Saturday, May 28, 2016

Prince

Like no one else, Prince made me dance. I first saw him on MTV, of course, where his music videos played on regular rotation. Then, when his movie Purple Rain came out in '84, with that amazing Oscar-winning soundtrack, he was everywhere and everything.


"Let's Go Crazy" © Prince and the Revolution, from Prince and the Revolution: Live (1985) 

Prince was a consummate musician. Whenever he played his guitar, I was transfixed. He was an explosive performer who demanded our attention without having to ask for it. 

I always loved Prince's air of mystery, which happily seems true – that he built and lived in his own Paisley Park in Minnesota rather than New York or L.A., that he spoke in one-liners or had others speak for him, and that he popped up unannounced with surprise performances for a lucky few in the wee hours of the night. 

Prince has a sound, style, and coolness that will always only be his. Who else can pull off those outfits and heels, let alone dance in them the way he did? Who else can pick out a color and own it? We're so lucky that he shared his purple world with us.

I think President Obama put it best: Few artists have influenced the sound and trajectory of popular music more distinctly, or touched quite so many people with their talent. As one of the most gifted and prolific musicians of our time, Prince did it all – Funk, R&B, Rock and Roll. He was a virtuoso instrumentalist, a brilliant bandleader, and an electrifying performer. "A strong spirit transcends rules," Prince once said – and nobody's spirit was stronger, bolder, or more creative.  

May his purple reign live on.... 

Prince (May 27, 2016)
(Illustration Friday: April 22, 2016)

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