Today, I am saddened by the death of a very creative musician. I learned of Prince back in 1981 when I worked at Sound Warehouse. I always remember the cover of the self titled "Prince" album, because it was just him.
"Dirty Mind" and "Controversy" had come out and I was doing an inventory of the albums. A coworker of mine told me that Prince was a really good musician in that he played all the instruments and did all the vocals on his albums, but that his record company told him he wouldn't go far because he needed a band. But he didn't care and continued to put out albums that he recorded playing everything.
After listening to his music, I didn't care that he didn't have a band. I enjoyed it. I liked his style. I liked the beat. When "1999" came out, I was lucky enough to get one of the 7" Picture disc of that song and it is still in my record collection.
It wasn't until "Purple Rain" when he had The Revolution as his full fledged backing band and in my head, I figured he had sold out. But, the album was great!! The movie was great! It made me like him all the more to see him up on screen. To think he might be a little like what I saw in the theatre. I liked his style. Growing up, I marched to the beat of a different drum and here was someone who did the same.
From that album a little song called "Darling Nikki" appeared. It was interesting to say the least. People always think it's fun to have a song with your name in it, Help Me Rhonda - by The Beach Boys,
Oh, Donna - Buddy Holly and Michelle - The Beatles. But, they all had wholesome, nice songs. Mine was "Darling Nikki". Just like most Prince songs, it was about sex and self gratification but man, it had a sexy beat. Since I worked in a record store, my name was on my shirt and I became inundated with the silly questions - "Were you upset when he didn't call?" "Are you really like that?" Yes, childish questions. Once that happened, I changed my name to Shadowfax. No, not because of Gandalf's horse, but because of a new age jazz band with that name. Although, funny thing, they chose their name because of Gandalf's horse.
I've always admired Prince for his music, for being different, for being reclusive and for standing up for what he believed in. I saw him on Saturday Night Live as the musical guest not too long ago.
I was still impressed with him and his music and sorry that I had not kept up with his music.
Like many other musicians and singers, I took him for granted in thinking that he would be there for awhile putting out more music.
For me and for many other fans, he will be dearly missed. I can only imagine the music being made in the ever after with the other greats we have recently lost.