Friday, April 22, 2016

Random Remembrances of Prince

Pretty much everyone and their brother has weighed in on Prince and his passing, and we're at just the tip of the iceberg.  We'll be talking about this genius for a long, long time to come.  Being a kid in Minnesota in the 80's I had to have a relationship with Prince, and I did so at way more levels than I'd like to admit.  There are a number of episodes in my interactions with him that are really seared into my memory.  In no particular order, here are some.  

  • I remember the first time I saw him.  It was 1980 or so on one of those Saturday night, late-night music shows, and he and the band were cutting into "Partyup."  It freaked me out - I had never heard anything like it before.  A year or two later he released 1999, and the whole world got exposed.  
  • The first time I heard "When Doves Cry," I loved it, but it bugged me at the same time.  It took me years to figure out what it was.  Finally, one day I was listening to a radio show that was talking about the song and noted that it lacked a bass or any kind of bassline.  Bingo.  
  • I distinctly remember being on the dance floor at Lord Fletchers when the DJ moved between "Drinking with an Angel" by the Suburbs and "Erotic City" by Prince.  It remains to this day one of the finest DJ song transitions that I ever heard.  
  • One of my biggest record store scores of all time was finding a bootleg copy of the Black Album while in Munich with my brother.  It was horribly pirated from a scratched up LP, but I loved that CD.  Even now, despite having the wherewithal to replace it and download a pristine version of once-banned album, I keep my version - nicks, pops, hisses, and all.  
  • I loved in Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing" that Spike's character of Mookie calls out one of the white antagonists and displays the hypocrisy of being so racist, but loving Prince.  While the character espouses his love for Bruce Springsteen, his reaction belies where his true allegiances are.  
  • Prince's guitar solo performance of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a number of years back showed just how virtuoso he was at guitar.  What a totally dominant performance of a seminal guitar piece.  Clapton (and every other axe man, for that matter), had to tip their cap.  
  • While I love her more than I can say here, I don't have as much common ground with my sister as I do with many others in my family.  Among the things we have, though, is "Housequake."  Funny, isn't it, what brings us together?  
  • For me, the best part about the original Batman movie was the Prince soundtrack, and, in particular, "Batdance.". 
  • For those that have never seen it, Charley Murphy's Hollywood Stories of playing basketball and eating pancakes with Prince is the second funniest thing ever on the Chappel show (the first being, of course, the Rick James segment).  

Prince was a prodigiously productive, and it has long been rumored that there is a massive amount of material in his vault that has never seen the light of day.  With his passing, we'll likely get access to that, and that will help to ease the pain of his premature passing.  Despite this, the world is noticeably not as interesting as it used to be just a day ago.  

We're all slightly poorer because of it.

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