I know, I know…I’m late to be writing about the impact of Prince’s death on me; but in truth, it’s taken me a while to process it all. Prince was the first musician I saw perform in person. In fact, I got to see him at First Ave way back in the day – long before he was big. I saw him before his movie and records and fame. He was then who he was after – an incredibly talented and self-assured person who didn’t let doubt stop him or even slow him down. I’ve always admired that quality in a person – the absolute self-assuredness that asks for no praise or permission TO TAKE UP SPACE on this planet.
I’ll never forget that concert. I was 15. I wore a red beret and penny loafers I had attempted to make cooler by putting German Pfennigs in the little slots. I was auditioning my European self and trying to decide if it would chart an easier course through the social hell that is being 15. (It did not.)
A few years older than I, Price was dressed in purple from head to toe, steady in his high heels, and already cool as fuck.
I never wore the beret again after that night. Instead, I began the search for my real self. I find myself now, in the aftermath of his death, wondering if I’d be the person I am if I hadn’t gone to that concert. I highly doubt it.
So, thank you, Prince, for showing me the way to becoming an artist myself. I will miss your contribution to the world, but I will also imagine you splashing in all the purple puddles in the hereafter and doing it in your high heels. Heaven just got waaaaaaay cooler, but back here on earth, the doves are crying.