Prince put on the best concert I have ever seen, by far. For many years my brother in law had a box at the Boston Garden , and we saw so many incredible acts. The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna (the worst), U2. We were so lucky! When I learned Prince was coming to town, I was desperate to go, and was hoping we would be invited. Looking at a list of his concerts, this may have been in 2004. The days passed with no word, until finally hours before the concert, he called! It was a night of straight up singing, dancing, sweating. Pure joy.
I felt that way during his Superbowl halftime performance in 2007 (Wait. What? It can’t be nine years ago!), which I think was the best of all time. Looking back at it, it feels almost like a gift. He performed songs by Jimi Hendrix, and Foo Fighters, and finished with the audience singing along at full volume to Purple Rain, all in a torrential downpour. I have enjoyed recent halftime performances, Bruno Mars was great, but nothing comes close to Prince.
I am not a Stan, not a Prince expert, I don’t even own his whole catalogue. I have a couple of greatest hit cds, and my iTunes library shows only about twenty Prince songs, most from the 3121 cd that they were giving away at that concert.
Yet I have so many favorite Prince songs. “When You Were Mine,” (which I did not know was about a threesome until today) “Musicology,” “Uptown,” “Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad.” If you aren’t familiar with these gems, I encourage you to check them out. And of course all his giant hits, “Let’s Go Crazy,” “1999.” When I lived in DC, I was part of a share house in Rehoboth, Delaware. There was another woman in the house who I could never warm up to. One weekend we threw a big party in the back yard, with a band. When she joined them to play keyboard on “Never Take the Place of Your Man,” I changed my opinion of her immediately.
I am a prude and some of Prince’s lyrics are way, WAY outside my comfort zone. I think the first song I remember hearing was “I Wanna Be Your Lover”–even singing the word lover made me twitchy–and just adoring it. The DJ on the radio said that he played all of the instruments on the album. That was cool and impressive. Then of course came Purple Rain, and the When Doves Cry video on MTV . I just heard that MTV, which hasn’t played music videos in years, stopped its regular programming and ran all of Prince’s videos in tribute.
It’s hard to imagine a world without Prince, or David Bowie. #Seriously2016? is trending on Twitter. Prince was the same age as me! The New Yorker posted an appreciation piece online that quoted Steven Scott, 32, of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, who said he was at Paisley Park last Saturday for Prince’s dance party. He called Prince “a beautiful person” whose message was that people should love one another. It’s hard to hate when you are grooving to Raspberry Beret.