You guys. Prince.
What can I say that a million people haven’t already said?
Well, I guess I could say this (which is what I posted on Facebook the other day):
I mean zero disrespect when I say this, but I hope we find out that Prince died with a peacock up his butt or something.
I mean, it’s Prince.
[Also, to those closest to me in this lifetime: When I die, please shove a peacock up my butt. I’d like to make people wonder.]
[Also, it would be a good idea to do that BEFORE calling the authorities. Because, like, doing it during the funeral might raise some eyebrows … although picturing someone ass-raping my corpse with a bird amuses the hell out of me.]
[For the record, no, we didn’t go to Tijuana while we were in Mexico. Why do you ask?]
Oh yeah, Joe and I just got back from Mexico.
My point was this: Prince couldn’t have just died from the flu or from slipping on a bathroom tile. He was superhuman. I wanted to think of him going out doing something dirty and beautiful (you know, because peacocks are beautiful) and completely Wha …?
Like about a million other people, I’ve gone down the Prince Internet rabbit hole the past few days. I’ll just share a few thoughts, which won’t do justice the man … and then I’ll share a few cool things I’ve dug up the past few days.
It seems pretty undisputed that Prince was a genius. But two things really stand out to me when I think of him:
- His unwavering dedication to expressing his art on his own terms, with zero regard for what anyone else thought.
- Despite this disregard, every single person I’ve run across in the last few days LOVED him. So many people related to him on a personal, heartfelt level.
DO YOUR OWN THING, YOUR OWN WAY, WITHOUT FEAR. You may find that people won’t love you in spite of it, but rather, because of it.
And now, here are few little gems that I’ve stumbled upon:
The director Kevin Smith telling a 30-minute story about working with Prince. Put it on while you’re cleaning the bathroom or something … it’s pretty funny. It also provides a glimpse into what Prince’s world was like after he stepped out of the spotlight.
I was talking with someone yesterday and we wondered if Michael Jackson and Prince ever shared a stage. Turns out, they did. During a James Brown concert. Yowza.
I love this clip because it’s at the height of Michael Mania, yet Mr. Jackson insisted on inviting Prince onto the stage. Prince is young and cocky and, after he gets his bearings, you can tell he wants to show the big dogs that, yeah, he can hang.
Finally, we have Bruce. He opened a recent show with Purple Rain — not just a few bars, the whole darn song. (Oh, Bruce Springsteen, you somehow always manage to do exactly the right thing in exactly the right way.) I actually got teary watching it. The woo-hoo-hoos at the end of Purple Rain always get me anyway, but watching Bruce do it and knowing Prince is gone … gulp.
One more thought on this: I’ve read that some writers will re-type their favorite authors’ work in order to get a different understanding of how a piece was constructed. It’s a good way to get under the hood of another artist’s work. I’m not a musician (not a good or competent one anyway), but I like to think of music legend Bruce sitting down to learn music legend Prince. It seems like such an intimate act … what did Bruce see when he got in there?
Now I’m tearing up again. Anyway, watch this.
Thanks for everything, Prince. You told Kevin Smith you wanted to change the world. You certainly did.
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