Goodbye Prince

I don’t think I’ve ever had, or will ever have, a celebrity death hit me as hard as Prince, who passed away at age 57 in his Paisley Park estate on Thursday, April 21st. I never met Prince, but his influence on my life was profound, his music literally the soundtrack to my life. If you were a teen in the 80s, I’ll bet that my experience mirrors your own.

Prince

The first time I became really aware of Prince the musician was when I heard the song Little Red Corvette. The sound was like nothing I’d ever heard before, being a 14 year old white kid from the Bronx. I bought his 1999 album from the record store two blocks away and listened to it over and over.

Then came the blockbuster, Purple Rain. That was it for me. I was sold. Prince fan for life. I saw the movie a half dozen times in the theater. I bought the album and wore the grooves out. Because we didn’t have cable or MTV, I waited every Friday night for Friday Night Videos on a local channel so I could watch the videos for When Doves Cry or Let’s Go Crazy. I fell in love with Apollonia. There were two issues of Cream Magazine featuring Prince that I carried around in my back pocket for an entire summer, rereading the articles constantly.

I was hooked into the Minneapolis wave of music – Morris Day and the Time, Vanity 6, Ready for the World, Wendy & Lisa and even early Janet Jackson. I dove into his back catalog, a string of funky-pop albums that started when he was 19 like For You, Prince, Dirty Mind and Controversy. Those early albums are full of so much raw energy and wild sexuality, it’s hard to believe they were written and performed by such a young man.

Gold album

Even as I grew older and became a metalhead, Prince was still my go-to. No one’s music has meant more to me than his. Since his death, some local stations here in NY have been  playing nothing but Prince songs, some I haven’t heard in a long time, deep cuts from Around the World in A Day or Lovesexy. Radio has been so homogenized, watered down and turned into corporate shilling for plastic performers, the wave of Prince classics has been a breath of fresh air. It makes me wonder, why the hell did you not play these songs over the past 15-20 years?

It also made me realize I know the lyrics to every Prince song from 1977 until about 1999 (right when my kids were born and priorities…ummm…shifted). I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve teared up several times over the past 24 hours, driving to Alphabet Street or Pop Life.

I’ve tried to come up with a list of my all time favorites. It’s almost impossible. There are just so many. It was rare that I disliked even 1 song on an album. But here are the ones that I could listen to on an infinite loop :

  • I Wanna Be Your Lover
  • Purple Rain
  • Darling Nikki
  • I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man
  • The Morning Papers
  • 7
  • The Most Beautiful Girl in the World

Literally, the list could go on and on.

I was lucky to see him in concert in the 90s. I tell people, it was the closest thing to a religious experience I’ve ever had. People of every age, race, creed and color were literally one that night, many with tears streaming down their faces as we swayed with the music. Prince played over a dozen different instruments that night, and played them masterfully. The man was a legendary guitarist. He could shred like no other and drop funk like Napalm.

There was a time I was going to get a tattoo of the symbol he became during his dispute with Warner Brothers. I think it’s time I did it.

Prince symbol

Damn, I’m going to miss him. I don’t care about how he died. He’s gone, and can’t come back. But I’ll always have his music.

And let’s not forget that Vanity passed away earlier this year. I’m losing vital parts of the fabric of my soul, and it’s happening way too soon.

Vanity

 

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About Hunter Shea

Hunter Shea is the product of a childhood weened on The Night Stalker, The Twilight Zone and In Search Of. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself. Hunter Shea is the product of a childhood weened on The Night Stalker, The Twilight Zone and In Search Of. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself. His novels, Forest of Shadows, Evil Eternal , Swamp Monster Massacre , Sinister Entity, Hell Hole, The Waiting and Island of the Forbidden are published through Samhain Publishing’s horror line. Hell Hole was named Horror Novel Reviews #1 horror novel of 2014. His first thriller novel, The Montauk Monster, was released June, 2014 as a Pinnacle paperback, and was named by Publishers Weekly as one of the best reads of the summer. His follow up Pinnacle novel, Tortures of the Damned, a post apocalyptic thriller, will be out July, 2015. That will be followed up by his latest cryptid tale, The Dover Demon, in the fall through Samhain. His horror short story collection, Asylum Scrawls, is available as an e-book, straightjacket not included. Hunter is an amateur cryptozoologist, having written wild, fictional tales about Bigfoot, The Montauk Monster, The Dover Demon and many new creatures to come. A copy of his book, The Montauk Monster, is currently on display in the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, ME. He wrote his first novel with the express desire to work only with editor Don D’Auria at Dorchester (Leisure Horror). He submitted his novel to Don and only Don, unagented, placed on the slush pile. He is proof that dedicated writers can be rescued from no man’s land. He now works with Don, along with several other agents and publishers, having published over ten books in just four years. Hunter is proud to be be one half of the Monster Men video podcast, along with his partner in crime, Jack Campisi. It is one of the most watched horror video podcasts in the world. Monster Men is a light hearted approach to dark subjects. Hunter and Jack explore real life hauntings, monsters, movies, books and everything under the horror sun. They often interview authors, cryptid and ghost hunters, directors and anyone else living in the horror lane. Living with his wonderful family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to get Gray’s Papaya hotdogs when the craving hits. His daughters have also gotten the horror bug, assisting him with research, story ideas and illustrations that can be seen in magazines such as Dark Dossier.

6 responses to “Goodbye Prince”

  1. jonolsonauthor says :

    The thing I’ll always remember about Prince is the music he provided in Tim Burton’s Batman. Who can forget the awesome museum scene of the Joker and his goons destroying art while playing Prince’s music.

  2. Mallory A. Haws says :

    Beautifully heartfelt post! For me, I grieved for the untimely demises of Rick James, Teddy Pendergrass, and Keith Emerson (and Glenn Frey). I think I’m still in shock about Prince.

  3. ANNN33 says :

    So true he was good singer

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