Prince is gone. Here is my 40-something take. A Gen-Xer dealing with the loss.
Today at work, after I got news that Prince passed away, I was really affected by it. I mean I felt a lump in my throat. I just couldn’t believe it.
I didn’t know him personally, we didn’t’ grow up together, nor did he attend Thanksgiving dinner at my house. Still, I felt such a bitter and stinging a sense of loss. I seriously had to ask myself why my day was so dramatically changed by the death of a music icon.
Then, I concluded there are three major reasons that prompted such a personal response.
For one, I thought that I was going to marry him. Yaaaas! When I was 13, there was no way…no way… you could convince me I would not grow up and become Mrs. Prince Rogers Nelson. No way. My mom and dad tried.
That’s why I had to learn the words to all of his songs, see his movies and even figure out how to make my turn table go backwards so I could hear what he was saying at the end of that one song. I thought the message was going to be “Teri, I’m coming to marry you next week”. But, it wasn’t. I felt like disappointed Ralphie in “The Christmas Story” when his Ovaltine message was just an advertisement.
Ok. Want to hear something spooky? Two days ago, a hash tag was trending. It was “When I was 14”. Look at my tweet!
It got no likes, but I know I wasn’t the only one!!!! Come on, Gen-Xers! Work with me.
The second reason I was so bummed today was because he represented the brilliance of musical genius. He was a perfectionist that produced music that others couldn’t accomplish; they could only try to duplicate.
Now a days, so many artist are auto-tuned, to give the illusion they can actually sing. Prince had a great voice and had a musical intelligence that was baffling. Now, I’m not saying Prince was comparable Pavarotti. Yet, he had a very distinctive voice that included depths, nuances and ranges that made his music really interesting and magnetic.
Also, did you know he could play a gazillion instruments? Most famous artist of today can’t play a rubber band between two pencils. Still they can have number one albums. Most of their stuff is computer generated, narrowly manufactured but nothing like the work creatively-birthed by Prince.
In my opinion, Prince represents a time when R&B and pop music was at it’s best. It was riddled with a sea of real, genuine talent of boundless creativity. In those days, Michael Jackson, David Bowie and Prince were different from mainstream artists for all the right reasons.
Prince loved real music. He was real music.
The third reason I made the “boo-boo” face today was because he was a symbol of my care-free youth. I loved that I could listen to Prince and question … EVERYTHING! But, I was still able to feel free to be me. Hard to explain, but his music empowered my youthful inquiry.
He represented a time when I had no bills to pay, no taxes to render and no children to take care of. He was part of those teen memories of me laying on my bedroom floor with my “Right On” magazine jabbering on the phone with my girlfriend about what had happened in school that day. Prince would be playing in the background. He also represented a time of innocence when I really thought I could marry him. I know it’s weird, but I was about 13, ok!
Yes, a small part of my youth will be buried with Prince. Not the best parts of it, not even a huge part of it, just a little bitty, but all too precious piece.
Fortunately, I own almost every album that he created including his hard-to-find very first one. The only problem is that now I have to go to my mother’s musty, stinky, mice-ridden basement to dig out all my Prince albums. They became just a little bit more treasurable today. So, special, I want them in my own, grown-up house.
Special thanks to Ronnie at Houlihan’s that made me a purple mock-tail to sooth my grief.
Even though I have all these Prince albums, I ran out to buy “Purple Rain” on CD from my local Best Buy. It was only $5.99.
*Sigh* Prince is gone.
I’ve decided that I’ll wear purple tomorrow and maybe treat myself to a purple slushy.
Hey, you grieve your way and I’ll grieve mine.
I really do hope that Prince rests in peace, that He knew the true peace of Jesus Christ and that his music lives on forever. I know it will for this little pastor’s wife in Missouri.