This site was never intended for this sort of thing. But, Prince died. Prince!!
Why do I care so much? If you don’t know the answer, you don’t know me. Which is about right because this isn’t Facebook. And I don’t want to write about this on Facebook because I don’t want 500+ likes and 100+ comments for it. I prefer the relative solitude of my own site. My outlet.
I heard about it a few hours ago, second-hand, so I had to drop everything to search for no truth, surely. It wasn’t trending on Twitter which was a good sign. But my own Tweet, a question asking for truth, was failing to post – a bad sign. So I searched news stories and found truth, published only half an hour earlier. I felt sad and empty. So I knew it obviously hadn’t sunk in yet.
I’ve had to attend an important event this evening, but now, I feel it. It’s real. And I can’t describe the feeling.
So why does this matters to me? I grew up not liking Prince, like when watching Top Of The Pops or other music shows. I thought he was weird, produced music that wasn’t like anything else, dressed weird, and made strange facial expressions. He was abnormal. And I later realised that the problem was me.
But this guy wasn’t going away. I was exposed to more of his music, and then suddenly realised I was admitting to myself, that there’s actually something very, very interesting about his music. In basic terms, I was wondering why other artists can’t create and perform like Prince. Over time, I realised that most of what I thought I didn’t like, was exactly what was to like. Before long I came to understand the real meaning of the word ‘genius’.
And on this day, in some poetic and ironic way, the ‘Queen’ celebrates 90th birthday today, whilst we mourn the death of Prince.
Going back to watching Top Of The Pops, the first creation I remember was Alphabet Street. Weird song. Before long, I heard Kiss, largely due to everyone else’ love for it. Not a weird song, but a bit different to ‘normal’ music from normal artists. Clearly by this point, I still didn’t have enough understanding. Over the following months I somehow, I don’t know quite how, heard more of his stuff, and was really, REALLY liking it. When I mentioned it, I found others who felt the same way.
So I had to buy my own equipment to hear more, and hear it my way. My speakers had to be Tannoy, because that’s what was used in reputable recording studios in that musical era. I was 16. I believed my kit made his music sound like the recordings. I still have them 26 years on. I’ll keep them forever, for my future den. But slowly, clearly, I was getting more and more hooked on Prince.
Other big creations that cemented it for me were the entire Purple Rain album especially Purple Rain, When Doves Cry, The Beautiful Ones and Let’s Go Crazy, but also 1999, Sometimes It Snows In April, Partyman, I Feel For You, Nothing Compares to You, Starfish And Coffee, If I Was Your Girlfriend, The Question of U, When 2 R in Love, Scandalous, The Most Beautiful Girl In The World, Guitar, and I have to mention it again….Kiss (my ultimate).
Prince was unique and untouchable. He copied noone, and noone had a chance of copying Prince.
Concerts. I attended nowhere near as many as I would have liked to. But every minute at every concert was unreal. Worst case, I was really impressed. The rest of the time, I was blown away. Best devotion was attending 3 concerts from the same set of dates, at the O2 in London.
But I’m not a listener fan. I’m a musician, albeit unprofessional, and I firmly believe that if you can make or play music, then your connection to music goes far deeper than if you don’t. The attachment and the emotion cut far, far deeper. It means that the music you love becomes a part of you from the inside. Sounds really weird, and most won’t understand. Musicians will relate.
I need to stop writing. I want to have a few more glasses of wine whilst mourning his death whilst celebrating wht he gave to us. I’m thankful for what I have heard, what I’ve experienced, and how I’ve felt, how my musical side has been most deeply influenced, and the feelings that all of this has created over the years.
One thing is for sure… the death of Prince means that every other musician on earth is now a million steps closer to being musical geniuses (but are still nowhere near to it, and never will be).
Prince…1958 to 2016, died at only 57. There’s so much you said, meant, sang, and gran slammed. Your departure will never be right. Like what you said in Starfish and Coffee, maybe I just haven’t set my mind free. But for now, on you understand.
Thank you Prince aka The Kid, for what you have given. You may be gone, but you’ll never be gone, and you’ll always remain number one.
RIP, dear Prince.