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And now that the doves are crying..

Posted in Life & Love

CHICAGO - DECEMBER 10: Prince performs live on stage at  Rosemont Horizon in Chicago on December 10 1984 during his Purple Rain tour (Photo by Richard E. Aaron/Redferns)

Raw, textured, soulful, unapologetically fun and deeply satisfying. That is how I would describe Prince’s music. And sex, for that matter.

In 1984 I was 22. MTV was in its infancy and, at some point that year, I caught a bad flu that I sweated out at my mother’s, in her bed, the tv dragged into the room to relieve the boredom. A video of a guy in a bathtub was on heavy rotation and the song, Purple Rain, moved me to tears. It can still make me cry with longing at the drop of a hat. I kept MTV switched on all day waiting to hear it again. And again. And now I own most of the music Prince Roger Nelson ever recorded.

As a young white woman with still a limited experience of the world, I can’t say I could identify with Prince’s music. But I connected on a visceral level. Beyond the artistry, the talent, the genius that will be banded about in the next few days of mourning, Prince’s music gave me the tools to understand sensuality and, by extension, sexuality. There was a deeply feminine side to his work, that he honored and exalted – and actively promoted by working with and writing for female musicians, more so than any other contemporary artist I can think of. Would Sinead O’Connor be Sinead O’Connor without “Nothing Compares to You”? Or what kind of Chaka Kahn would she be without “I feel for you”?

Prince was one of those rare musicians who displayed a generosity on stage beyond reverence for live shows. You knew when a Prince concert would start (more or less, mostly late) but couldn’t predict when he would call it a night, reveling in the energy that connected him to the audience. I saw my fair share during the years, with a memorable one compliments of sofagirl, who worked with His Purpleness for a while, and who took me backstage for a meet and greet. Between my awe and his shyness I don’t remember more than two words exchanged (but I do remember the polka dot ensemble. His).

In a time defined by the habit of over sharing, I often think artists are also measured by how much we crave to know about them. I never cared much to know what Prince did with his free time, or who he was dating, or what he consumed for breakfast: like all great artists, his work was enough to fill the craving. And it will be enough now to fill the void. For many generations to come.

2015 Grammy
2015 Grammy

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14 Comments

  1. And so young too. Does make one have to face the thought of one’s own mortality.
    Live for today and do everything your heart desires, you do not know if you will be there tomorrow.

    April 22, 2016
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      And how quickly we forget and worry and fret. To no use.

      April 23, 2016
      |Reply
  2. The world has lost an incredible human who happened to be a remarkable musician. May his music comfort all who are reflecting on happier times. ღ

    April 22, 2016
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      I took all my Prince cds out (I even has some cassettes) and it’s been playing on a loop at my house. Must transfer to my devices.

      April 23, 2016
      |Reply
  3. I don’t believe. I really don’t. What is going on this year?

    Five years ago he randomly showed up at the after party for our movie’s premiere. ù

    This news hit me in the gut. I just don’t believe it.

    April 22, 2016
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      The year that decimated rock and roll….

      April 23, 2016
      |Reply
  4. silvia
    silvia

    Another GREAT with whom we danced the night away so often. It seems that the memories of our youth are less vivid without them.

    April 22, 2016
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      God! and we did use to dance so much. I don’t do it nearly as often as I should.

      April 23, 2016
      |Reply
  5. it’s been a funny old year. And it’s only a quarter through… Love your reflection of His Shy Purpleness.

    April 22, 2016
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    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      Between one thing and another, I feel like I am being forced to confront mortality…

      April 22, 2016
      |Reply
  6. Ah, how sad this makes me feel! Prince represents a time in my life when I lived and worked in a particular resort. My best friend in that place was a huge fan of Prince. Now suddenly I’m missing both of them.

    April 22, 2016
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      I do love that music holds this memory power though.

      April 22, 2016
      |Reply
  7. Ellie Toffolo
    Ellie Toffolo

    I can’t believe it, first the Duke and now the Prince……. I agree with what you say, and the emotional reaction that is inevitable with his music. LIke you, memories come flooding back…….some work and some play – religiously working on merchandize for the Purple Rain album and film release (transparent bags containing a purple rose with an autographed card inside), the premiere of the film with all the men in the audience feeling uncomfortable and jealous of Prince’s charisma while all the women were glowing and wishing they were Apollonia, dutifully going out to buy a peach coloured t.shirt to wear to the ‘Sign of the Times Tour’ as requested, experiencing his glorious guitar solos, and seeing him from afar, without pushing it, respecting fame and privacy. As one British newspaper put it ‘The Purple Reign is over’ – but when someone has made such beautiful music, it’s never over.

    April 22, 2016
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      Sign of the Times was my first Prince tour! I had never seen anything like it. A couple of years ago I was stupid enough to miss one of the two of three shows he did at a tiny theatre here in LA. Ticket prices were really high but really….one night, after the show, he showed up at 2 am in the lobby of the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood and regaled whover was present with music until dawn….

      April 22, 2016
      |Reply

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