I’m a star”
And of course, my own that I posted on Instagram.
The only thing I’ve seen that came close to this was when John Lennon was assassinated. It was a beautiful way to celebrate the life of a man who wore the most feminine outfits while shredding a guitar like no other – and prancing around on stage in his trademark high-heeled boots.
So guys, if you ever think you’re a badass, just forget it. Prince owns you even now.
He was taken away from us much too fast but we were lucky to walk this planet at the same time to experience his incredible gift.
“No one in the whole universe will ever compare”
So thank you and goodnight, sweet Prince. Rest in Power.