“how could u just leave me standing, alone in a world that’s so cold…?” (photo from Narrative camera, when found out)
Around 20h03 (Spanish time), last April 21st, I was just checking the latest news on the elpais.com webpage before supper. Prince’s face appeared, which was odd, so close up. He looked so young. What’s up? Oh.
Then came a sequence of events that lead up to today, four days after Prince (AP). My first question was, ¿is this a publicity stunt?, and then, ¿how did he die? Then the need to share with others, play some albums, get sad. Then wondering why sad? Then separating a deeper sadness for the loss of the Prince of the 1980’s, and realizing how long his career was.
Purple rain (the album and the film), came out in 1984, just when I was eating up all the cassettes I could get my hands on (yes, even in far away Nova Scotia). There are many great songs from those years, but Prince covered all the bases; sex, the search for meaning, frustration, love, seduction, flirtation, fun and being funny. He symbolized almost everything you were not as a teenger, and he was omnipresent, seeped into the air of the 80s. He even had a monopoly on a whole colour! His songs were always around, when you were alone listening to the radio, with friends, at dances, in the car, travelling wherever.
But, if someone actually admitted to liking Prince, there was usually a side comment about “not really liking the artist himself”, at least among the guys. Now, on day 4 AP, and more than 30 years after listening to him for the first time, I feel sad about him leaving us so soon, about the drugs, about his loneliness, about the baby he lost a few years ago, about his years as a slave. But I’m amazed, after all this time, about the effect his music had on me, and on so many people. Do my teenage kids have a Prince in their lives? Probably unrepeatable.
Not to lose the quantifying part of this blog, some 16 adjectives used by the New York Times to describe Prince in his obituary: prolific, architect (of funk), sex symbol, musical prodigy, ambitious, electrifying, strong spirited, bold, creative, spontaneous, precise, riveting, sly, a flirt and private. Not a bad list. RIP