We all remember where we were on Thursday, April 21, 2016. Sure it was only a few days ago, but what rings most in our minds is the loss of a legend – Prince.
Sitting at my desk at work, I received a text from my husband of the news followed by chatter of co-workers in cubicles nearby. At first numbness and disbelief fluttered through my body and mind. Then realization set in with twinges of sadness. Another wonderful musician and artist, of my generation mind you, is gone.
Like everyone else, I’d like to know what happened. But in the mist of questioning, my mind reels towards my first Prince experience. It was 1979. The year of “a Coke and a smile” and Calvin Klein jeans. Our family vacation was to Buffalo, NY to see relatives and visit the infamous Niagara Falls.
My older cousin sat in her car blaring a song I’d never heard. It was “Wanna Be Your Lover“. It caught my ears and didn’t let go (nor did I want it to). The vocals, the guitar, synthesizers, all of it. It just melded perfectly. And to this day it is still one of my favorite Prince songs.
A few years later, the Purple Rain movie hit theaters. I was too young to see it and my parents we’re interested in “that type of music” so I missed out. However, the beauty of VHS rentals made it possible (about a year or so later). Purple Rain was the first movie I’d ever seen via a VCR (for the younger generation it’s the equivalent of downloading a movie to watch on your laptop or mobile device). I enjoyed jamming to the music and watching Prince’s creative process. It was inspiring. But I also liked the intertwining of personal conflict, family dynamics, and overcoming the taunts of others in the musical story.
While the movie was great, the memory goes farther. This was one of the first times my parents sat down with my brother and me to watch something”different”. And they actually liked it. Now that they and Prince are gone, I’ll cherish the moment forever.