~William Shakespeare, Hamlet
This quote immediately came to mind when I opened this page to write this post. Today it has been confirmed that music legend Prince has died at the age 0f 57. Children of the 80s all over the world are in shock and reliving their fondest memories of the musical genius. I’m one of them.
Today “this is what it sounds like, when Doves Cry.” Now we know the sound. It’s deafening.
Celebrities pass away all the time. In fact, 2 more this week alone. However, when losing one feels so personal and heavy in your heart as Prince does, you truly realize the impact he has had on a generation, an entire industry and the world. Maybe the word genius is overused in some capacity but there really are very few deserving of that adjective. Prince is absolutely one of them.
Today marks the second time I’ve felt deep sadness and emotion in reaction to the loss of a celebrity. The first was when we lost Robin Williams. Today is the second. Today is extremely heartbreaking.
There isn’t much I can say that hasn’t been said already about Prince. His music evokes memories for all who grew up living it while it was being created. I explained to my kids today what he meant to me. I described my walkman and how music was on cassettes when I listened to Prince over and over again. I wore out my cassettes so when CDs came out, I upgraded my Prince collection. I remember how badly I wanted to see Purple Rain as a teen. I wasn’t allowed to watch it at first and when it finally came out on network TV (you know, edited for all audiences) I was finally allowed to watch it. I watched it so often after that, I’ve lost count on how much. From that first view, the color purple became meaningful for me. Even my kids know that is my favorite color and now they understand how Prince is the reason why. Purple Rain.
I spent most of my teenage years hanging out with musicians and writing music with many of them. I wrote so much poetry growing up and the next logical step was lyrics. Prince was such an inspiration for those of us who loved to create with words and song. He was just…wow. Really if you are a creative brain and grew up in the 80s, Prince just blew your mind. Purple Rain directly inspired a song I wrote in the early 90s. His lyrical and musical genius has forever impacted countless artists and opened the floodgates of imagination and other great works.
I’m actually in tears writing this because his influence on my world is so deep, personal, emotional, inspirational and unforgettable. I really can’t describe it any better so I’ll let Prince take it from here.
Purple Rain in the rain decades later.
1999 seemed so far away when this song was released. “Party like it’s 1999” has become a catchphrase that still hasn’t gone out of style. In fact, ironically today, I saw a commercial that used this very phrase. Prince coined the phrase of a century that will continue live on.
Love everything about this solo guitar set. Everything.
And because he made another song I love even better by covering it, I have to share this. Radiohead can always hold an honor not many other artists can…being covered by a legend.