I’ve always been slightly dismissive of mass public outpourings of grief, I remained largely unmoved when Princess Diana died, I was a little sad when Kurt Cobain died and very sad when Bowie left us. But yesterday, yesterday was the worst.
I can’t think of many people who don’t like Prince, whether Grebo, Goth or Grunger, Pop Fan, Soul Fan or Blues fan. Nearly everyone I know liked him. Many passionately, but among those who weren’t fans in some way, there can’t be many who didn’t at least appreciate his genius, or his skill, particularly instrumentally. He was a phenomenal artist.
Growing up, Prince’s singles were favourites in our house, Kiss, Girls & Boys, Paisley Park, Raspberry Beret, Lets Go Crazy, 1999, Purple Rain to name but a few, but it wasn’t until I reached my teens and I started discovering his albums that I truly started to appreciate his talent. His lyrics were so filthy I don’t know how I managed to listen to the albums without getting into trouble but listen I did. I don’t know how such a small man in high heels and lurex could have such sex appeal but he did, by the bucket load. Just wow.
I have one particular memory of being in my friends bedroom, singing my heart out to Darling Nikki and the excruciating embarrassment as her older sister walked in and heard me singing
“I knew a girl named Nikki
I guess you could say she was a sex fiend
I met her in a hotel lobby
Masturbating with a magazine”
I can still feel my cheeks burn now! I lapped up every song I could find. I plastered the biggest Prince poster I could find on my tiny bedroom wall and I loved him. And I’ve always loved him. I’ve never stopped listening. He’s been part of the soundtrack to my whole life.
The thing about Prince was he was so prolific it’s nigh on impossible to choose a favourite. I wanted to share some songs on my Facebook page last night but I just couldn’t narrow my list down but ultimate favourites are Paisley Park, Gett Off, Sign of the Times, Alphabet St, Sometimes it Snows in April… I could go on and on. And then there are the songs he performed with or wrote for other artists including Nothing Compares 2 U by Sinead O’Connor, Manic Monday by the Bangles, The Belle of St Mark by Shelia E and U Got the Look featuring Sheena EastonI shed tears at several points last night and I woke up this morning and shed a few more and to quote my dear Dad
“Bowie and Prince gone. Two of the greatest talents and innovators. Leaves the world a poorer place”
And so now I get it, now. I get these mass outpourings of grief in some way, it’s not bandwagon jumping in my case, it’s feeling the loss of an artist who impacted my life in a huge way. I just cannot believe he’s gone.