Revisiting 1999 after dreaming of Prince

It’s hard to believe… well, a lot of things concerning Prince…

I don’t think I ever questioned how long it took me to make things official with him until after he passed away.
And yes, that is still strange to say. Especially on days like this where his spirit was STRONG with me.

Sometimes I think of my dreams as prophecies, but rarely do they come true.
The day of the SuperBowl, I dreamt about waiting in line to get Prince tickets.
Clearly, I was very excited to see him that night. Although I was just as excited to see Peyton Manning FINALLY win a SuperBowl ring.
Yeah, it makes me sad (and many other emotions) that I’ll never find myself in that position.
And sometimes I do think about what I missed out on because I never got to meet him in person. I mean, so few have, so it’s not like that was likely. But I can’t but imagine what that conversation would have been like. How I would have benefitted as a person by talking to him or him saying something of wisdom to me.

I dream about celebrities rather prolifically. It was so frequent when I was a teenager, I had to start writing them down. I have dozens of pages and at least 6 different categories.
Yet I have Prince all by himself on his own Word document. Maybe because I’d only dreamt about him 8 times. 9 including earlier today.

I’m still kinda kicking myself that I wasn’t utterly destroyed when I got the news about him. I threw myself into his music so fast because there’s no way I’d be able to drive home in one piece with all those emotions. I reached for whatever music was on the radio and in my car to keep his spirit with me so I wouldn’t lose what I felt whenever I listened to him. That amazing spirit. If I ever lose that… I don’t even want to think.

Anyway- my dream last night- it was the first time I’d seen him since his death.
And it was kinda cool how it played out. Almost like he was sending a message. There was a tribute concert on the horizon and he came on stage with the band. He had his afro and wore sunglasses. But before performing, he lowered his sunglasses so I could see his eyes and there was a magnetism between us. I forget what they wound up performing, but it was an amazing experience. Got me thinking if they’d ever do a hologram tribute of him performing because this was certainly one realistic hologram.
And afterwards, I don’t know how I was watching this concert, on TV or YouTube, I balled my eyes out.

So today I listened to 1999… which I knew might not be easy in the beginning.
The first two songs now have memories very closely intertwined with April 21st. I can still hear the DJ doing an intro to “1999,’ talking about how he passed today. And I remember pulling out of the parking lot at work and just going full-on into the song.

listening to it today, I couldn’t help but think of the theme. How he wanted us to party or live life to the fullest even if it was about to be cut short. Amazing musicality on this track. I remember hearing about Jimmy Jam or someone talk about hearing it and how he’d produced the drums to just explode over the track. amazing production.

little red corvette… I thought about how the two tracks interrelated. They seem to be about enjoying the moment. But while 1999 seems to be hurtling towards disaster (or disaster being imminent), the follow-up is about savoring the moment. I heard the lyrics in ways I hadn’t before. This girl is so promiscuous that she doesn’t seem to care who she sleeps with anymore (i.e. “you say ‘what have I got to lose?'”), but he wants her to become more monogamous. at the same time, he’s intimidated by her reputation.
Crazy as it is to think that with his history. He’s like the Wilt Chamberlin of musicians. Although Mick Jagger might have a bigger reputation than him. And that old bugger is still alive at the age of 70-something… nothing against Mick Jagger, he’s cool. But I wonder how all these other musicians outlived him when he was in better health and didn’t have their checkered histories of drug use.
I still wonder if the speculation about his death was a rock star thing or a race thing… or just another goddam Michael Jackson comparison… when David Bowie died, they had a cause of death immediately. Prince, it took months to get a cause. Meanwhile, admirers like me were slowly dying on the inside hearing all that negativity.

And it might be awhile before I get completely over this song. I had an emotional outburst the last time I heard the full version, which was on “The Very Best Of” album.
But towards the end with the “the ride is so smooth you must be a limousine”… yeah, that was when I realized something might be wrong. This station never plays Prince- certainly not during their timeslot where they count down the top 3 songs of the day. I checked my phone and my heart sank.
So anyway, I teared up.

“Delirious” is just so much fun to listen to. The rhythm of the lyrics makes it super catchy and I love all the acrobatics the Linn-drum and Oberheim do throughout.

“Let’s Pretend We’re Married”… man, love this one. Also- like the first time, the first time I heard it was watching the music video. By the time I got to work, I had to stop mid-song. So I did it at the halfway point… at least I think that was the midpoint. There’s an instrumental, synths play the melody and a bunch of Linn-drums go off. What follows [and where I started when I was coming home] is a long instrumental break that runs into the bridge and the chorus before lyrics resume.

what a creedo… I wish we could bring this mindset back. Not so much “wear lingerie to a restaurant” as all the races getting together, partying and having a good time.
And I can’t help but laugh when he say “I don’t care to win awards”… he later said at a local MPLS awards show how he wrote that lyric and jokes “at the time I wasn’t up for any”- LOL
it was 1986 and he was dressed like Christopher Tracy ready to go to Le Papillion with Tricky and Mary.

