Where were you the first time you heard Prince? Do you remember?
I'm not certain where I was, but I know it was 1979. It may have been summer on an asphalt basketball court in Richmond, Indiana, "I Wanna Be Your Lover" echoing from the open window of a passing car. Or later that fall on the campus of Ohio University, "Why You Want To Treat Me So Bad," blazing through the noise of a crowded Crook Hall dorm party.
But even before I heard Prince, I saw Prince. His face on the cover of his self-titled second album.
I remember thinking, "What's going on here?" This was something different. Something new.
And those sentiments would only be repeated throughout my 37 year adoration of Prince and his music. I remember wearing out my copy of 1999, flipping from side to side, wanting to hear all the songs at once again and again. Isolating the iconic guitar open to "When Doves Cry" and wondering aloud "how does he do that?" And I confess to many lip-sync rehearsals of "Kiss."
"I just want your extra time and your...Kiss."
Prince's music has never been far from my listening and my life. Yes, I'm most fond of those first dozen albums, but I've also lost myself in "Musicology" and most recently "Hit n' Run" Phase One and Two.
From standing in line to see the movie Purple Rain on opening night to witnessing the best (go ahead, argue with me, I dare you) Super Bowl halftime performance now or ever, Prince has struck many magical chords in my personal music history. And with his deep catalog this will only continue.
Not to mention I was blessed to marry the biggest Prince fan I've ever met. If nothing else, I'm certain Susan will keep my purple flame blazing brightly for years to come.
My undying musical gratitude to an original. I'll never see or hear the likes of him again. But I'm glad I had the opportunity to catch his brief, bright, shining purple star. Shine on, Prince, shine on.