Purple Rain- nearly 5 years after the first time

It guess it more or less started with Prince. There are certain things I gotta experience on my own or else the whole thing kinda falls apart.
Actually, that’s not quite the way it worked out Spring break ’07… which isn’t quite 5 years ago to the day, but heck, it’s close enough… and actually, it wasn’t my original intention to watch Purple Rain in my bedroom that first time. Our DVD player was having issues even getting to the menu so I played it in my PS2… bam, the whole thing seems pretty surreal now.

I remember it pretty well… seeing the movie, how I was just getting sucked into the whole thing, and naturally with my attachment to prince.org… I didn’t have this blog at the time. But I wanted to scope the messageboards not only to find out which albums to get but learning as much as I could about Prince in that short time when there were dozens of people who’d been following him for longer than I’d been alive. [ugh, again, another ridiculous run-on sentence]
I’d been talking about checking out the movie the moment I got access to a Blockbuster (perhaps one of the last movies I rented from Blockbuster before it closed down locally)… I was only going to have it for a week and I figured it’d be a long time since the next time I could see it.

I must have watched the DVD 6-7 times… I’m betting it was closer to six… the first time was Sunday… whatever date that was, I’ll check… March 13th, I guess… maybe a little later than that…
and I guess every… no, maybe it was Saturday, lol… I can’t remember THAT well, lol

I got home Friday… we either went to Blockbuster that day or the day after… went to Wal-Mart on Saturday (where I picked up “The Very Best of…” and “Musicology”… in which I listened to Musicology and confessed myself extremely disappointed… I got through “Cinnamon Girl” and shut off my stereo)… went to the mall on Sunday (where I found 3121 and The Gold Experience)… I most definitely watched Purple Rain because listening to TGE

as I was saying, though (geesh, here I go again)… nearly every day or every other day I’d rewatch the movie. Once, I watched it twice in the same day because I wasn’t feeling it in the afternoon… not that I’m making excuses, I just couldn’t help myself

Each time you see a movie, you get something different about it. The only thing stayed the same that entire week… by the time “Purple Rain” wrapped up, I was a complete wreck… tears streaming down my face. But it was a good feeling to have a song affect me like that.

I then saw it maybe a 7th time on cable a few months later… which had me thinking I’ll never watch it on cable again cuz they literally butchered it. You simply cannot have that movie cutting through songs or leaving any out… just doesn’t do justice to anyone.

I suppose it was after my disappointing 21st birthday when something wasn’t quite right. I mean, I picked out the movie as my present, so I knew I was getting it. But I dunno… I guess was expecting fireworks or something. I was turning 21… kind of a big deal… yet I felt a lot older and mature simply by listening to Prince than the actual number did…
he was the one who taught me age was nothing but a meaningless number… but I didn’t know I’d turn that around myself. He was supposed to be the ageless one

What’s kinda far out, though, is the fact that age never really did much for my maturity… it was everything around me that kinda helped that process along.
Age 22 was the only time in my life where I felt completely comfortable in my own skin… it was the best year of my life for a number of reasons, a couple of those being my circle of friends. I used to be the girl hauled up in her study day after day, not getting out a whole lot. They made me want to get out. I even found excuses to hang out with them for late hours because it was something new and exciting to do. There was no way to predict how things went those days/night
😕 and yeah, a guy did have a little something to do with that

every now and then, I do talk to Sam and Dave, but its usually when I need something like companionship or answers… they were the first people I went to with that insane dream I had where bisexuality was definitely a strong theme

the guy… I haven’t talked to him since he kinda found out that I liked him… heck, from his Facebook profile, it sounds like he’s not even with his girlfriend anymore. But I don’t really care either way.
#$&% me and my overally active, imaginative subconscious… messed everything up for me.

I’d love the opportunity to marry my best friend and he was the closest thing I had to that… everything seemed perfect, but of course, I couldn’t keep my damn mouth shut…

but forget that… I’m so over the idea of looking for love.
You gotta kinda love yourself or at least accept yourself because you can let anyone in like that. I’m nowhere near figuring anything out :shrug: aside from writing, the only thing I have going for me… I know a few people that can make me happy and they’re there whenever I need them

hmm…
it’s really hard to believe this, but I’m thinking that maybe, in my time when I was exclusively about Prince, I became a little stronger. I mean, this blog helped me find a voice for myself, didn’t it? That’s gotta be worth something.
Yeah, it totally is worth something. Finding a medium to freely express myself and I don’t even need to make stuff up to do so. Trust me, my head being as messed up as it is about certain things, you cannot make this stuff up reality is stranger than fiction in that way alone

Prince also gave me a rather strong voice about music. I never really had the confidence in saying how much I really hated the mainstream scene at the time. The reason I went into his music with no intention of resurfacing was because there was currently nothing out there for me.
2007 was kind of a balmy year in that regard.

