Prince’s SuperBowl HalfTime… 10 years later

Wow… I’m just looking at that title and taking it all in.
I think what I’ll do is start with some early thoughts and then work my way into actually watching the video and making comments about it afterwards.
Again, I feel kinda bad that I didn’t start this blog until April 2007. 2 months after this historical event (hey, it’s historical to me, stop laughing and eye-rolling!), after getting four albums under my belt, one month after seeing “Purple Rain.” But I didn’t realize immediately after the SuperBowl how monumentous [I don’t even care if that’s a real word or not, I’m rolling with it!] this was going to be for me personally.

And quite honestly, I was set the day after this to just go about my life the way I often had with Prince. He showed up in my life 6 times before.
* seeing the 1999 video in 1999 (or was it the year before… I don’t remember)
* hearing “I would die 4 U” and “Baby I’m a star” for the first time
* catching the last half hour of Purple Rain and seeing those songs actually performed
* Prince’s surprise “American Idol” appearance
* Prince’s “Good Morning America” appearance- that I think I heard about shortly after “American Idol” happened
* VH1 counting down their top 100 songs of the 80’s (and I remember them mentioning how “Little Red Corvette” was NOT about a car and “When Doves Cry” being #5)

Although to get super technical, maybe it was the 8th time that was the charm… dammit… It would have been so cool if it was 7… I don’t remember the 5th that well, but I remember seeing a website link maybe off Yahoo! (because after my email and Facebook, that was the 3rd site I visited everyday) of a website full of Prince videos. I picked out “Little Red Corvette” and the ball just started rolling, gained momentum and I couldn’t stop it if I wanted to. And I certainly didn’t want to.
Heck, I’ll still say 7th time is the charm because the 7th encounter with him directly led to what happened the next day. I wouldn’t have found that website link on Yahoo! if he hadn’t done the Halftime show. And I also saw a tease of the SuperBowl HalfTime show on a commercial. Prince was in a boardroom full of executives planning out what he should do. He just rolled his eyes, not saying a word, and went on to do his own thing. Just like he always had done. That is also interrelated with this.
Although I could try to keep going and maybe get up to 11. I consider that MY lucky number because the 11th track on a soundtrack album was a game-changer back in 1999 (completely unrelated to any of this).

But I’m getting ahead of myself…
funny how on this blog I’ve had this history of delaying the inevitable topic, only to make my point halfway through. At least this entry is all about Prince… although it was funny seeing on “On This Day” on Facebook and today was also the day I saw “Less Than Zero” for the first time- that was in 2011.
There’s just something magic about February. A lot of things got started here- or at the very least they set the tone for the rest of the year.

So…
the day of the actual SuperBowl, I woke up from a dream that morning and it was an interesting one.
I was on the street, it was night time and I was in line waiting to get tickets to a Prince concert.
I like to think that my dreams can predict the future sometimes… sadly, that is one feature I never got to live out. Although there is still a chance that The Revolution will tour and I’ll be in line to see them. Maybe not to get tickets (because the box offices are mostly online now).
But I think that was telling me that quite possibly this was going to be a huge event for me personally.

I remember being extra excited to see what Prince would do. I had never looked forward to the HalfTime show before. It just took away from the football and made the break between halves way too long. But because of what he did, I watched every HalfTime show since… only to say nearly every time (Madonna and Bruno Mars were the exceptions) that it was nowhere near as good as what Prince did. (Bruce Springsteen was also good, but I can’t get as excited because I’m not a personal fan of his voice).

I was also excited for Peyton Manning to finally get to the Super Bowl. It’s a silly stupid reason, but he’d been my favorite player since I heard Jesse McCartney played a young version of him in a commercial.
But anyway, I hated how Tom Brady got all the attention and Peyton Manning wasn’t praised at that same level. (Of course I hate the fact Tom Brady is playing in his 7th SuperBowl this weekend… seems like his only kryptonite in the SuperBowl was the Giants. There’s just something about those Manning brothers. And after he started playing, Eli Manning became my favorite player. He’s not always perfect, but I love the clutch plays he did. The hail mary throws in the playoffs and superbowls that were literal game-changers).

I remember being at the clubhouse on the dorms side of my college campus (funny enough, every year they had a SuperBowl party, the venue was on the other side of campus from where I lived that year). It was a pretty full house. I remember there being a raffle at the end and people won stuff. It was first win-first serve so by the time my name was drawn, I missed out on the “Devil Wears Prada” DVD and got stuck with a CD by The Killers. I listened to it once and HATED it. So the next chance I got, I sold it at FYE and I think I got some good albums with the money afterwards.

We had the game on a big screen, but I think the picture quality wasn’t the best. But then it was also raining that day too.
I kinda forgot a bit about the Halftime show until it finally came (the Colts were doing amazing and by the second half the Bears faded away into non-existence… Rex Grossman had an epic meltdown, one too many sacks and fumbles… but beyond that and Peyton Manning and the Colts shining so much, I didn’t remember much about the actual game after HalfTime).

