“How can you just leave me standing, alone in a world that’s so cold.”
-Prince “When Doves Cry”
There are some celebrity deaths we never forget. We always remember where we were and what we were doing when we heard the sad news of their passing. Elvis Presley…Marilyn Monroe…Freddie Mercury…Princess Diana…Michael Jackson…Whitney Houston….and now… Prince.
My memories of Prince and his music start in the summer of 1984 when I was 11 years old. That summer you could find me either off somewhere reading comic books, watching the various Friday night music video shows I would tape every week (I may have wanted my MTV but without cable…I had to settle for my ABC, CBS, and NBC) or with my ear glued to my radio listening to 100.3 FM, Z-100, working hard on making my mixed tapes. Ah….good times! Happy memories of a kid growing up in the 80’s!
A HUGE part of that music filled pre-teen summer of mine was the soundtrack to the movie, “Purple Rain”.
EVERY song from that album was AWESOME!!! I listened to them over and over again and they all sounded soooooooo good as I cranked them all the way up to 11 on my parents’ stereo system for all the world….and neighborhood….to hear!
Today, every time I have to ask someone to repeat something they said because I didn’t quite hear it, I am pretty sure I can thank that summer of ear splitting music for it. I do wonder if Ill be seeing a tiny little Beltone in my aging auditory future someday…..
The year prior to this, Prince’s album “1999” was released. I loved the title track, “Delirious” and “Little Red Corvette”. At the time, my innocent 10 year old mind thought that this song was simply about a woman who owned a red corvette. I never could quite figure out just what he meant by “she had a pocket full of horses”. My thoughts ran along the lines of, “Huh? Just what the HECK did that mean? I’m kinda doubting she collects My Little Ponies, sooooo ……?”
And if you think THAT was bad….let’s not even get into how the meanings behind “Darling Nikki” and “Sugar Walls” (remember that Sheena Easton song he wrote?) TOTALLY went over my head, too. And when I DID eventually discover what those songs were about…. Oh me oh my!!! I don’t think I could have been more shocked if I had licked a 9 volt battery while cleaning out the interior of my plugged in toaster with a butter knife! And I was concerned about that pocketful of horses?!?!?
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I was an EXTREMELY naïve and innocent kid. It sometimes amazes me that I didn’t wind up in a convent or in some little house on a prarie somewhere (as if I would have survived either one for very long……)
My memories of Prince and his music may have started out simple and innocent but regardless of whether or not I truly GOT what his songs meant sometimes, it doesn’t change the emotions that I still feel and fond memories that I connect to when I think of them, him, or that time in my life. But since then, I have learned so much more about Prince and just how far his talents, his love for his fans and his generosity reached. It truly impresses and amazes me. Some of the causes he supported were hunger, abuse, AIDS, various children’s charities, creative arts and education. He was a singer, songwriter, music producer, actor, philanthropist and if all of THAT wasn’t enough…..he even knew how to play over 27 musical instruments!
OVER 27 instruments?? I can’t even fold a fitted sheet neatly!
We truly lost one of the greats. He was a true and timeless legend. Indeed, the world is now a colder place without him. But aren’t we lucky that we still have his legacy of talent, goodness and love that he left behind to continue on for many years and many generations to come….