Friday, April 22, 2016

Excuse me while i kiss the sky: On Kisses and Princes

Prince Controversy tour (1982)

I have this memory of driving around Dallas in the Spring of 1986 peaking on MDMA.  We were listening to  Alphaville's forever young album. It seemed like we were part of everything as we careened  through the night.  I seemed to be sitting between seven or eight people who I adored.  My best friends were there. 

And we turned the tape on.  Someone put on Prince.  And we all started to sing.

"You don't have to be rich to be my girl
You don't have to be cool to rule my world
Ain't no particular sign I'm more compatible with
I just want your extra time and your kiss."

One of the women in the car was a senior.  She would lean in for a kiss and then lean away.  I would lean in and away.  We went dancing all night. Prince was always on. 

He was on at every bar mitzvah.  Little Red Corvette, I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man, Lets Go Crazy.

I wasn't going to write about Prince.

But riding home from 15th Street, I heard the music pumping from Cooper Union. 
Kids everyone dancing.

Several did ballet.

One was chalking:

I am not your lover. I am not your man. I am something you will never understand. 

There lots of memories, lots of kisses — at Cooper Union.

And I went home and started thinking about the man who extended Bowie's embrace of the blurry human space, where lust blurs with identity, as we weep, pray, hope, grieve, yearn, shake...

And dance.

In 1981, I heard about him opening for the Rolling Stones in a  negligee 

You gotta feel confident and proud about the funk to do that.  Remember, people used to literally get killed at Rolling Stones concerts. There were rumors Prince was booed off stage. 

And then Purple Rain came out and everyone understood.  Prince moved us all forward.

Many have suggested Prince was our generation's Bowie.  That is certainly true.  But he was also our Hendrix.  Watching him perform at George's goodbye concert, it felt that way. Its

not every day someone can walk in and upstage everyone at the funeral a legend.  Just watch the solo to while my guitar gently weeps.

Vanity and Prince both died at 57. My first response was what happened?  Did someone or religion convince him to stay away from treatment or hospitals. Sad to see him go so early. He was a great artist who changed culture.

Ron Hayduk recalled him as: "Polimorphously fabulous. I saw him at Radio City in 1993. Opening song: my name is Prince and I am sexy. Long live the purple rain man! Xo"

Mark Harrington recalled Prince opening a space for play in the darkest of the AIDS years.

He opened so many spaces for all of us to both gently weep and dance. Thank you for that.

See you in the streets.

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