I was leaving an in-person meeting and jumping on a conference call meeting when someone casually mentioned a rumor. I jumped on the book of faces and asked folks to update me as I’d been away from the interwebs for a few hours.
As more and more folks shared the same information, I was still in disbelief and put my disbelief out there for the world to see.
Of course, we now know it is true. I spent the day kinda numb. Focusing on work and calls and the to do list. Cracking jokes about how good this man would look and how he’d give us the judgmental look even from the casket. You know the one I’m talmbout.
My eyes got misty as I drove home with the Frog Princess. Fully understanding that I don’t expose her enough to “my music” and “the good ol’ days”. And of course, as is often the case, something finally broke me.
Denene’s post in remembrance of him is what finally did it. She saw him in Atlanta last week.
It was my first time. It was #Prince’s last. No one knew this when he appeared on the Fox Theater stage in Atlanta, his huge Afro magnified, larger than life, on the stage screen. There was a splash of purple. And then there was Prince, bowing and waving and then strutting with his bedazzled walking stick to the piano and the microphone, the only accompaniments to his lush voice. He opened with a song with which we weren’t familiar–“When Will We Be Paid,” a powerful song about Black struggle, recorded in 1970 by The Staple Singers. Nick and I listened, gape-jawed: Prince, this high-heeled wonder, flamboyant, unapologetically sexual, deliciously mischievous, was demanding reparations. With one hand on the piano keys, the other balled into a fist raised in the air. In this audience of a multitude of races, cultures, backgrounds, sexualities, genders, Prince was making it plain: He is Black as hell. We were here for it. And then, for the next 90 minutes, Prince led us in a meditation of a mesmerizing mix of incredible music: sensuous, sultry, thoughtful, ass-moving hits that struck deep down to the heart. To the soul. That was his way. Three encores later, he gave us what we waited breathlessly for: a slow, beautiful, acoustic version of “Purple Rain.” Of course, we sang along with him. From the gut. The entire room, pulsing with emotion for this man, this icon, whose art is forever etched on our hearts. This was my first. This was his last. Unbelievable. Unbelievably grateful. Thank you, Prince, for your art. For your courage. For your diamonds and your pearls. For your love. #Prince4Ever ????
Prince was the one guy on my bucket list. I wanted to see him in concert and I told myself that yes, y’all, I’d be that groupie. Lawd! He could have all the panties in the drawer and then some!
But words, y’all. The power of the words.
I am a lover of words. But when someone can use them in a way to torture your soul, kill it, resuscitate it and take it back one more time?! That’s transcendent. When someone can play a riff on his guitar that will make your eyeballs instantaneously produce tears while your heart beats as if the rhythm was one? That’s a religious experience. And when someone can wear the hell out of whatever it is that he decided would suit his mood or condition and give absolutely zero fux about you or your petty threads? That’s ethereal.
That. Is. Prince.
So it’s no wonder that there are words from songs that stick out (every time I think about dropping “dearly beloved” into this post, my eyeballs start leaking), pierce our souls, transport us in one keynote to a time and place and bring back all of the emotions of the moment. And of course, Prince left us with lyrics but here are some of my favorite quotes.
Every day I feel is a blessing from God. And I consider it a new beginning. Yeah, everything is beautiful.
Despite everything, no one can dictate who you are to other people.
They say money won’t buy you happiness. But it’ll pay for the search.
There are no accidents. And if there are, it’s up to us to look at them as something else. And that bravery is what creates new flowers.
A strong spirit transcends rules.
I’d tell you to rest but we all know better. Rock In Peace, beautiful one. Play on playa. Play on in heaven.