Weekend Listening: Purple Rain by Prince and the Revolution
Album: Purple Rain by Prince and the Revolution
Released: 25 June, 1984 by Warner Bros.
Recommended if you like: Music in general.
Notable Tracks: Every single one, this album is damn near perfection.
It is early afternoon on Thursday, April 21st as I sit here writing this. I’ve spent the last half hour sobbing near uncontrollably in my laundry room because we have only just learned that Prince died this morning. It was in the 80s and sunny just yesterday, but today the whole world mourns, and the sky follows suit.
I’m trying to form coherent thoughts about this, and all I have is a jumble of memories. Last year when we did the Purple Rain drinkalong, a younger friend of mine didn’t seem to get it. He came of age, he said, in an era where Prince was already a punchline. How weird that is for me. To know that I have friends for whom this brobdingnagian talent wasn’t an integral part of their personal history.
My dad took me to see Purple Rain in the theatre when it came out. I was far too young, but he never cared. It was just us, so I went with him to see everything. He covered my eyes during the “mushy bits” and held my hand during the sad/upsetting parts. He put a CD player in his truck sometime in 1985. This soundtrack was one of the first CDs he bought, and we’d listen to it on mornings when he dropped me off at school. Dig, if you will, the picture of first grade aged sj being driven up to the crosswalk with “Baby, I’m a Star” blaring.
I stole the CD from my dad at some point during my teenage years and never gave it back.
When my oldest was a teeny tiny little thing, he became obsessed with this album for a while. He’d listen to “Let’s Go Crazy” and “I Would Die 4 U” over and over. And just yesterday I was singing the latter to my daughter while dancing around the living room. The fact that this just happened YESTERDAY is filling me with all kinds of feelings I’m having a hard time putting words to.
I wasn’t ready for this. I’m still not ready for this. It’s too soon to have to write this post. I just had to write about losing David Bowie and Alan Rickman. Abe Vigoda died this year. Fucking Doris Roberts died this week and Richard Lyons from Negativland lost his battle with cancer just a few days ago (and when I read that he had to settle for Nesbitt’s Orange Soda because they were OUT OF LIME, I had another breakdown). I cannot with this. It is too much. It is too soon. There are too many to mourn properly. I’m legitimately angry that I’m having to do this all over again right now.
Someone come hold my hand and cry and sing “Take Me with U” and “When Doves Cry” with me?
Sad that it’s already a cliche, but Prince wrote his own eulogy more than 30 years ago.
we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life.
An electric word, “life.”
It means forever, and that’s a mighty long time.
But I’m here to tell you, there’s something else.
A world of never-ending happiness,
You can always see the sun. Day. Or night.
Thank you for everything, sir. I’mma go cry a little more, I think.