4/21/2017-R.I.P. / THINKING-Prince

-One year ago today Prince was found dead in an elevator at his home at Paisley Park. Like so many others, his death came as a complete shock to me. He was only 57. Even after one year, a part of me still seems to be in disbelief about it.

-I first became exposed to Prince when he released his single “1999′ (which was played heavily on MTV-remember when they used to play music videos 24/7? ), but it wasn’t until he released “Purple Rain”-both the album and the movie-that I started to really get into his music. The man was a true musician and artist. I will admit that, by 1995, Prince would be off my radar from time to time, (I have all the CDs between 1999 to The Gold Experience-and am slowly filling in the gaps), but I would steer back here and there to re-visit. Initially, my favorites were “Purple Rain,” “When Doves Cry” and “Computer Blue”-and they are all still up there. A lot of the music he either wrote and / or recorded with other artists I liked as well-such as “A Love Bizarre” (Shelia E.) and “Nasty Girl” (Vanity 6). I used to play “My Name is Prince” quite a lot when that came out-same with “You Got The Look,” “Sexy MF,” “Cincy C. (I’ve always been enamored with Cindy Crawford 😉 ), among others. Almost all my music CDs are in storage at this time so it’s been awhile…

-Prince was extremely prolific with music, as well as being a multi-instrumentalist-both of which very much appealed to me. One of the things that drew me to Paul Stanley (KISS) initially was here was a guy who could do many things and do them well. Prince took that to another level in many ways (ironic that there are some similarities between Prince and The StarChild). One of the great things with me when I was discovering KISS, for example, was that there was so much output (recorded and live) by them that it was almost like going on a treasure hunt; discovering music that hit me (and, admittedly, some that didn’t). It’s a similar case here-when time permits. Even better, it’s always fun to discover something a musician you like that makes one initially go “huh?” For example-the voice interaction that Vanity does on the Vanity 6 song, “If A Girl Answers (Don’t Hang Up)”-she’s suppose to be talking to another girl, but it’s actually Prince saying the lines. An interesting quirk to be sure 🙂 It’s such a shame that his extreme output for music has been extinguished, although there are apparently quite the supply of songs still in his “Vault” that may, or may not see the light of day.

-He was also mysterious and private, which was also appealing to me-even more so as I get older. Having just experienced a very tiny fraction of fame with both music and acting myself, its enough for me to see the appeal to some of that and / or how things can change to where that way becomes more the norm. This is a time where it seems many feel free to post everything about themselves online-no matter how personal the subject matter. The age of reality TV I guess. For me, I have two sides, my public side and my private side. It may seem like I’m very public with my life, but only to a certain point. I have a very private side that very few know about-at least until “WAYNE-THE BOOK” is released (HA!) 🙂 But seriously, as an example, I hardly have any private pics up. If I don’t want people to see them, I don’t put them up. Simple. I don’t have to put them up and then “hide” the album for the most part. If there are hidden ones, at one point they were quite public and there’s a specific reason why they are not anymore., but I digress…

-The last song that I “discovered” by Prince was shortly after his death. At that time, You Tube was hit with a flood of Prince videos-live and studio. Many have been removed, but here’s the video of a live performance that contains the song that I discovered called “Te Amo Corazon.” Yeah-it’s not a heavy song or even really a rock song-and I don’t care. I’ve always been into diverse styles of music even as a kid (one of my top favorite bands is ABBA for example). To me, this is one beautiful song and, to me-because of when I discovered it-a sad one. I’m sure I will be discovering more Prince songs that will hit me in the future.

-I never got to see Prince live-which is something I regret. I just heard that the concert he did at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY in 1985 will be released on DVD / blu-ray. If true, I’m definitely getting a copy. After his death, someone uploaded a copy of this concert from VHS-it would be great to have a copy of this fully restored. So basically, I was limited to TV appearances. There were two times that I saw Prince that immediately come to mind. The first was in 2004 when George Harrison was posthumously inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. A star studded cast performed on his song “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” This has always been one of my favorite Beatles songs anyway, but when I saw this…Prince was mostly in the background on this song till the end, where Prince just turned it on-so much that he was given free reign to continue soloing for three minutes. No-it’s not a shred fest, but-to me-it’s very emotional and emotion wins over technique every time. It’s kinda funny cause, from time to time, it seems like Tom Petty wanted to come back in vocally and he starts to, but then let’s Prince continue on-cause it’s one of those magical moments.

-The second was when Prince played the Super Bowl halftime show in 2007-in the rain. That was incredible to listen to and watch. He could have easily cancelled due to the rain and no one would’ve blamed him, but he soldiered on and delivered a brilliant performance-especially of “Purple Rain.” It’s such an emotional song and -to me- at the end when he has the audience sing with him that “Whoo Hoo Hoo Hoo” part-it’s almost like this incredible sadness is there expressing itself-even more so during this event in the rain than with the studio recording.

-So back to 2016. His death really hit me hard-more than I thought it would. Even writing this, I’m still not fully over it. I don’t think I ever will be-for many reasons. One involves the details that were eventually reveled leading up to the days of his death. How he wasn’t in the best of health, how he was using painkillers with ever increasing doses to deal with the physical pains pains he was experiencing, hearing details on how he lost his child days after he was born and what that must of been like and how all this, and more relates to my life in various degrees. But I believe what hit me the hardest was this quote from Alynda Wheat in her article on Prince’s death in the May 9, 2016 issue of People Magazine…

“…The heartbreak is that a man beloved by so many, a man who once said that “friendship, real friendship [is] all that counts,” apparently died alone…”

R.I.P. Prince…

About Wayne W. Johnson

Hiya-this is Wayne W. Johnson (WWJ) & thanks for dropping by to my site! I hope you enjoy your visit to my home away from home online. If you have any questions, comments and /or concerns about this site, please let me know via the CONTACT page. Thanks & best wishes to you & yours!
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