My top three female artists, they came out the following year and I’m sure that hearing “Teardrops on my guitar” was the tip of the iceberg I’d been looking for.

What’s kinda mind-boggling is how easy discussing Prince is compared to a lot of other things… but with those other things, I’m not allowed as much space to work with.
And also… Prince is like the hugest thing when it comes to sexuality… or at least he was the hugest thing, he challenged all kinds of barriers regarding iffy topics like sex… I think I naively turned a blind eye to a lot of it, not really trying to imagine much of anything… I mean, I didn’t try to visualize anything he really sung about.

exploring the idea of sex and sexuality in my work was a big theme last year… brought on by a bunch of sex scenes that happened to be in the movies I was watching… well, with “Black Swan,” I was kinda asking for it. I knew there was heavy paranoia and lesbianism, but just hadn’t an inkling how far everything was going.
Next thing I know, I write about one of my characters offering herself to a guy because she thinks it’s something he needs… to counteract his depression about certain issues… which is kinda weird. I never thought of myself being that girl. Usually, it would be “I’m saving myself until marriage and/or I find the right guy”

Prince wrote songs like “Head” about oral sex and “Darling Nikki”… need I go further than the first verse I swear my brain did that thing when you snap your neck in turning around really dramatically towards something…

his raciest material used to really bother me to where I wanted to stay away from it… and even when I was dipping my toes in the water, I wasn’t taking it to the extremes of visualization… I spared myself that much.
Coming from the way I mature in that regard, it’s funny, it kinda reminds me about how Prince came of age. He didn’t necessarily get “the talk,” but his sex ed came from reading his mom’s “dirty books”… once he got through those, he started to write music about that.

huh… actually, I think the only measure of “the talk” he ever got was his father telling him not to have girls over and “you’re too young to be going around doing that”… that sort of thing…
I only know this as vaguely as I do cuz Dr. Fink brought it up in the BBC radio special… kinda addressing one of the questions about how autobiographical Purple Rain was… “When Doves Cry” was written about the themes prominent in the film, but apparently, there was a tiny bit of reference to reality.
He doesn’t believe that John L. was the abusive type because he’d met him a number of times, but he believed… or at least Prince might have told him… that his stepfather may have been abusive… part of the reason why Prince wanted to live with his father….. and the above happened and the rest is kinda history. I went into it one other time, a couple other times, and no need to really repeat myself further

Anyway… watched “Purple Rain”… the last time I did so, I think I attempted to write commentary to go along with it… or at least writing as I was going… I was up until maybe 3am doing that and swore not to do that again….. with that movie at least…

I had to get up and move around a couple times… getting into the choreography a little bit, so I kinda wasn’t paying attention as much as I could have to The Revolution. I mean, the whole point of watching was to get in the mood for them getting back together tomorrow night.

I honestly tried to hold off the best I could, but Prince inevitably stole the show.
I dug seeing the whole bunch of them together, especially Lisa & Wendy. Heck, there were a couple overtones in the arguement that had me thinking… yeah, maybe I should have noticed this a lot more easily
there’s a rumor that there was a scene of the two of them kissing or making out that got cut… I won’t go too far into why because I can’t say for sure… but there was probably enough going on in the movie as it was.

Plus, there was a lot about the movie that proved extremely edgy regarding controversy.
In addition to the first-time director and first-time actors, there was a lot of race involved… it was kinda iffy that this was going to do well or get off the ground because Prince was black, as were nearly all of the main characters (Apollonia, I always kinda thought looked a little hispanic… then of course there’s Lisa & Wendy… the actress who played The Kid’s mom, Brenda, Paul Peterson from The Time and a bunch of random extras)

considering the time, really capitalizing on Lisa & Wendy (now that I think about, I’m kinda intrigued if they were even a couple at that point… I believe that at one point they were, but don’t know if it was at that time) could have been the something that toppled the house of cards

:shrug: just saying it could have been a contributing factor

clearly, they did something right because after the first weekend, the movie went from only a dozen theaters to 100’s around the country

