Compared to my last post, I hope to make this a short one. After all, I will be spending time with this album and the Peach and Black podcast discussion.
But I just wanted to post about the movie, Purple Rain, and the first time I’d watched it since Prince’s death.
And by that, I mean I hadn’t seen it since he died.
I knew it was going to have some tricky spots and it’d trigger some emotions that I really needed to feel about Prince.
Earlier today, I was listening to “Something in the Water (Does Not Compute)” the alternate version while driving home from getting my haircut and “Horny Toad” right after… then I listened to “Irresistible Bitch” and kinda danced around the kitchen to the longer cut of “Delirious”…
when I listen to songs like that, it’s impossible to miss Prince or be sad about him no longer being with us.
Then I watched the movie…
The first verse or so of “Let’s Go Crazy,” I was already feeling off balance, the truth kinda sinking in further.
“The Beautiful Ones” almost got a reaction out of me (I think the song only made me cry once ever and it was the 3rd of 4th time I saw that movie scene).
Then I just fell into the pattern of the movie, getting sucked into the plot, enjoying Morris Day’s shenanigans… the list goes on.
I’d seen this movie at least 50 times in the last 10 years… I think at least 17 times that first year. But not quite as much in recent years. The last time I watched was maybe January of last year and I watched to look forward to the Apollonia 6 number and watch the video… kinda researching for something I’m writing, but haven’t gone back to in a while.
It’s hard to believe I still have stuff to say about it. And as much as I say that I hate the Purple Rain cliché, how people automatically associate Prince with this movie and album and song and completely forget about everything else he’d done or are just ignorant to the fact he was releasing albums up until his death last year.
And every album is a different snapshot of who he is as an artist and a person. You just need to experience as much of it as you can to find what your comfort zone is.
Prince stretched my comfort zone further beyond I ever believed it could go, but there’s still work to be done regarding that.
I had a thought during the dramatic [well, first dramatic] scene in the basement where the parents and Prince and Apollonia go through domestic abuse…
just now how my impression of this movie was (I first saw it mid-progress up until the end) and I thought that he was the one being hit by his father because he didn’t want him to be a musician.
But my thought “if Apollonia showed up at 8 o’clock like she said, the fall-out might not have happened as explosively as it did”… but she also could have witnessed the altercation that took place.
Another scene that got me… I mean, the sirens and police showing up at the house after the suicide attempt… that already scared me enough the first time (and it was part of the movie I somehow maintained after all these years- despite not remembering that the suicide attempt happened).
I had the scary thought that this happened to Prince a year ago today… that sirens, paramedics and policemen showed up at Paisley Park in an attempt to save him.
Just to take things back up for a bit… loved getting back to this music. It’s like Prince really pulled out all the stops and polished these works until they sparkled like the diamonds [and pearls] they are.
I forgot just how great “The Beautiful Ones” was… I know it is, but re-experiencing it always something else.
All these years later, I still love “Computer Blue”- that performance scene is supposedly one of his lowest points in the movie and it and “Darling Nikki” aren’t exactly commercially viable (enough adjectives and adverbs, guys?)… but I just love this song. Even in this short album version, it is just so sick! and I love that choreography.
And I sung along to the Razzie winning “Sex Shooter” while not singing to anything else… yeah, I’d played this song so much since I started writing this current book. I have no shame about it whatsoever.
Then it was down to the final three songs… the movie went by SO FAST… I couldn’t believe it.
And I’ll admit- Purple Rain, the song, it is freaking manipulative. It compels you to feel THINGS you never knew you could. But today of all days, I had to be manipulated and I got my wish.
But unlike the first time I watched it… man, I was a mess when the second verse started. I hadn’t really listened to these lyrics in a while and I was referring them to what’s going on at present.
I never meant to cause you any sorrow… any pain… I only wanted one time to see you laughing… laughing in the Purple Rain…
It’s thinking maybe too much out of the box to think he wished this for us when he died. Just because he may have planned “Diamonds and Pearls” years in advance- with it being a lyric in a 1999 track… but that’s a little much.
However… I get to the second verse and I swear it was meant for me to hear these things right now.
I never wanted to be your weekend lover… only wanted to be some kind of friend… just a shame our friendship had to end…
Then third verse…
I know times are changin’… time we all reached out for the new… close it and let me guide you…
You get the gist…
These are deep lyrics and very poignant and honest.
But I never took them to heart like this before.
Prince always has been some kind of friend to me. One of the craziest friends I could ever ask for. And really, I’d been laughing and bathing in the Purple Rain that is his music since he died. Because he would have wanted us to enjoy the music and honor him by listening to it. He wouldn’t want us to be sad about him not being with us anymore.
But it was kinda nuts… crying through his guitar solo, my emotions kinda building as the guitar revved through the melody, and then I caught my breath and calmed down at the ends of the phrases…
Like our spirits came together and breathed as one…
“I would die 4 U” was great as always… my tears were starting to dry up.
Then “Baby I’m a Star” began… and so many emotions went through me.
The last time I heard this song… however long ago it was… he was still alive.
And I don’t think I had listened to him since he died.
And this kinda made things final for me, no coming back from this. I bathed in the pure glee and emotion of the song, again feeling like he was talking to me. Much the way I felt he was the first time I saw this performance… nevermind “I would Die 4 U”- as much as I loved that song the first time I heard it… but the performance of “Baby I’m a Star” left a mark on me…
Nobody would ever thrill me the way Prince did when he performed. And that’s going to be the name of the game for the rest of my life.
Watched the credits as I always do… then I get to Purple Rain and the tears started all over again… and I was shaking and couldn’t move from my seat for a couple minutes afterwards.
That’s the reaction I was meant to have a year ago today and I was free to finally experience it- nobody around to judge me 😛
So for the rest of the day, I might watch some music videos from him I’d been saving since 1999.
But I’m going to also listen to some tributes from people I follow on Twitter- NightEtheral (who I’d talked to a few times on Twitter, liked an RT’d my stuff- so it’s about time I return the favor) and Captain (one 4th of the Peach & Black podcast… who I’d communicated with over the last few days on Twitter and has been great- he may be notorious on Peach & Black for his oddball favorite Prince song choices, but he is very grounded in real life, which is refreshing).