Even though Prince’s very name rests above the title of his infamous semi-autobiographical film, you forget there are two sides of the coin. You have Morris Day and Prince at opposite poles. One lives in reality and the other lives in his own world where music is all or nothing. You can argue that Morris doesn’t even live in reality given the disillusion that he is the only star of Minneapolis and he has such fancy things as a brass waterbed and an Italian cook.
He’s closer to the real world than Prince is, though. He looks at having the #1 position at First Avenue and knocking out his #1 competitor so he and his boys can rule unopposed. While dealing with his own problems (domestic violence & on-off relationship), Prince focuses on the music because its the only thing he has that could never leave him. First Avenue is his place and without it, there’s not much else he can do.
With the storyline, you’re given the illusion that Prince used his music as an escape for the problems he deals with. Music has just always been there. Since the age of 12, he was turned on to music. He adopted it as his way of self-expression and all kinds of things came out when he started writing songs.
One particular part of the movie that clicked with me this time was the piano in the basement. When his parents were still together, Prince would hear his dad play and only his dad could play the piano. When his dad left the house, he left it behind and Prince started playing it soon after. That’s what I took away from the scene just before the big show-down between the bands. The circumstances were made-up, but the actual playing of the piano after his father left happened.
It’s strange watching the movie when most of my focus was on Morris Day & The Time. At least I tried to make the focus on them to see what I thought of the other side. I think I fell for the storyline a lot more than Prince himself. You can’t help but be sympathetic for his situation.
This was also the first time my mom watched the movie with me and actually paid attention. She made comments about Morris being completely full of himself (bragging about his various ” home artifacts”) and found the storyline to be too depressing. Who wouldn’t be if they didn’t really know the content of the story and such? As the movie becomes more about Prince, you learn more about him.
The whole musical genius, neo-Mozart idea I had of him returned just as it came to me when I first saw the movie (in those fragments). A recluse who spends countless time on his own, writes all of the music and controls everything that comes out. Most of which doesn’t even apply anymore, hilariously. Prince needed his alone time for his true genius to come out. That’s why a lot of his vocals were recorded alone. Not only to hear himself think, but to get the right impression on tape. The one he wants every person to know on his albums.
A lot of people dub Prince as being mysterious. He claims that was never his intention. He doesn’t intend to come off that way. He just always is. He keeps to himself because only he can achieve that particular image in his mind. Slowly, he starts to let other people in, listen to their visions and incorporates their ideas into his songs. As great as he is alone, times have come where members of his bands share a common thread with him on a particular concept and they work on it. Their minds come together as one, therefore the co-written tracks of his later 80’s, early 90’s albums come to be. At the same time, he sometimes has to be on his own for particular works that are all too personal for anyone else to completely understand.
As you can see, my mind is returning to Prince’s point of view. In fact, I could probably write a few passages for “The Word” over the next few hours. I could go more into Purple Rain, the film, since my mind is still in that particular era.
Any ideas that can be chipped in would be great, but for now, I’ll see what I can come up with.
Makes me really wish that I could interview Prince myself to see what else I can learn about him. Or at least get his approval for the whole idea of “The Word.” Because it’d be mightly awkward if I actually get picked up by a publisher and he slaps me with a lawsuit for “unlawful use of his image.” He’s gotta be more open to the idea now, though. Right?