I watched the movie, checking into the choreography here and there… all of it was kinda predictable as I’m sure I’d seen it close to 40 times in 5 years (20-30 of those times being in that first year :falloff: …)….
it’s the details that kept me interesting… those two scenes that profiled different members of The Revolution… you know, Lisa & Wendy in one scene… then Bobby Z, Brown Mark and Dr. Fink in another… getting more of a feel for them when they’re rehearsing without Prince.
Plus, it’s always kinda groovy to hear the three guys playing through “Computer Blue,” a part of it that wouldn’t be known to anyone if not for the bootlegs floating around

oh right… that’s something else for The Word that should be kept on the down-low… bootleg discussion

I found a couple scenes a little more comical than they should have been…
my favorite is when Morris convinces Apollonia to work with him… just the mere act of Jerome handing Morris the cassette tape had me in stitches, the timing was PERFECT

then… Billy’s line “I told you before, the stage isn’t the place for your personal $#%&, man”… I dunno, thought that just sounded funny…

when Jerome shows up again. Now I’m thinking about the commentary in saying this… Al Magnoli talks about filming this scene one morning. It was meant to be Morris in the doorway instead, but “we couldn’t find him” so they got Jerome to do it (something that might have inevitably gotten him the part in UTCM)…

so I’m in stiches, thinking about them saying “we couldn’t find him [Morris]”… and I’m wanting to yell out “what are you talking about? He was in that scene 2 minutes ago!”

kinda goes to show you how much this movie was shot out of sequence

The first scenes that were shot were the helicoptor shots of the motorcycle, which explains in part why Prince is wearing one outfit from the helicopter’s view, but on the ground,  he’s wearing something completely different

all of the musical numbers were shot in 10 days… at least 2 times each, with 4-5 cameras… and of course, they had to do a little bit of art direction to make The Revolution and The Time look like they had completely different set-ups

in addition to the helicoptor scenes, I think the very first scene shot with the actual actors… Apollonia jumping into the lake.
Then the snowstorm hit and they moved shop to LA where they shot Apollonia coming out of the lake… it being so cold that she more or less said “hell no” when asked if she can be shot coming out in the same scene

every now and then, a scene starts and I’m thinking “this was shot in LA” or “this was shot in MPLS”…

The opening number… I think all of that was MPLS except for this one scene where Prince arrives on the motorcycle.
Billy & Morris are strolling the streets of LA in their negiotations

Morris & Jerome get stopped by that woman in MPLS

Lake Minnetonka: Prince’s shots were in MPLS, Apollonia’s shots were in LA

When Doves Cry… I believe was entirely MPLS except for the very last scene (cuz there’s a palm tree in the middle of nowhere, lol, in the background)

oddly enough, the scene where Apollonia and Morris are going back to his cab after The Taste performance… that took place in LA, but it was FREEZING supposedly
they kept saying a bunch of times how much of a trooper Apollonia was for just rolling with the punches

every song was as good as I remember and as good as the one that preceded it.

“Computer Blue” easily had the best choreography, but “Darling Nikki” was insanely intoxicating… like “dude, this is so bad that it’s just so good”… like I can’t resist how much I am crazy about this song, a little more that than the performance

I can’t help but wonder (a lot of things) sometimes how those songs were perceived the first time they were performed… where they not getting it as much as it worked out that way in the club… were they as weirded out and unnerved as when Prince performed “Head” the first time? I doubt that’s the kind of thing someone could entirely get used to, lol

although it only took me seeing the movie… maybe 7-8 times before I totally got over my own naivety and just inhaled it

when it comes to some of the live performances, Lady Gaga is a bit of a stretch, but nobody ever challenged me the way Prince did… or got me to really fall in love with something that would have been impossible before… just something about the way he did it made sense and resonated… I guess… it’s kinda hard to really explain.

One thing that came to mind was: shoot, they’re not going to able to perform a lot of these songs this weekend… Computer Blue and Darling Nikki, they’re just not going to be able to touch because Prince doesn’t do that crazy stuff anymore… 😕 kinda sucks, that would have been a riot… but seeing him do all that at 53, that might be pushing it a bit
there’s only so long a person can stick to that kind of material. I mean, people thought that Prince was some sex-crazed maniac because he wrote about it all the time… that came up in the Rolling Stone interview also and he flat out said that nobody can be that person 24/7…

after a while, I guess he kinda realized… religion or not… you gotta move on and certain things, you just don’t agree with as much as you did in the old (younger?) days

these days are kinda interesting… considering what I’d been doing with myself over the past couple years when Prince wasn’t the center of my universe… even when someone else entirely was the center of my universe… it’s hard to believe anyone could have replaced Prince and actually, that’s a moot point.
Every person is different as is the way you relate to them… Robert Downey Jr. helped fill the void in me, but he did it in an entirely different way…

