David Bowie died and I immediately felt sad then Prince passes away and I pretend I don’t’ care. My relationship with Prince was much more complicated – decades long, he unsettled me, pushed me, guided me and over the days I remember and reclaim what he meant. Here are few of my Prince moments:
- Summer 1884: 12 years old listening to Purple rain on my silver cassette player feeling unsettled and aroused: “Wendy . . . is the water warm enough? Yes, Lisa. Shall we begin? Yes Lisa . . “
- Fall 1984: 7th grade, laying back in the orthodontist chair, my mouth strapped open, listening to the assistants gush about the skinny new movie star Prince.
- 1987: Germany my sister andI playing “If I was your girlfriend” like we are the first to discover it – especially the last part. “And would U, would U let me kiss there, you know down there where it counts . . . and together we’ll stare into silence.”
- Spring 1988: driving to school making everyone listen to “Sometimes it snows in April”, the mom making sarcastic weather comments and me wondering who Tracy was.
- 1995: working at a black gay bar, the crowd always goes wild when they play “Pussy Control” so I tell the DJ to play it nightly.
- 1996: I take my sister to visit university of Chicago to visit and they tell us repeatedly not to walk into Chicago’s South Side and so that night we head out on foot and end up in a cinema watching Girl 6 with an all Prince sound track.
- 1997 :“In France a skinny man died of a big disease with a little name . . . “
- 1998: Gold Experience CD: “Desperate is the day that is tomorrow . . . the only love there is is the love we make . . . “
- 2007: I rediscover Graffiti Bridge living in Johannesburg. I put , “Round and Round” on repeat and wonder what happened to Tevin after his arrest.
- March 2016: a month before his death, my older sister and I spend hours listening to Little Red Corvette covers on you youtube , she always liked that song. I like the lesbian one the best.
- April 2016: A bunch of us gather in the park in South Africa, almost spontaneously, to remember Prince – I DJ, drinking, laughing, remembering (pics below).
Prince our chronicler, our raconteur, our guide . . . rest in peace.