Over the weekend, I watched the MTV broadcast of Purple Rain (more than a few times). Listening to the song, “Beautiful Ones,” I was thrown back to my shag-carpeted, high school-era bedroom, lifting the needle to play the song over and over, tearing up over an unrequited crush, caterwauling along with Prince. “Do you want him? Or do you want me? Cause I want you…Baby, baby, baby listen to me…”
Prince was passion. Purple, ruffle-sleeved passion. He evangelized it. Over-the-top emotion infused his lyrics, music, guitar licks and that knowingly seductive glare (that Fred Armisen hilariously captures in his SNL impression). And as impressionable youngins, we learned everything we ever wanted to know about sex from Prince.
Wendy? Yes, Lisa.
For me, along with Bowie (stop taking them away!), Prince was a musical vanguard who launched my own fascination in the possibilities of music and sound. Like any true artist, he’s given us a gift that will outlive his time on planet earth. And, guaranteed, if we’re all still here we’ll be dancing to “1999” in 2099.
This week, we’re paying homage to the man who gave us something to scribble about in study hall, who changed our minds about reading magazines in hotel lobbies and a musical genius who is gone way too soon.
- Caroline Edgar got her best sex ed from Prince
- Penny Wrenn puts his records on, finally
- Neil Gladstone takes a trip to Paisley Park
- Heather Graham goes Around the World in a Day
- Joyce Millman reflects on the “life-changing majesty” of Prince’s music
Yours in purple,
(Graphic: Helen Jane Hearn/TueNight)