April 21, 2016

Prince

Say it isn't so. This morning I felt like the wind had been knocked out of me hearing the news that Prince had passed away. I am not exaggerating when I say that he single handedly influenced my life's soundtrack more than any other soul. He was my number one, by such a lengthy distance, that I don't even know who number two would be.
When I was 10 years old and heard the song 1999 for the first time, I was immediately hooked. It was like my passion for music exploded. I watched the video repeatedly, awestruck by this charismatic singer who seemed to come out of nowhere. I read everything I could about him. I ran out immediately and got the album and desperately wished I was in his band. I devoured everything that he put out: I ran out and bought some of his older albums like Dirty Mind and Controversy...and as the years went on: Purple Rain, Around the World in a Day, Parade, Sing O The Times, Lovesexy, Batman, Graffiti Bridge, Diamonds and Pearls, Love Symbol, The Hits, Come, The Gold Experience, Emancipation....I even remember taking a bus into Vancouver specifically because I heard a record store had a rare copy of the Black Album.  I remember finding out one of my college professors liked Prince, and we would engage in these incredible discussions about how he influenced us. I think I belong to a giant legion of fans who just appreciated what he was doing - that he was constantly re-emerging with new sounds, pushing the envelope, taking a genre and turning it on it's head....I felt moved listening to his music, I felt sexy, I felt like I wanted to dance until I couldn't dance anymore. I wanted to be Sheila E and play the drums for him. I wanted to be part of his band The Revolution in any capacity I could. I would dance night after night in our basement to his music, determined that one day I'd be a back up dancer for him on his tour. I just wanted so desperately to be in the vicinity of his creativity because something about his music connected to me on a scale that no one else had. I bought up sheet music to his songs to play on the piano, bought up albums of artists that he mentored, like Sheila E, The Time, Wendy & Lisa...I just loved his funky hook, his sexy riffs and how he emancipated himself from his record label so that he could keep doing what he loved, without restrictions. I love the fact that he was so shy to interview, but when he hit a stage, he was larger than life, he had the dance moves of Michael Jackson/James Brown, and the guitar skills of a funkier Jimi Hendrix. I am so thrilled that I got to take some of my best friends and my hubby to some of his shows, to share him with them. The last Prince show I went to, I was six days overdue, and people thought I was crazy for getting tickets. But, it ended up being my favourite show of his, and I went into labour when I got home. I love that he is part of our birth story and I can't wait to introduce my daughter to his music.

You might not know that Prince also wrote several songs for other artists, like: Nothing Compares to U (performed by Sinead O Connor), The Glamorous Life  & A Love Bizarre (Sheila E), Manic Monday (The Bangles), Love, Thy Will Be Done (Martika), How Come You Don't Call Me Anymore (Alicia Keys), When You Were Mine (Cyndi Lauper) It's been an emotional day, but a beautiful day too. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all of the artists who site him as their biggest influence....artists who I really respect. His genius was far reaching and as sad as I am that I will never get to see him perform live again....I have been listening to his music all evening which is like embracing a friend you haven't seen in awhile....
His music was bar none, one of the greatest gifts my life has ever received.
I like to think he's up there throwing a giant party tonight.....

You are all familiar with his hits, but here's a few of my all time favourite songs, in case you haven't caught them:
The Beautiful Ones
Computer Blue
Controversy
Darling Nikki
Paisley Park
It
If I was Your Girlfriend
Sexy MF
Erotic City
17 Days


Rest In Peace sweet Prince. xo

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