I doubt that there will anyone other than Prince that can fill the space in me in that many ways… because there is just SO MUCH to his music and what he has going on in that insane mind of his

he’s the true chameleon in that regard…

the mere idea of remembering in watching this “this is just the beginning, there is so much awesomeness that Prince did in his music after this” and I more or less was all the more excited by the idea of revisiting some stuff… just to really regain the scope of the whole phenomenon that he is

the scope is pretty massive… constructed as if the first 5 albums were leading to this one where everything would apex all at once. His engineering skills, his musical prowess in addition to he and The Revolution approaching sameness of thought. Just being able to… wow, there’s not even a word for it. There’s a homeostasis and equilibirum.
Heck, they’re all kinda like their own crazy little family. I’m sure I’d heard Wendy or Lisa put it that way.

I’m checking into the DVD special features now…
they talking about how the movie influenced pop culture… damn, really? It’s one thing where I can look back on the 80’s and see the parts in time where big things were happening, but some 20-30 years later, I don’t really see much of the by-product of it…

I don’t care much for Macy Gray AT ALL, but she was inspired to play guitar after seeing Wendy play. 😎 I knew that there were going to be a bunch of girls inspired by her after seeing what she can do

Michelle Branch was the person that had me considering taking up guitar, but that never really came together… I’m not saying it’s never going to happen, but I didn’t immediately go out to even pick up a guitar. Something like that, you gotta get lessons… and its just a matter of finding the time and energy to put the time into that, lol

I’m sure for the first 5-10 years after the movie came out, the influence was making the rounds. But today, at least not my generation, not a lot of people know who Prince is or really give a crap about what he does in the industry.
As far as many are concerned, he was an 80’s has-been :shrug: another misconception I’d really like to change

watched them talking about 1st Avenue and how that became Prince’s place.
My question, something that’s always kinda been… you know, it’s hard not to want to know the answer to it.
When did Prince start playing there? And what made him decide to pick that place as his place?
Supposedly it was his “dress rehearsal” place where he’d iron out the wrinkles before going on tour

Definitely will make it my mission one of these days just to see 1st avenue… to walk the streets of Minneapolis if only to walk those same streets where Prince grew up… to take in the atmosphere… just as long as its not during the winter, lol

I’m just thinking more and more about… shoot, I’m not going to like anything other than what I saw in the movie. They’ll show footage from the concert tour and I’d be like “that’s not quite the same.” Sure, 1st Avenue might be very claustrophobic with all the people, but I like that homeyness of that small set-up, gets you a little closer to the action, I think

I guess there’s also like a different level to his performing on a larger stage. Like he was performing “I would die 4 u” and Sheila E. would be on percussion along with some other people… the song was made great from the original concert and set-up… no need to cloud things up with extra stuff that really isn’t too necessary.

yeah, I’m kinda getting the jist of why Wendy & Lisa were plain not getting the fact Prince was bringing all of these people into the band… and with certain albums, I tend to agree that less is more. In everything except for song length, that is extremely negotiable depending on the song… 9 times out of 10, it will be easy

the long version of “I would die 4 U” gets clouded up for that reason… plus all that extra stuff going on when all you really need was the synths and the Linn-drum :shrug:
the keyboards were what made the song for me the first time I heard it… sure, Prince has blown my mind more than anyone else I know and I keep repeating myself, but it doesn’t make it any less true… but those keyboards blew my mind, never heard anything like that before… the meaning of the song kinda gets lost when it becomes the whole “riding that groove to death” thing

so yeah… when did Prince start playing 1st Avenue and what brought him to that decision? everything else after that is pretty easy, like the purpose it served and all that
and it is pretty cool how the movie kinda put Minneapolis on the map

watching all this behind-the-scenes stuff is making me wanna watch through the movie again, but I don’t really have the hours or the ability to remain awake for another couple hours to do so

so yeah… the first five albums were building up to this…

the first was just to show that he was a jack of all trades
the second was to be more commercially accessible, i.e. a “hit” record, mostly in ballads
the third was him starting to find himself in the really edgy, controversial subject matter, but musically, you’ll never hear anything more raw yet it works so well (note my love for simplicity)
the fourth was building up on and confronting controversy, really testing boundaries and trying to solidify a signature sound… whatever was in “Controversy,” that crossed over and capitalized in “1999”

which was nearly everything… you have commercialism & pop, you have long/funky dance grooves, you have more experimenting with Linn-drum and raw keyboard patterns…

there is an unexplainable quality that came into the band going into the next album… I can’t help but feel that Wendy & Lisa, the two of them together really helped a great deal…
although strangely enough, the three of them only collaborated on a couple of the songs…

