Times like these, it really pays off to be part of an online community.
And if not for Prince and this one group of admirers, I wouldn’t go on Facebook anymore.
They posted the link and saved me the trouble of a YouTube search that would likely result in a video of lesser length and/or quality.
Following Prince’s example ala his song “Positivity,” I’m not going to bad-mouth Madonna’s tribute at the Billboard music awards. I love her music and still do- one day, I hope to do a blog post specifically on that because, for starters, her “Like A Virgin” and “Immaculate Collection” albums were the soundtrack of my childhood.
But I will say that with her tribute… I was sad afterwards because other than the color scheme and the songs (“Nothing Compares 2 U” and “Purple Rain”)… there was nothing that really connected it with Prince for me. His spirit wasn’t there at all.
I didn’t expect much with the Billboard music awards (it ain’t the Grammy’s), but I expected more.
Before I get too ahead of myself (as I have a history of doing with this blog I started for Prince), the BET awards kept their word. Their Prince tribute was amazing.
Sheila E. was the “leader of the band” (I put that in quotes because it was one of her collaborations with Prince- I have it on a flash drive somewhere… come to think of it, I don’t know if I’d ever listened to it)
and with her, there were three dancers, that I believe were Mayte and the Twinz. The camera didn’t focus on them long enough so I couldn’t distinguish who was who, but their choreography was gorgeous to watch. (I’d criticized the Twinz in the past because they drew my eyes away from Prince during certain performances. Mayte, on the other hand, always looked amazing and they fit so perfectly together).
And I think Sheila said “Jerome” so the guy in the red suit on stage doing various antics (with his age, he didn’t nail much, but can’t blame a guy for trying) was Jerome Benton 😛 who had been on stage with Morris Day AND Prince at different times in the 80’s.
Prince’s performing spirit was there physically and audibly. Sheila did a couple of his signature yells and on the recordings, I heard his vocals. So this really felt like a celebration and I forgot that he wasn’t going to be there.
I’m not going to remember all the songs, but a few included:
*Erotic City (B-side of “Let’s go crazy”- their first duet)
*Baby I’m a star (that was Jerome’s not-so-shining moment, but Sheila- it was like Prince’s spirit took over her body because she did some moves on that stage only he could do)
*A Love Bizarre (another duet)
*The Glamorous Life
As I was watching, I remembered also that I had seen Sheila E. a couple of times in some of my earliest memories of Prince. She was at the Good Morning America performance in 2006. (I saw this live on TV- compared to his “American Idol” appearance a few weeks earlier, it was kinda underwhelming).
And I saw her at the Brit Awards with Wendy & Lisa (I saw the video in February/March 2007 early in my official fandom- I didn’t own an album yet and hadn’t seen Purple Rain. But I remember her with the drums. Sadly, she was the only member of the band Prince acknowledged in the performance, so I didn’t find out about Wendy & Lisa until a few months after the fact).
The two month anniversary of Prince’s death was last Tuesday… and I actually had to be reminded by that Facebook group of that milestone.
I’d been so active in my own life that it slipped my mind. Which is probably a good thing. My mind is usually focused on whatever book I’m reading or writing, a movie I’m looking forward to seeing, or (per the last two years) how my favorite figure skaters are doing in their careers or recoveries from injury.
Things are good in my own life right now that I feel good with being in it- whether I’m cooking for dinner or walking up and down the street or hanging out with family.
But since last Tuesday, I’d been listening to Prince nearly every day. And admittedly, it’s been weird. Some songs, I can feel his energy and his spirit so strongly. And in others… I feel nothing hopefully it gets better with time
I’d been reading the Rolling Stone magazine collector’s edition.
And I started re-reading the story he inspired me to write. Something I started writing before I owned a single album by him. Before I saw Purple Rain in its entirety. All I had to go by was his mysterious persona, the bits of Purple Rain I had seen, and a couple music videos. And reading it again, I feel his spirit very much alive in it.
It’s hard to believe I wrote it 9 years ago and I almost spend it to Paisley Park for Prince to read.
Looking at it now, I’m kinda thankful I changed my mind and didn’t. The dialogue runs long in places, but even worse, it is full of grammar and syntax mistakes.
Not only embarrassing, but it might have resulted in a message back saying not to pursue writing as a career
So after I finish my read-through, I’m going to run through and edit it. Start with the obvious stuff first and work my way from there.
And once it’s done, I’ll see about posting online for people to read :shrug: and hopefully it’s received well.
And at some point, I know I’m going to have to watch Purple Rain again… but I think I’m afraid to 😛 because I might wind up not being able to get through any of the movie (never mind the titular track) without balling my eyes out