Friday, April 21, 2017

The Day Purple Died

I was at Knollwood Cub Foods a year ago.  I had just checked out, was walking past the manager's station, heading for the exit, when I noticed a woman sobbing, quite uncontrollably.  A manager, whose own face looked quite ashen, was trying her best to console the woman.  Between sobs, I heard her say "How sad it is, every station is talking about it.  He went too early."

In the 100 yards to my car, my mind started working; politician, actor, musician?  It had to be someone quite popular, someone on the level of David Bowie, who'd passed away three months earlier.  Sticking with music, was it McCartney?  The whole world will sob when Paul passes away.  I then started thinking closer to home, guessing Dylan.  He's beloved here, and he's getting up there in age.  Then my phone buzzed with the BBC news alert...

I still can't believe it.  The curse of prescription opioids is a curse on all of us.

I've listened to a lot of Prince's music over the last year, absorbing it.  God, what a talented man.  There are so few people blessed with such unbelievable ability who find themselves on a path which allows their natural talent to blossom so robustly.  An incredible singer, an incredible guitar player (considered the best ever by many of the greatest guitar players), and an incredible writer so prolific it's hard to fathom.  He also loved Minneapolis/St. Paul and Minnesota.

In late 1991, my tour with the Army, as well as my time in Europe, was about to end.  I took a final trip to Scotland, to do some hiking in the northern areas.  While on the bus from Victoria Station to Glasgow, I started a conversation with a Scottish woman with soft chestnut hair, Jenny.  The catalyst for our chat was she discovered I was from Minneapolis.  Her eyes got excited as we talked about Prince.  She loved him.  No matter where I'd gone in Europe (Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Czech Republic, England, Ireland, Scotland) Prince was beloved, mainly by the women.  Jenny had a dual jack on her Walkman and we listened to Diamonds and Pearls, his newest release.  I never got to northern Scotland.  Diamonds and Pearls is still my favorite Prince album.

'Let's Go Crazy' and 'Take Me With U' are my favorite songs.  Here's the aforementioned McCartney (Paul freaking McCartney) doing a cover of Prince in Minneapolis.

I'm still sad...

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