April 21 — LET’S GO CRAZY, Prince (1984)

imageMemories of Prince: 1983: Dancing to “Delirious” at Bogey’s, the New Wave bar on campus corner in Stillwater.

1984: Hearing the “Purple Rain” album all over Washington, D.C., during the summer of its release. “Michael Jackson or Prince” comparisons flew like “Beatles or the Stones” two decades earlier. I loved the “Thriller” album but was swayed by Prince’s playful, dark side.

1989: While living in Minneapolis, I heard an early-morning radio announcement that Prince was playing an open dress rehearsal for the “Batman” tour that night in St. Paul. The price of a ticket was two cans of food for the local food pantry. It was a performance for the ages — the guy was pure electric. Dance moves like James Brown, guitar playing reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix, and the songs, hit after hit. It seemed all the 1980s funk royalty was in the VIP section: Morris Day, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Janet Jackson.

2013: We went to The Wedge Pizza for our first meal out after moving to OKC. This song greeted us and Luke loved it.

The name “icon” gets thrown around too much, but by my terms, this marks the third lost icon this year, following Bowie and Haggard. But Prince is different. He’s from my generation, the music of my young adulthood. Prolific, creative, immensely talented, stubbornly mysterious. “We are gathered here today to get through this thing called life.”

Rest in peace, Prince.



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