Right now, I’ll do the play-by-play of what I remember. Then I’ll watch the video and comment more afterwards.
I didn’t care for the rag Prince wore on his head, but he later took it off and didn’t care.
I remember the band all lit up and playing a short rendition of “1999.” “Baby I’m a Star,” I recalled the moment he started singing it and he ad-libbed talking about the rain.
Then it started to simmer down a bit and my mind wondered a bit. I didn’t realize then that he was doing covers (I HATE!!! when he does covers… with the exception of a couple songs on Emancipation, it never personally works for me). “all along the watchtower” I think I tried to google later, but didn’t succeed (or so I thought).
“The Best of You” had a killer guitar solo, but I didn’t like the screaming… I wouldn’t be a fan of his screaming for quite a while.

Then “Purple Rain” was hard to mistake… I didn’t think I’d see him actually do it. And I didn’t even make the connection (I don’t know how- he did say it was raining in an earlier song) that he played Purple Rain IN THE RAIN. I remember the purple symbol guitar (not sure what to think of it because I never saw it before).
The most epic moment was when the sheet came up and there was this massive silhouette (one day, I WILL spell that word without spell-check) of him during the guitar solo… never heard anything like it before in my life (and I can say that about so many of his guitar solos- nobody did guitar solos like him and never will again. Seriously, nobody in the music industry wants to do guitar solos anymore. It’s bad enough that the radio refuses to play all of “Purple Rain” but they will play all of “The Way You Make Me Feel” and “Layla” (but even then, they don’t always play all of “Layla”- they sometimes cut out before my favorite note, which is the bird call at the very end… shivers every time).

But the greatest part that I look forward to the most… after the sheet came down (still pissed at all the people that wrote about the sheet guitar solo and said he did innuendo with his guitar… it shouldn’t take away from the epicness of it)…
yeah, after that, I remember him continuing to play guitar and the whole crowd did the sing-along chorus with him and he spurred them on and he just kept playing until it was all over.

I don’t remember what anyone at the SuperBowl party said about it and I don’t care if I don’t. That was just…

NOBODY WILL EVER DO A HALFTIME SHOW LIKE HIM EVER AGAIN!! It will never be as EPIC or AMAZING.

I hope that Lady Gaga (who I have wanted to see do this for a long time- I actually said on Facebook in on this day in 2013 that I hope she does it next… she had to wait behind Bruno Mars and Coldplay)
I hope she will do a good job. Something epic in the vein only she can bring it.
And I hope she doesn’t do anything that is anti-Trump. She can do something that is pro-immigrant or about harmony among all of us… but it needs to be subtle. If it’s too in your face, it’ll turn half of America off.
I actually muted her tweets for a while because it was too many anti-Trump tweets and pro-Hillary tweets. The day after the election, I turned them back on because she was pleading that we take care of each other and urged people to be safe.

Anyway, back to revisiting… I think I said everything that I can say about it, but with Prince, I’ve plenty of evidence on this blog alone that I never run out of things to say about him. Even if I’m danger of repeating myself, I really couldn’t care less. He’s worth celebrating. Now more than ever. (Still wish more people celebrated him when he was still alive…)

The commercial is pretty awesome… a bit of a stupid spoof where people are making these weirdy cheesy suggestions, a little red corvette, releasing 1999 doves, wearing a space suit. then he just runs out of there (with his “Gett Off” opening scream) and we hear the last seconds of “Let’s go crazy” as he walks through the gates to the stadium with his guitar and there’s an epic voiceover dude covering it

I’ll just share the damn thing. It’s pretty cool to see it again now that I recognize all the references and sound bites.

Now for the show itself…

omg, I’m a mess. [ok, now, just the first 10 seconds afterwards]
I forgot so many little things. Like how they started with “We will rock you”… then the stage was his symbol all lit up. Then he comes out…
omg- at that point, it felt like someone took two defibrillator paddles to my chest and shocked me- as if my heart had been dormant this past month without listening to any of his music at all (well, except what was on the radio of course).
they had doves on strings flying around.
forgot he did Proud Mary for a second there… yeah, I hate how everytime someone covers that song, it’s ALWAYS the Tina Turner version where it starts slow and then accelerates out of control. He never let it get to that point. Which was refreshing.
The covers were pretty good, actually. And the scream wasn’t as bad as I remembered- I got a taste for a good Prince scream.
The picture was pretty blurry, but the rain contributes to that a lot.

When he did Purple Rain… the first notes, I was already getting teary-eyed and I’m thinking “keep it together.” he tossed the rag off his head at that point and just went with it.
Then when the solo just continued on and it built up… then the ending… at that very end when the final note came out, I was shuddering, I had tears streaming down my face… complete mess.
It was a relief that nobody came in the room at that point because that would’ve been… well, they would’ve understood but it would have been kinda embarrassing.

