How can you just leave me standing,
alone in a world that’s so cold?
I was born in the early 70s but it was the 80s that truly shaped who I am today. My parents both loved music and were always listening to it. So I grew up in a house that always had music playing. Not my music but this helped me gain a love for all things musical. As you grow up and are exposed to a lot of different things, you learn to develop your own taste and my taste came with a hint of purple…
22 April 2016 (the morning after)…
I woke up this morning, as did the world, to hear some of the saddest news that in an instant took me back to my teenage years.
At the age of 57, Prince Rodgers Nelson has died.
It was 2002 when I finally got to see Prince live in concert. Growing up in Salt Lake City, we just didn’t attract the big names like Prince, Madonna, Michael Jackson. I had only been living in Melbourne for two years when I heard on the radio that Prince was coming. The second the lines opened to purchase tickets I was on it and felt elated that I’d secured two tickets to see my teenage idol. I felt like pinching myself, it just didn’t seem real.
The night finally came and we arrived at Rod Laver Arena with a whole sea of Prince fans young and old. I was looking around wondering where all of these people have been hiding for the last two years. The venue was big and we found our seats. I sat there on the edge of anticipation wondering if I would even see him because our seats were so far back—nose-bleed section—and how small Prince might appear on stage.
The house lights slowly dimmed and there was a quickness in the air of excited fans taking their seats. From the pitch dark, streaks of purple lights sprouted up and formed the backdrop. As our eyes were adjusting, in true Prince style, a whining guitar fills the large arena and a small silhouette appeared on stage. You could see the purple lights shining through the 1-inch space between of arch of his heels.
“It’s him”, I yell at my husband.
I couldn’t believe it. I was in the presence of greatness, witnessing music royalty with my own eyes. The small silhouette playing his guitar and the sound big enough to fill the massive stadium that held 16,000 of us. It was a mix of creative cords and hinted toward a melody we recognised but as it got close he would pull away and tease it out. It blew our minds and we were on the edge of our seats…then he spoke, “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to talk about a thing called life…” All true Prince fans were on their feet screaming, how could you not be? I jumped up with an energy that took over, knowing every word (and yelling them) of a song that I had memorized over 15 years ago. My husband of only 3 years watched me transform into a screaming 14-year-old before his eyes. All those hours I spent alone in my room listening to his albums, writing down his song lyrics, and staring at my over-sized Purple Rain poster above my bed. I was finally living my dream of seeing Prince perform live. Being in his space, hearing his music live with my own ears and I know this is a stretch but being in the same room with him. I really could die a happy woman now.
I didn’t sit down once during the whole concert I didn’t want it to end. My face hurt the next day from smiling so much and my voice was completely gone. I knew every song, every word of every song, and sang out loud along with Prince for the thousands of his Australian fans. For a solid 90 minutes, he confirmed everything my teenage heart already knew. He was a musical genius.
My purple heart mourns the man who made such an impact on me growing up in the 80s.
Thank you for sharing your talents with the world Prince.
As someone said (in a youtube video about his performance in the super bowl in 2007 see the clip here).
“He was one performer shaking the world”
…and he still is shaking the world today with the sad news of his passing. Prince is one of the amazing guitar playing greats! Here’s another clip you must watch here.
About a week after Prince died, the movie theaters brought back Purple Rain to the big screen. My lovely friend who didn’t know Prince in the same way I did (she may have been born the year the movie came out), agreed to come with me. I still loved the music, loved watching Prince and the all the characters but the plot lacked what all the big blockbuster movies now days have. It didn’t matter. We laughed and she let me sing out loud and she didn’t even feel embarrassed. Thanks, B. She did it for me and my love for my purple man.
Prince was just not special to me but to the whole world which was evident with the outpouring of purple being lit up everywhere worldwide. The world cries purple tears and we still cry as we lose more greats.