“Let’s go crazy”… I have no idea where the origin of that came from other than it derived from what “1999” started…

I would die 4 u/Baby I’m a star… haven’t quite figured that out either, I don’t hear too much regarding those…

“Computer Blue”… I’d heard a few different versions… it’s listed in one place was the three of them, in another, I saw Dr. Fink created with some stuff… which I’m sure he did have a little input on it as well… the only thing is that his input was likely everything that didn’t make it onto the album cut…

i.e. the segment he, Bobby Z and Brown Mark play when Prince comes in…

and actually 😕 the three of them collaborated on that song, but it doesn’t sound anything like their future collaborations… which were more that Prince had a basic track and Wendy & Lisa finished it up for him, knowing where he wanted to go with it and just working their parts around his…

“Computer Blue” sounds nothing like anything I’m used to hearing them doing, pretty crazy stuff… now that I know that something like “Automatic” preceded it on the previous record, this is kinda like a continuation of that… or at least the vision that video of “Automatic” had for the song… where Prince was like Lisa and Jill’s whipping boy…
in “Computer Blue,” it’s Wendy & Lisa that… haha… I guess they want to purify HIM in the waters of Lake Minnetonka, except the water is boiling…

the song is way more extravagent and advanced than the record will ever show… so “Darling Nikki” picks up the slack and takes it to a completely different place… just completely off the map… those songs, plus “Automatic”… supposing the video is his interpretation of it… dude, Prince must have been quite the masochist back in the day
😕 great, now I’m starting to generalize with myself… in this case, it’s actually legit, whereas I was saying I’m this way even though I hadn’t dealt with things like addiction or incarceration

the one thing I had wanted to say was how “Purple Rain” was the perfect song for that band… it was written that Prince had the chord changes in mind and had everyone work their parts around him… so it was very practiced and loose. All of them had their input on the song and that’s why it’s that great… more or less an example of the band’s genius and synergy.
so I could hear that song live a million times with dozens of different bands… it will never be quite the same if it’s not The Revolution playing it… its as if its the stuff they live and breathe

and before I completely blow it off and forget to really go into it…

It’s been for better and for worse, mostly for better… Prince can get me pretty emotional sometimes. And with the exception of once or twice where I go into a song, feeling pretty depressed and emerge feeling loads better… there are just certain songs he does that get to me

each one being different cuz each song is different

I’ve called “Gold” my soul tattoo, but when I talk about how I felt gravitated towards it the first time… its kinda like what imprinting is like in Twilight… as if its the one song I was born to respond to in that special way and it gets me like nothing else… I’ve found many answers in just listening to that song in times of need

Mind you, I heard “Gold” a couple of weeks (or rather I saw the performance on the Love 4 One Another special) prior to even renting the movie… I’d never felt anything quite like that before

you figure… a movie is named after a song or a song is named after a movie… whatever it may be, if something shares the same name with something else… it has to be something special.
So I kinda knew that it was going to be this big epic ballad, like his version of “Stairway to Heaven”… but I didn’t imagine ever getting so emotional about a song quite like that…

It’s been nearly 5 years and I don’t quite remember 100% what it was about it… but it was just so powerful that it cut right through me, I was spell-bound by it (a magic trick he still manages to do to me quite well, actually)… and plenty and simple, was just overcome

for one reason or another, I’d been unable to get that same reaction for a number of years… either I was thinking about other things, I was too tired…. or just thinking way too much in general…

I just let go, was playing full attention… trying to get the whole scope. Once or twice, a sharp shiver ran through me, something I knew I couldn’t fake… it was genuinely working on me… until finally… I guess somewhere during the sing-along chorus or whatever… the intensity steadily grew until finally… omg, I’m almost getting choked up right now recollecting it…

tears were streaming down my face… and it felt amazing. Never thought he could make me feel this way again… so, yeah, I haven’t completely left the purple universe, I’m still very much attached to it and I can only hope that this will gain some momentum where I can change my blog’s subject line again to address both sides of the coin…

not really a “former Prince blog” anymore… I’m still talking about him enough where he’s still a bit of a part of it. And hopefully I can get some stuff done in “The Word” where… man, the possibilities from here are just gonna be endless

I’m excited… but even I know that I should close this place down for the night getting towards 2am, not that it would be the first time 😉

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s