Prince (1958.06.07 — 2016.04.21)

We’re approaching the one year anniversary of Prince’s death. If I were to put words to the deep-seated, visceral missing of Prince I feel, it would be knowing he isn’t around to contribute new music, find the next edge, push limits, find the next symbol of life, love, music, stand down the corporate music bullies, offer up musical reflections of ourselves as seen through his lens, etc.

From my bleacher seat watching Prince’s life and career, I will indulge in some reflection and celebration:

A housemate in college took the black-and-white photo – the Viva picture – with film* that when developed resolved into black-and-white only. No gray. So in this black-and-white period of my life, she invited me to join her for a concert at First Avenue in Minneapolis for a performance by Prince. I declined. I had a big exam the next day. And I can tell you 35 years later that I don’t remember what was on the test, the subject matter, the class, or even how well I did or didn’t do on either the test or in the class; what I can tell you is I missed out on the opportunity of seeing Prince in his early Purple Rain days. I thought there would be better, more appropriate nights to go to First Avenue and a real live Prince dance party. Regrets? I’ve had a few.

Sundays on the drive to church, 88Nine radio holds a Prince dance party at around 8:15 AM. This last week they played “Hot Thing” and I smiled and I might have sped up a little.

A former co-worker reported that his son was roped in with a group to attend a private concert given by Prince at Paisley Park in the fall of 2015. After playing for hours, Prince cooked and fed them all. Whoa! If there is a heaven, I would like to be a sous chef for Prince.  I would even let him know that I could sing a wicked backup that is if “wicked” means “not very good.” Oh do sing, Viva, sing!  Hot Thing indeed  <smile>.

My favorite cover of a Prince tune is “Raspberry Beret” by the Hindu Love Gods.  It also makes me smile. Warren Z. growling out a smooth tune.   And Hindu Love Gods = REM + Warren Zevon — Michael Stipe

Finally, “ … from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks … “, Prince, lyrics from the song Love, album 3121, or! you can read the Bible, Luke 6:45. Pick your cite. I can sing along to the first.

Love — this lyric in particular is a reminder that what comes out of your mouth is a direct reflection of what is in your heart.
And I can choose from the abundance in my heart to speak from my heart.
Or I can shut up.  It is a choice.  Reflect what you will.

*Film.  Film is  a throwback to pre-digital camera technology. It is a type of tape passed by a camera and lens to capture light. Film required processing in “dark rooms” well-outfitted with trays of chemicals, special lights, oh, it was magical and complicated. Film is a throwback which will likely have a resurgence not unlike vinyl record albums. (See also Kodachrome.)

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