The Purple One Ascends

 This is a posting that I never thought that I would ever be writing. I am amazed almost daily at how fragile life is and how none of us can run from its ultimate decision to take us down. I was intensely inspired by His Purple Badness. It began when I saw Purple Rain for the first time. It was raw and very simple to watch. The plot was easy to understand and you almost felt like you were in the room with him during certain scenes. I was young, therefore, the parts of the film that were  bit sexual made my blood race. I had not been exposed to anything that could give me a proper reference to what I was seeing. Either way, I was drawn in and I knew that it would never end.

   Watching this force of a man and master musician on the screen that seemed to make his own rules was mesmerizing to me. To put it bluntly, it moved me beyond measure. I never wanted to be him, I just wanted to release as much of my musical energy as he did. I wanted to give people the jet fuel that he did. I wanted to sing and dance with the dedication that he had through my body, in my own way. I just could not get enough of the how his music opened up parts of my brain that had been dormant prior to hearing his music.

    The first time that I saw him live was in Houston, Texas in 1988. The tour was entitled "Lovesexy". I remember thinking how peculiar that word was and what did he mean by combining them together? It kept me pondering for many weeks after wards. I went to the show with about 3 friends if my memory serves me right. Our seats were really good. I could see the entire stage. By the way, the stage was round and fully equipped with some choice toys. He has a basketball court, a car on a hydraulic arm, real doves, lots of crazy lights, and a band that you could not stop looking at no matter how hard you tried. I was hypnotized.

      Prince was dressed in a few different outfits. However, the one that sticks in my mind was a polka dot jacket and pants that had dots that were all different sizes and earrings that were of alternating sizes as well. The cuff links were not even close to the same. One covered his hand completely and the other was tight on his wrist and exposed his hand to play the guitar. The non symmetry was truly interesting and innovative. His makeup was that of a beautiful woman, yet he was as manly as you could imagine as well. I was blown away at how he so successfully marinated in his sexuality without committing to either side for too long.

      The concert went on for at least 2 hours. He played guitar, piano, bass, a song on drums, and he played them all as if it were his last moments on planet earth. He also sang like 4 different kinds of singers, all at the same time. My heart was beating fast and my fee were moving the entire time. I was just completely engulfed in this experience. My favorite part of the evening was when Prince played about 8 of his hits on just the piano. To deliver songs the way that he did on an acoustic instrument was supreme in my humble opinion. I had not yet become serious about playing any instruments until right after this show. Something had just sprouted up within me. I could not have controlled it if I had wanted to. I didn't want too in any way, shape, or form.

      I had a piano in my home not even two months after that concert. I wanted to know how to get inside those songs and know how they worked. My teacher bored me with the songs that she wanted to teach me. I was not as open and willing to be taught as she would have hoped me to be. I asked her if I could bring a book that I wanted her to teach me form with Prince songs in it. She quickly let me know that I was not on that level yet. I pushed back and brought the book anyway. The song that I wanted to play was entitled, "Venus De Milo". The song was only piano and had a soft, classical, yet funky in its own way vibe. I was going to learn it with or without her. The lessons ended shortly afterwards. I had been accepted to a major music college.

      In school, his music was till so enticing to me. I listened so intently and the music just vibrated within me in a way that I cannot fully understand. I could sing so many of his songs at this point and I did regularly. Practicing his songs gave me the gift of a falsetto voice, which came in handy later when I needed it. It was is stage work ethic as well as his adventurous ways of delivering his songs that floored me. I knew that one day I would sing on the same stage as him and it finally did.

      I attended a concert that he put on to promote one of his protegees named Tamar. She was full of energy, sang with confidence and force, and she was all over the stage. Prince was off to the left playing guitar, and letting her run the show. During the entire evening, he only sang one of his songs. I was with my good friend, and she and I were digging the show and just anxious to see what would happen next. he began to play a riff from a very popular classic song, and the hands went up. I had no idea why they were raising their hands. Then I realized that Tamar wanted someone from the audience to sing it up on stage with the band. My hand shot up like three Statue of Liberty mini statues in a gift shop. She called me up and the rest is history as they say. I was officially on stage with my strongest inspiration. He heard me sing and gave me a casual confirmation nod. That was all that I needed. I could go home then...

      In closing, I know that this icon will never be forgotten no matter what happens. He defied boundaries and mixed love, sex, religion, and the after world seamlessly, like they were a recipe for a delicious cake that could be eaten by anyone. His riffs, splits, lyrics, technique, enlightenment, and stage presence were a master class for me. I know that we will continue to hear his music during my time left here on this earth. As I continue my journey deeper into the music world, I will never lose touch with such a heavyweight who led by example and dropped the funk like no body's business. Yes it is true, one human being can change the life of many. I am forever changed and I cannot explain how grateful I am to have His Purple Badness inside of my soul.



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