My heart is heavy today with the loss of a legend, Prince. His incomparable talent and music are so interwoven into American culture, that most of us midlifers have a “Prince” memory that serves as a touchstone of our youth.
I was ringing in 1985 on New Year’s Eve at The Purple Rain tour concert. Prince turned Reunion Arena into a hot purple haze of flashing lights and funk, giving an electrifying performance that had everyone dancing and singing along to every song. In the end, we emerged spent and satisfied, to see the real world dusted with ice and snow- quite unusual for Dallas. It was as if Prince had performed another act of magic, extending the surreal experience into the night. It was so cold that the locks on my date’s Corvette (yes, a Corvette) were frozen. Solutions were old school back then; you couldn’t call AAA on your cell phone! We had the genius idea of pouring cups of hot water on the locks to thaw them. Fortunately, it worked, and thus, our Prince came to an end.
In a beautiful piece written for NPR, Bill Chappell consummately describes Prince as an iconoclast. From his ground-breaking music to changing his name to a symbol, Prince forged a path for all of us to have the courage to unique. He left us with a directive to rebel, to challenge traditional beliefs and not conform. We should all be iconoclasts. The world needs more people like Prince.