Honestly, who hasn’t wanted to dance in the rain? The Purple Rain? As a child, I dreamt of laughing, running and enjoying grand moments in a purple rainstorm. Such a vision was courtesy of Prince. That was Prince. He invoked new synesthesia-like sensations.
My mom thought Prince was too weird. She preferred Michael Jackson. The funny thing is let’s think about who turned out to be the real weird one, eh?
I preferred Prince. As my mom used to say, he was my cup of tea. I grew up to and with Prince’s music. I used to sing “Kiss” at the top of my lungs screeching hysterically. Who doesn’t like to perform that song at karaoke or at a slumber party? Try to hit those high notes. It is invigorating to try.
He was different. He wore makeup. He redefined sexy. He had Sheila E as a drummer. A girl drummer! That was so cool at the time. It was empowering.
He was different and gave us labeled-weirdos hope. He was Mr. Cool. He was talented. He stood on principle. He was a good, charitable man. He was a great role model for a young girl who didn’t fit in her South Bronx neighborhood.
On Sundays my mom and I would hold our own talent show. I was a shy kid but I performed. At times, I would perform Purple Rain. My mom wasn’t thrilled with that song choice but she liked that I was getting out of my shell and having fun. She felt that one day I was going to make it out of the South Bronx and be a success story for her to tell everyone when she was older. I did get out of the South Bronx and I became a success. I didn’t become a performer. Unless you consider being a CEO an actor (which on many days I am). Thus, in some respects I owe a bit of my public persona to Prince.
He also got me to think about the future. Who didn’t want to make it to 1999 and party?
For the longest time I didn’t understand what he meant when he sang
Then one day I had a lightbulb moment. I laughed. I laughed at myself for being so young and naive. Eventually, I went on to be a student leader handing out condoms.
Is there a part of life one can’t relate back to prince in some way?
Here is a final thought as well. I have lamented our current situation where everything is overhyped and nothing can meet that hype. I noted how even my salt needs salt as a result. With Prince, the hype was true. You could believe it. Have you watched his half-time performance at the Super Bowl XLI Halftime Show? Every single Superbowl Halftime show is hyped up beyond belief and inevitably they let one down. His performance was stellar. He brought it to every gig. He was a shy guy but he was real. Not many artists like him anymore but it is great to aspire to be like Prince.
Eric Clapton was once asked what it was like to be the greatest guitarist of all time. His response….”I don’t know. Ask Prince.”