So today Prince died. That’s sad. There’s been a lot of celebrity deaths that have made a lot of people sad this year. People keep on dying.
I guess that’s just part of life.
But this one nips for me a little bit more than the others.
I was lucky enough to see Prince somewhere around 20 times in my youth. From the Parade Tour I think back in 1986 celebrating his Under the Cherry Moon album; all the way through to his very latest Hit & Run Tour last year.
I bought pretty much everything he did back in the day, which was a massive challenge given how prolific he was and there wasn’t such a thing as the internet. I still amassed quite a collection. His music was everywhere.
What a weird creature he was on the outside to most people; fucking a microphone on stage, praying with the audience, openly promoting his love of sex and God in the same sentence. He was breaking moulds that was for sure and yet what a deeply soulful man and inspiration he was to any creative on the planet. His opinions and views right there on his sleeve in every song. He was peace loving woman loving funny funny funny man. He worked all day and night on what he loved, I reckon he won at life. He beat everyone at life when we look at him through the public eye.
But it’s never that simple.
He had his own personal tragedy too. It’s part of being human right? He lost a child barely one week old. Heartbreaking. But it’s all to easy for us to forget that. We put him up on that pedestal (probably so the people at the back could see him) where we want him to entertain and mystify us, because despite being only 5’4″ he was so much larger than life in those high heels, he was still part of the breed from when they still made rock stars, not just the singers, pop stars, and people in bands they churn out today. He was bigger than all of that. Yet he was human like the rest of us. Only more talented. Massively more talented.
I don’t have any doubt that he’s left enough material to keep releasing albums until long after I’m dead too. We all read the rumours of the thousands of songs left locked up in his vaults at Paisley Park. There’ll be a lot of the existing stuff being played tonight though I’m sure.
It must be nice to have been able to leave this life knowing you left something so wonderful behind that touched so many. That you could fill a stadium with friends who loved you that you hadn’t even met because your songs had answers to everything we ever felt. Great music does that. The great musicians are our gift. We should hail them like gods.
I’m sad today. I lost one of the best friends and gods I ever grew up with.