I was a wreck the first time I heard the whole song in the movie so that was a similar feeling.
Except there was me thinking “Oh no, it’s all over”… after a while, I just blacked out and was in it for the long haul. Prince always seems to have that effect on me and I’m glad to see that hasn’t changed.

I swear, his music gets me on a different level than anyone else. I have fun with Gaga’s music and Taylor Swift, I relate to the lyrics so strongly and live within them.
But this is music at its finest because it goes on different levels. There’re sounds, there’s lyrics, there’s emotion, and all kinds of other stuff I can’t begin to describe.

So anyway, that’s it

I’ll share the link in case anyone’s interested.

Peach & Black had a podcast where they went into the beginning of their fandoms and so on. I think I should go through that questionnaire. Heck, maybe even listen to the podcast again (because I can) and answer the questions for myself.
I’ll list them below with my answers. But first I gotta watch a video shared by Princevault on Facebook. I figured I’d do that after the HalfTime show so I can take all of it in as it was happening and seeing it first fresh for the first time since 2007 (I think I saw it twice- live and online a few months or even a few years later, but it was still a long time ago).

Oh also, I’ll never forget that it was in Dolphins stadium in Miami… because he wore their clothes that night.
Yeah, the video quality was so much better on this NFL channel video talking about how this could have been a disaster with the weather and he rolled with it like he asked God to make it rain that day.
One of the interviewees was Alan Light, who wrote the book “Let’s go crazy” about making Purple Rain the movie and the album.
And they showed a lot of performance footage again so I skipped to all the points where they talked about him.
Yeah, he wasn’t there to promote anything (which was cool- everyone else had an album to promote- he didn’t even announce Planet Earth until a few months before it came out).
Can’t believe it was raining so hard they thought maybe someone would slip on the stage because the tiles that make up the stage could have gotten so slippery with the rain. And seeing some of the footage again, it was like a monsoon almost, so much wind and rain, but he just made it look good.

Ok, here are those questions:
[also- I missed these guys so much. First time this year I’m listening to them again]. Kinda hate that I’ll be listening to only one podcast a week, when I got so used to doing 4 a week (it helps the rest of my day at work go by so much faster… love my job, but it gets repetitive and drags at the end of the day sometimes)

First time you heard a Prince song: my dad had this mix CD of “go-go bar hits”- he frequented those when he was in his 20’s in New Jersey- the final 2 songs were “I would die 4 U” and “Baby I’m a star”… I LOVED “I would die 4 U” the first moment I heard. I swear, the linn-drum and the synths sounded like fireworks! They still do 😛 I liked the contradictions in the first line- that set the tone. Great lyrics, I’m a sucker for a good lyric, but the music set my mind on fire.
Hated to hear it end and “baby I’m a star” kinda picked up where that left off. But it wasn’t as exciting. And the end took too long to come. Hated all the fake-outs 😛 after seeing the movie, it all makes sense
That’s also the song that made me a fan… that takes care of another question… although I wasn’t officially a fan of his music and him until 10 years ago tomorrow [February 5th]

First impressions: I can’t even describe my first impression because it was so long ago. And there’s just so much. Yeah, I thought he was weird. Something was off about him, like he was different from everyone else. Then as I sat through that footage of Purple Rain, however long it was (probably the 2nd half of the movie or last 20 minutes)… I was thinking “musical genius” and “neo-Mozart” and he would die for his music (I gotta stop saying that… cuz it makes him no longer being here a little too real).
And he was just the most epic performer the last 2 songs (purple rain the song I can’t remember that very first impression). He had me mesmerized (which is why “Dreamy” is the first part of the name) and left such a mark on me. My mom said “I think she’s in love with Prince”… he was always in the back of my mind and it took such a long time for him to finally come to the forefront.

MC’s talking about how he bought The Gold Experience at a 2nd hand CD store for $10-11. I got it used for $17.99. And it was WORTH EVERY CENT.
Although I didn’t know it then.
I guess you could say that it was my “Red Room” moment… like Anastasia Steele steps into Christian Grey’s red room for the first time and just doesn’t know what to think. Sensory overload is what I experienced. First the cursing in the first song, then the screaming and guitar in “Endorphinmachine”… it kinda destroyed me for a bit… but I was able to pick up the pieces and I progressively got stronger.

Forgot to mention for a podcast I just did that he is maybe the last person I should be interested in musically because he does so much that makes me uncomfortable. Sexual innuendo and cursing.
But I built a resistance over time and if those things are done artfully, it’s ok and I can even admire it when it’s done really well.

