I wanted to take some time out from reporting about local vendors, recent trends, and my favorite accessory stores to write about one of my favorite fashion icons and one of the most extraordinary talents this world has ever known, Prince.
My first memory of Prince was hearing the song “I wanna be your lover” on the radio in the 1980’s. I was in high school and my friends and I spent most of our free time listening to funk and Top 40. We bought cassette tapes and hoped that every time we recorded one of our favorites like “I wanna be your lover” that the DJ wouldn’t talk over any of the song. Maybe some of you reading this remember those days.
During my senior year, Prince released a song called “Controversy”, a song full of inquiries about things like faith and gender. The release of the song came at a weird time of convergence in my own life when a lot of my friends where questioning their personal religious beliefs and others were questioning their sexuality. Twenty years after the counter culture movement, Prince spoke to some individuals who still may have not been liberated or, at the very least, still had questions.
Even though some of the topics were complex, Prince always had a way of making monster hits out of the most simplistic of lyrics. The songs were filled with words that resonated with everyday people but also happened to be the hallmark of such a profoundly gifted writer and musician. To the smitten individual, what hits home more than “I wanna be your lover”, or “I feel for you. I think I love you.” or “Let’s go crazy”? It doesn’t get more raw than that. And how lucky was I that the rawness was not only something I got to listen to, but that I had the privilege of taking for granted? He broke the boundaries, he fought and won the wars of the airwaves, and guess what? We were the victors. To us went the spoils of his limitless talent and gutsiness. We got to listen to his masterfulness and we didn’t even know how lucky we were. “I just want your extra time”. How many people in your life have you wanted to say that to? I bet there are many. And even today, I am certain there those who aren’t around anymore but with whom you would love to have just one more day.
Recently, we’ve lost icon after icon, talent after talent. There will be more. But how many could rock a ruffled blouse the way Prince did or greet you, thong first and nothing else? And you liked it. Also, there will be no other who could play every millimeter of a guitar, caress it, then shred it, and toss it off into the audience because he was “done with it”, all while looking killer in a red cowboy hat and while making other rock legends in his presence look like the amateur hour.
I had to stop watching Youtube videos of his performances yesterday. It just got too sad. Plus, memories of where you were when you heard “that” song or how old you were when “this” one came out flooded my mind. Vivid conversations with my friends about getting our hair cut and getting our “ears cut out” came back to me. Also, I think I finally realized why I like shoulder pads and puffy poet’s blouses so much. It finally made sense to me.
There really is no greater power than the power of good bye and at the same time, nothing that will make you feel so powerless. It is with the magnitude of that heaviness in my heart that I write this article. Prince, as a starry eyed teen, I enjoyed your music and I loved your style. Now your star has crossed over. I hope you are just killing it on guitar over there and I hope to one day meet you on the purple side. I will conclude this article with your words appropriate for this difficult good bye:
“You don’t have to be rich to be my girl. You don’t have to be cool to rule my world. Ain’t no particular sign I’m more compatible with. I just want your extra time”.
We all just wanted a little extra time.