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Prince: June 7, 1958-April 21, 2016

Prince: June 7, 1958-April 21, 2016

“All these non-singing, non-dancing, wish-I-had-me-some-clothes fools who tell me my albums suck.

Why should I pay any attention to them?” -Prince

I opened up the internet yesterday and gasped out loud.  I understand that the last few months may have made celebrity death reactions a near cynical experience, I’m there with you on that level, but Prince? Prince who wore flowery poet shirts and button up pants, Prince who I was never sure if I should be physically attracted to or repelled, Prince who was the soundtrack for a space and time. It moved me that he’s now gone, and I fully understand the outpouring of all things purple.

I grew up with Prince, Sheila E, Morris Day and the Time, all of it.  I grew up behind a roller skating rink that was the place Mom would send my sister’s and I when we were too rowdy and she needed space. This was in the eighties and so we heard everything from Doug E. Fresh to Afrika Bambaataa, to, of course, Prince. I was young enough to be in that zone where lyrics have little meaning except to sing along to, therefore I had no idea what I was really saying when I sang along to Little Red Corvette, or the year that When Dove’s Cry got big. Many of his songs were risque – and that was part of the thrill (just guessing at what was the risky element made for conversations that solidified friendships).  I danced delightfully along to the whole 1999 album and when Around the World in a Day came out I snuck it onto my birthday wish list and got it! Adults around me probably questioned the content but I was happy, I was dancing, and I was singing along.  Later, songs like When You Were Mine, and Nothing Compare 2 You did have meaning for me and learning that Prince had written those songs was like matching up pieces in a jigsaw puzzle, it just made sense.

Prince will now be a legend, who can replace him? We’ll have  a small amount of Prince items for check out: Purple Rain and Under the Cherry Moon for films and for CD’s I have found Around the World in a Day, 1999, Purple Rain, and he has a new one that just came out, HitRun/Phase One.  I think I’ll be re-watching Purple Rain, it’s been a few years, and his music will always be the best dance music in my kitchen on any given night.

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