“Let’s watch Purple Rain.”
That was Friday night. We were talking about Prince. But it was like midnight and Mauro didn’t feel like watching Purple Rain.
“You have seen it, RIGHT?!”
“Yeah, like, maybe twice?”
“Let’s watch Purple Rain!”
“No, let’s watch NYPD Blue.”
“FINE. I’ll watch Purple Rain all by myself in the morning.”
And that’s the story of why I posted a video on Facebook of David Gilmour playing Purple Rain on Saturday morning. Because once you get the song Purple Rain in your head, it’s just there and it’s fucking amazing and everyone knows it.
The Purple Rain soundtrack is a serious wallop of emotions for me. I was 17. I was incredibly, desperately in love with a foxy blond dude named Dave, my first love. Purple Rain had just exploded. I think Purple Rain was playing the first time we kissed. I know Purple Rain was playing when I lost my virginity to him.
Things didn’t end up going so well. And you know what you do when you’re too young to understand and your heart has been pulverized into a pile of stinky mulch and you realize how unbelievably cruel this world can really be. You listen to Purple Rain over and over and over. You sob. Your soul hurts.
You go to the Purple Rain concert at The Forum with your friend Jana who was there for all of it (and we thought it was bad enough when Vanity died a couple of months ago) and hurt over what could have been.
Your entire life and your crumbling emotional status is inextricably and simultaneously bound/pummeled/crushed/uplifted by the murky, melancholy kickoff to the song “The Beautiful Ones.”
It’s painful, like shrapnel. And it’s heavy, like gravity. You know you’ll never love again like that.
It feels like a lifetime ago, which it kind of was. And yeah, Purple Rain reminds me of a lot. A lot of pain and upheaval and agony. 30 years later I’m sitting in my little house in Toluca Lake, talking to my husband about Prince. My husband, who I love more than I’ve ever loved anyone, who I’d gladly suffer a thousand anguishes for. And I have.
And now Prince is dead. God dammit, how amazing was Prince.
My favorite Prince songs:
Computer Blue. “Wendy?” “Yes, Lisa…” “Is the water warm?” “Yes, Lisa…” Shall we begin?” “Yes, Lisa…” So rad.
I Hate U. It’s epic.
I Wanna Be Your Lover. Funk happiness.
Erotic City. There’s a song that’ll set you free.
Do Me, Baby. So fucking sexy.
I Would Die 4 U. With the hand gesture.
D.M.S.R. It just sums up everything.
Something in the Water (Does Not Compute). Pushing the limits of sexy.
Purple Rain. Please. Best. Song. Ever.
There will never be another Prince, at least not for me. What an insanely talented fucker. The love child of sex and music. That shit wailed through him like a electrical current of lust and funk. And it ruled. Hard.
He was a 5’2″ music maker from Minneapolis, Minnesota who made an album that completely consumed the life of a brokenhearted girl from West L.A. And he was so much more. He was an activist, a producer, a Jehovah’s Witness, a philanthropist, a writer, a lover, an innovator, a symbol and a truth teller.
Prince Rogers Nelson, no longer a slave.
I’m going to watch Purple Rain now.
We are gathered here today
To get through this thing called life
Electric word life
It means forever and that’s a mighty long time
But I’m here to tell you
There’s something else
The after world
A world of never ending happiness
You can always see the sun, day or night
So when you call up that shrink in Beverly Hills
You know the one, Dr. Everything’ll Be Alright
Instead of asking him how much of your time is left
Ask him how much of your mind, baby
‘Cause in this life
Things are much harder than in the after world
In this life
You’re on your own
And if the elevator tries to bring you down
Go crazy, punch a higher floor.