When I officially became a “fan”- February 5th 2017- when I saw “little red corvette” the video… after that, there was no going back.
So you can imagine that being the first song I heard when I got the news of his passing… yeah, kinda erases some of the good feelings and replaces them with one of the worst ever experienced by me.

What sealed the deal… I just answered that above… although Purple Rain the movie might be it, seeing the full movie finally after all these years wanting to see it in full.
It was just… still is wow…
still don’t know what it’s gonna be like seeing it again in a couple months, the first time I’ll see it since he passed away. it’s going to be an emotional affair.

What would life be without Prince in it?:

I have no idea… Prince jogging my mind around listening to his music helped me write some papers in college. I almost had a couple of meltdowns that could have been worse without Prince’s music.
There was also a void for a while with musical artists. I went into that on my previous blog post. I mean, I might have been okay in a couple of years when I got Taylor Swift and Gaga. Plus Maroon 5 and Daughtry were some other artists I really liked.

I just know that if I went my separate way from Prince after the SuperBowl. I mean he might have come up a few more times. But I think I would have been devastated last April if I found out he died and I never took that time to get to know his music and I’d be too late for a lot of it.
Not to mention so many albums of his were bought up after he died, I would have missed out so many albums that I own and love.

I can’t imagine life without him, honestly. I mean, I’m in the third decade of my life, a little beyond that and Prince got one third of it. That’s kind of a big deal.
Only Pokémon has that much of my life and it wasn’t even consistent. With Prince, I maybe took a break from him for a total combined time of six months. Three months out of 10 years.
And part of why I got back into Pokémon for a bit was because of Prince. In an inverse sort of way. Someone on prince.org gave me a download for old Pokémon games for my PC and I got into them all over again. My sister kinda did the rest introducing me to Chuggaaconroy let’s playing games.

Reactions from family and friends: so many people didn’t get it. my mom thought he was weird. Still does. But at least she tries to understand my fandom and such. My dad makes fun of me for it yet he’s the one responsible for all this. He had me sit through Purple Rain when it was already half over. He had those two songs on a mix CD.
I still remember (yeah, we’re talking 2 years ago, but still) I said I had to go out and get his new albums in 2014, my dad didn’t get it and I said “this is all your fault, you know.” And he relented.
One of my cousins thought he was gay even though he’d been married twice and he’d been with so many women.
But when he passed away, my aunt and two of my friends reached out to me and asked if I was okay. They know how much he meant to me. And still does mean to me.
I’ve tried to play albums for my mom, but most of it, she doesn’t get. The conservative stuff even. She doesn’t like the guitar solos in PlectrumElectrum because it’s repetitive. I get that.

I need to come up with a list of conservative Prince songs that anyone can get into. I’ll have to do that after counting down my top 100 Prince songs.

Also- if I ever start dating, the guy has to like Prince. That’ll be in my online dating profile. “Must Love Prince.”

It’s true: you love or hate Prince. There really is no in-between.

I just looked at memoirs I wrote about my college years and out of curiosity I wanted to see what my schedule was. I spent so much time with Prince, I had to check where my classes were scheduled.
The day after, my first class was around 11am. And I wrote “I could swear that I was looking for SuperBowl commercials, but I came across a playlist of his music videos.”

Okay, that answered my question from before.
I had only to get up for 8:30 classes twice a week and I had huge gaps between classes. I remember spending a lot of time in a dark room watching all those music videos. Then something he said in “Batdance” scared the crap out of me because I swore he said my name and asked what I’m still doing at the computer. After that, I had to get out of the apartment 😛

Most obsessive/craziest thing you ever done as a Prince fan: uh, I spent over $100 on music on 7/7/07 and that included 4 Prince albums. Sign o’ the times, 1999, O(+> and Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic.
I was keeping a record of how much I spent on all the albums and can’t remember how much I had spent up to that point. I think I spent more on InuYasha DVD’s than Prince albums- the albums I bought myself.

The next question I think was “how did you stay a fan?”
Honestly, I can’t say for sure. It’s a different reason each time I come back to him. I guess because there is so much music. And so many different vibes. And experiences.

Prince is trending on Facebook RIGHT NOW. So I think I need to post this now while that iron is still hot. If I hear any more questions on this podcast, I’ll edit and add them later.

I know this was a long entry, but anyone who makes it to the end and had a good time, congratulations and thank you.

Starting next week, I’m going to go through all of Prince’s albums in chronological order, one album a week.
And I’ll do a blog on them.
I’ll listen to the album a couple times, do Peach & Black’s podcast on it and then listen again if I’m so inclined. I find that when I listen to the podcast and then the album second, the experience is marred a bit by their comments. Not that it ruins the album for me or anything, but maybe I spend a little too much thinking of what they said and not a lot about what my feelings are.

Like it was with Planet Earth, I have to get on my own with the album and listen to it and understand it before I let any other opinions into my head.

Ok, long entry finally done. Thanks guys, whoever got to the end of this.

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