I really try NOT to fit the bill of what one would call a “fan”. I’m extremely supportive of Prince, everyone should know that by now, but there’s one line I never hesitate to cross which could label me as HIS personal definition of “fan” (fan=fanatic).
I own Purple Rain… not just the movie, but the special edition DVD with all the goodies, which I’ve taken full advantage of. Everything from all the videos the commentary to every behind-the-scenes featurette available to me.
And yet, I go ahead and do something as crazy staying up until 3am just to watch the same movie. I’d have watched it at the first showing, but that’s not the point. Why watch a movie when I own it on DVD already? I do that with a lot of movies we own, make no mistake. But with EVERY showing of Purple Rain on VH1Classic, I watch it no matter what and it’s almost always the later showing (actually, make that always)… Prince is part of my nightlife, I guess. I listen to his albums anywhere from 10 to 12-1am at night/in the morning. It’s the only time I can be without interruption. Can I help it if I want a clear head while listening to Prince?
I still can’t get over what I did. And when I saw the beginning for the 19th time (yes, im still keeping track)… my excitement vanished and it was like the bottom fell out of my stomach. I thought it’d be like brand new again, cuz I’ve kept my mind off him/it all day. Maybe it was too late or maybe the movie’s passed its expiration date. I gotta stop looking at VH1Classic to see when/if it’ll be showing, but I could always indulge in the music videos afterwards. You never know what you’ll get sometimes. “Little Red Corvette” always made an appearance, but last night, it was a complete no-show.
I got a bonus, though. “When Doves Cry” had never been on VH1 Classic before and I had never seen the “Raspberry Beret” video. Well, I have seen it, but it’s micro-machine sized on my computer. I never saw it so much detail before because I saw it on a larger screen. It was pretty amazing. The transition from the Purple Rain era to here was so smooth, but my mom did say “Around the world in a day” felt like “When Doves Cry”… that whole psychedelic feel just crossed over. I looked at Prince and I saw so much change in him. Not just the hairdo (which I don’t care for), but also it felt like Christopher Tracy was making his first appearance. I saw a lot of him in Prince during that video. The animation for the video is really interesting and I love the way everything was set up. Plus, he made me smile in a way like I hadn’t in a while. Although I couldn’t hide my smile while watching the last performance of the movie.
It took me a while to get used to him again, but it was like getting to know him again. It’s like I’ve got this short-term memory thing with Prince, or just that I’m looking for an experience to be duplicated, but its always changing. Kinda annoyed me that I had turn the volume up on occasion because he speaks too quietly. (“I don’t want 2b found out Prince.”) At the same time, its strange to hear him shouting or plain being angry in some of the scenes. That’s not his style. He doesn’t lose his temper like that very much like the way he did with his father and Wendy & Lisa.
The director/writer said he saw a certain vulnerability in Prince that he wanted to bring out in the basement scene when he “trashes the place” (my dad’s been saying that about the Harry Potter movie as his favorite part, haha). And Wendy also said its a powerful moment when there’s a tear in Prince’s eye because she’s only seen that look from him a couple of times. When I saw the tears in his eyes, that was a powerful moment and I tell ya, I feel bad for him no matter how many times I’ve seen that scene. 20, maybe even 21 times… I could have checked out that scene by itself to hear the commentary or whatever and I take into account the very first time I saw the movie (or parts of it)… that was a very scary scene for him. Seeing him contemplating suicide and everything he’s been there and the music is a little creepy too.
I’ve asked myself why Purple Rain is a special song and is what Prince is known for. I watched the performance of it and I felt something deep down. Just in his tone, his expression… and more importantly, the way he played guitar during the solo. It’s just something so powerful that it makes you feel all kinds of things at once. I question things all the time. That scene is proof that I need not question why Purple Rain is a powerful ballad and is the one song Prince does that everyone knows.
That’s another thing in itself. His name is Prince. I can’t get over that. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I can’t believe that’s his name. I have so many people to thank for that complication. I say “Prince” and people think of all kinds of things that he either is or isn’t. What the media has said about him. The way he’s portrayed. What their own experiences (mostly bad) told them about him. I feel like I can’t even say his name is Prince. The name itself is just associated with so much bad karma. It’s ridiculous that I have trouble calling him that, especially around other people. They have different opinions about him than I do. They see him as a freak, but the movie has shown me how he’s just like everyone else. We go through our own kinds of pain and life is a journey for all of us.
Getting to know his life is like a journey in itself. I call the whole time of being a supporter of Prince “my journey through his music.” Every day brings something new. I wish I could get over the bad karma that surrounds his name, but can one man help all of the things he’s done? He only follows his own beliefs and there is where its got him.
Oddly enough, when I got up this morning, I was on a trek through some of the latter Planet Earth tracks. Did I just jump 20 years into the future without breaking a sweat? It was odd seeing the movie because I know the transformation he went through and as complex as he is a person there, he seems so “simple” compared to what he is now. But he hadn’t done all of his controversial actions yet. He hadn’t pulled an album, changed his name or converted religions yet. All those things can change how people feel about him.
What I needed was to be reminded of why I think Prince is great. I realize that what I should do is just write a paragraph or so explaining why I think so. That way, I’ll never forget. The journey is such a blur in places that it’s hard to remember the feelings. [I can keep said paragraph by my collection of albums on my stereo]. “The Beautiful Ones” had my attention and I just listened to what he said and the music he was playing. So much power and I can always tell that song is very special. Another list that I should be (and have just started working on)… a lot of the movie came off as a blur cuz at times when its slow, it also goes by so fast. Some of the songs are like… just pass me by and I’m already tired as anything… so it does come off as a blur. “Take me with U” I enjoyed… its one of those songs like Te Amo Corazon where the lyrics go both ways. The rest is like… uh… what? haha
Purple Rain made an impression… and so did the very last song of the night. “Baby I’m a star” was what made me a supporter/fan of Prince in the first place. Not the song so much as the performance. I was trying to think of what was so special about it that I never forgot about it. All I can say for sure is that when I saw it, I saw an energy like nothing I’ve seen before. It was 2:30am, I’d been up for the past 17 hours… but I was wide awake for that song. His energy is contagious if anything else and there was a smile on my face like I hadn’t worn in a long time.
Sign O’ the Times shares some of the blame for making other albums/projects pale in comparison… but there’s something so different about the Purple Rain era that I can’t even think of a name for it. There’s something about Prince’s apperance as well. The way he’s put together. His face, his eyes, that smile, that hair swept back on one side… the hair is probably my favorite part. But then when he goes topless, I dig those pant he wears. Almost as if it makes him seem taller. His height rarely comes to mind as it is. For a little guy, he sure has done big things.
So much more can be said about Prince, but that’s the majority of my thoughts from last night. Only Prince could make me stay up until 3am with a smile on my face before I got to bed. And I don’t think he could make me stay up much later than that.