“Sometimes it snows in April
Sometimes I feel so bad, so bad
Sometimes I wish life was never ending,
And all good things, they say, never last” – Prince, Sometimes It Snows In April
Somewhere in the world there are VHS tapes of me and my high school friends dancing our bloody hearts out to Prince. We danced on beds, we danced in hallways, we danced on couches, basically, when Prince was on we danced. Tiffany would bring a stack of CD’s (with her always) she was ready to DJ any event (birthday parties, sleepovers, study sessions, classrooms, every single place) and Prince was always on the top of her playlist.
When you combine the raw emotion expressed through his music with my highly sensitive and emotional adolescent brain, I am certain that his music forged unique neurological pathways that are now deeply embedded in my brain. This results in a strong physiological reaction to his music. With the first note, I am immediately transported to a different place and time. My adolescent carefree impulsivity rushes forth and I am again, moved to dance. And, you cannot be sad or mad when you dance. Thus, Prince has single–handedly improved countless moments of my life.
I am always suspect of people who have strong reactions to a celebrity death. I mean, I didn’t know Prince as a person, my life will continue, largely unaffected by his death. For me, his death brought to the forefront how influential his art has been in my life.
Prince’s music has long been part of my life and will remain part of my life. But, now that he’s gone, I feel compelled to reflect on how much I was influenced by his brilliance. Music in general, factors in as significant part of my person and my life. And, if I were to compile a soundtrack of my life (which I’ve done a few times for fun), there would certainly be at least one Prince song on the list. If pressed, I would probably say Purple Rain would be the track tied to my 15-16 years of life. It still stops me in my tracks and gives me pause.
In 2004, I was dating a man who had access to a suite at The Palace of Auburn Hills (where the Pistons play). He invited me to see Prince at the Palace from the suite. Needless to say, I was a flutter with joy at this opportunity. I witnessed from my perch a little man larger than life make magic happen on stage. He was in a jazz phase and played more songs I did not know than songs I did know. I could care less, I was seeing Prince. When he played revised rendition of When Doves Cry, I exploded on the inside, and that moment is one of my favorite life moments to date.
So, today, I will give pause and celebrate a man that brought color, dimension, and depth to what can be such a dark and flat world. I will reflect on the soundtrack of my own life. And, I’m going to dance my heart out.
“Honey, I know, I know
I know times are changing
It’s time we all reach out
For something new, that means you too” Prince, Purple Rain