I have to accept I am not about to write the most eloquent piece of writing I have ever accomplished as I am a bit like ‘this can’t be true’ but Prince needs writing about.
Prince was ours. The last great performer we lost this year, David Bowie, was of a different age and time, and I know you really you shouldn’t compare these things, but Prince came from our time and made music for us. He grew with us. He wrote about the same drugs we were reading about or taking. He was our guy that wrote the social commentary. Marvin Gaye had ‘What’s Going On?’ – Prince had ‘Sign Of The Times’.
But you know… On top of this Prince had a glint in his eye. Prince was dirty. He knew what sex was all about. He knew about showmanship. He knew about the blues and the funk. He’d studied it all but he still made it all his own. He filtered this into his finest work. He seemed to have this special Prince filter that made it all come out in its own special way.
He did that thing that only genius performers can do, and by having the ability to do this was in a very special club that maybe only four other performers ever had the luxury to join. He made music that has the ability to transport you to a different place. It opens your head and reminds you what it was like to feel childlike and wide awake and open to the world (which is basically how we should all live but we forget to play) – and Prince did it with balls on. He made worlds for us.
He also studied the masters. James Brown for example. He danced. Prince danced like James Brown with bells on. We went to see him one at Brixton Academy years ago. I could have hit him with a tin can we were that close to the stage. He jumped on the grand piano and span around and around and we were in heaven. Prince laid out hit after hit after hit after hit. It was at a point when he felt people had forgotten how great he was and he had something to prove. That night we left with our tiny minds blown. You forget all the songs (or hits) he had to hand. That night he started playing ‘Darling Nikki’ (the one about the girl masturbating with a magazine) on the grand piano. Well he played the first two notes… Brixton roared. It went nuts. He just stopped, turned to us all, and said in his Prince like-way ‘you’re rude’. We went more nuts. It was like he was talking to every single one of us. I also remember buying ‘Lovesexy’ the day it came out and taking it round my mates house and us putting it in his mum and dads stereo and dancing round the front room like idiots. It was E music in action. I could go on…
I don’t know. Maybe that is one example of how someone so special touched me. You’ll have yours if you were a Prince person. And reading this site I really hope you have a Prince favourite. This isn’t about me going well I was into this and this happened. This is just a piece to make the point that Prince mattered. He had imagination and soul and love in his heart.
I was thinking, the only good thing that can come of all this is that massive huge untapped Prince Vault that exists of films and albums and unreleased stuff – gets slowly shown to the world by someone that truly knows what is in there. We can work backwards through his genius. This is the only good outcome of today. And until then I am going to go and play ‘Ballad Of Dorothy Parker’ very loudly and celebrate a true one off. God bless. x.