I am an 80s kid and I was introduced to Prince when his career was just popping off.
I was, of course, too young to be listening to his music which had adult themes. I really didn’t understand most of it anyway. I just thought he was cute and I loved his look and the sound.
When I was in elementary school, I tricked my immigrant parents into taking me to see “Purple Rain” at the movie theater. They weren’t too knowledgeable about the ratings standards and had no clue it was Rated R. Oh yeah, my 6 year old sister came along too. They thought it was a musical. ooops!
It didn’t take too long for them to realize the musical drama and love story about a troubled aspiring musician and band leader playing the competitive music scene in Minneapolis was too grown for their kids.
Luckily for me, they didn’t make me leave during the risque scenes but rather told me to cover my eyes with my poncho.
My dad enjoyed the film and therefore I didn’t get punished afterwards either.
The 11-year old me was blown away! Not only did I think Prince was super cute, but I loved the energy of his music and even at that tender age, I could sense there was something magical and special about him. He had a certain mystique, a je nai c’est quoi, if you will.
I loved every single on that Purple Rain Album and much of his subsequent records even after he left The Revolution and formed other bands and collaborated with other stars like Sheila E, Sheila Easton, Vanity, and others.
I grew up listening to his music and after I got my first job at 7-Eleven a few years later, I could finally afford to buy his cassettes and play them back on my tape deck.
My baby sister and I would dance to his tunes in front of the mirror at home and would sit and wait for someone to order up his videos on the Video Music Jukebox on the weekend when my parents went to work. We rocked to him when his videos would come on MTV or we’d hear him on the radio.
I don’t know which one of his songs is my favorite. I think “Kiss” is up on the list as is “Pop Life” and “Raspberry Beret” and “Alphabet Street” and “U Got that Look” and “Hot Thang” and “If I was Your Girlfriend“. The list goes on and on.
Eventually, I’d go to college and one day after getting a job, I’d get a chance to join his official fan club and land a coveted floor (3rd row reserved for Fan Club members) seat during his concert stop at the then MCI Arena in Washington, DC. I swear there were a few moments during his set that he and I made eye contact and connected.
Whether it (the eyes connecting part) happened for real or not, I was so happy to be in that moment, absorbing the essence of a true performer, one who could play multiple instruments, command a stadium, seduce thousands of women at the same time, all while balancing on a pair of 5 inch boots!
There will be no other performer like Prince in this or any future generation because he was/is irreplaceable.
As one of his SUPER FANS, I am still in shock of the news that he has passed away. I am grateful however, that he leaves a wonderful anthology of great music (including some yet to be released to the public which I intend to get whenever they become available).
Thank you, Prince Rogers Nelson. You played the soundtrack to many of our lives. Thank you for the music, the memories and the nostalgia that will be with us forever.
Rest in Paradise, dead friend in my head. Love you!
images: Warner Brothers, WikiCommons, Screencapture Youtube
And his first hit which I loved dearly was “I Wanna Be Your Lover”. Check it out here!