I was shocked to learn of his death, like many others who enjoyed his rather unique brand of music. When he came on the scene and I heard his music for the first time, it was… different yet kinda familiar and, as a musician myself, I realized that what was different about his music is that it kinda didn’t “make sense” when you first listened to it and his lyrics often had me asking, “What is he trying to say?”
Then I saw “Purple Rain…” and his music suddenly made sense given that the movie was a kind of backhanded story about his life and, for me, why his music sounded the way it did. Once I understood him, wow, I’d listen to “Purple Rain” and it would often bring tears to my eyes because the song and it’s lyrics were so hauntingly beautiful; adding his music to my collection just made sense.
Years later, my daughter opened a box of cereal for her kids… and won a grand prize for an all-expense paid trip to NYC and included VIP tickets to Prince’s “Musicology” tour. I’d been listening to his special brand of music for years, had seen him on TV a few times, but had never seen him in concert and word was he usually put on one hell of a show. As the limo dropped us off at Madison Square Garden the night of the concert, we were all excited and the musician/performer in me was really amped to see this musical legend perform right before my eyes… and it was everything I expected it to be and then some; his energy on stage was contagious and he just made you share in the fun he was having in front of a sold-out MSG.
I still have my autographed “Musicology” CD from that night.
And now he’s gone… and like Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Gerald Levert, and Luther Vandross, and so many others, Prince’s special and unique style of music will live on forever.