“Automatic”- I’ll admit to sleeping on a bit. When I’m driving, I don’t often like having songs that dwell on and on for no real reason. In the area after he does the choruses, just before he whispers across the speakers and just before Jill Jones and Lisa chime in.
This has to be my favorite non-single of the album. Technically, that’s not entirely true, but give me a break. MTV practically refused to air the video. It was too controversial for them in 1982.

Yet look at what they get away with in music videos now… makes no sense.

one of my favorite Linn-drum/Oberheim patterns. Great rhythm and the synths are eerie and off-balance.

In the past few months, I listen to Prince and I start to wonder if he practiced a lot of S&M with his partners or he just liked to paint striking visuals.

“Something in the water”… actually got me thinking about a situation we had recently with our water. we were told not to drink it for a while due to it not being filtered. I found out when we got home that the water ban has since lifted.
Anyway- I kinda slept on this one too. It doesn’t often happen… but I do think about the alternate version that has a nicer melody to it and it’s less unhinged. I know it goes against the intent of the song. But I think I also heard that version first.
But I thought again about how Prince used to say in his music about girls treating him bad. It happens so much that to a point, you have to ask “are you sure it’s not just you?”
Although in later years, he’d take some of the responsibility for the break-ups.
And that ending… almost got chills, he speaking through the speakers in my car. I’d cranked up the volume so much for automatic that I heard that no problem

“I do love you, I do. Or else I wouldn’t… go through all the things I do.”

wow- that really has a whole new meaning to it, doesn’t it? He is free now.
And you have to listen to it and really think about what he’s saying. Take it to heart.
Maybe not as catchy as “Man in the Mirror” but… seriously… Prince did this message first.
Ok, they’re not QUITE the same thing. Work with me, people!

At one point, not sure which track, I considered how all these tracks are related. But it’s like they are two different albums. We start with “live life to the fullest” phase with the first 5 songs.
Then “Automatic” starts a back-slide. He’s in a not-so good relationship. In the next song he questions it, he questions it further in “Free” where he gets some space (I always imagine it being at the shore because there are waves and he’s pacing in the sand). He returns from the shore, takes a cab, which takes him to New York City… and International Lover kinda serves no purpose in this scenario.

“Lady Cab Driver” I didn’t get the first several times I listened to it. But I understand it a bit more now than I did before.
All the die-hards remember it for the “rape scene.”
I thought about it a little more than I should have. But I have thought about how he mellows out after a certain point.
At first, he’s dismissing all these things that are getting under his skin, so it does sound like rape quite a bit.
Then he finds some good things to talk about when the sex is getting less aggressive and starts to favor both parties.

Yes, nearly 10 years after Prince integrated himself into my life, I am still a virgin.
So other than some PG13 or R-rated movies or the “50 shades” trilogy, Prince is the only sexual reference point I really have.
Actually, “Bates Motel” counts as well. Norma Bates was certifiable, but she’d also had a lot of bad luck with men. Including two occasions of rape.

I could analyze all things Prince had taught me about sexuality, but I wouldn’t share it with anyone else. Maybe a little too personal.
and before anyone gets a dirty mind, we’re talking strictly mental here. nothing physical.

And as tempting as it is, I don’t think I could have Prince playing on my radio during intercourse with a future boyfriend.
Prince always sounds better when I’m alone anyway. I’m not busy worrying about what the people around me are thinking about him. And usually I just play the tame stuff around them. Even then, there are potential issues. Like him making weird screams or extra long guitar solos and so on.

I’m getting off topic…

“All the critics”… 4th day of November is a Friday this year.
I still haven’t watched Purple Rain since he passed. And even though I know I have to, I am not-so-secretly dreading it. Not sure if it’ll be then or even this weekend. Still deciding.

“International Lover” may not be one of his best love ballads, but it is kind of a guilty pleasure. It’s like being with Prince on prom night. You’re alone with nobody to dance with, he asks you, and he takes you to his limousine where you wind up intermingled on the limousine floor.
Plus, it plays into the fact he included “limousine” in lyrics of Vanity/Apollonia 6 tracks.
He never says limousine or even says that it’s prom. He just says “you could use a date tonight”

Actually, it almost feels like it’d be a good song to end on before listening to Vanity 6 because of the “limousine floor” lyric.

I wasn’t fully invested at first and the metaphors are laughable. But there did come a point where I had an eargasm… not quite as intense as it was with “Insatiable” a few months ago… that was truly mind-blowing.

So yeah, listening to him today, his spirit was very much alive and it just made my ride go so much better. That’s always pretty nice 😎

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