Friday, April 22, 2016

ululate 4U!

Prince—the Artist—has died. At five feet, two inches, Prince was shorter than my mom, but he wasn't shy about being a randy little bastard. Essentially an id with legs, Prince debuted with his innovative, funky style in the 1970s and dominated the 80s before going even weirder in the 90s, changing his name to [symbol].

I was never a huge fan of Prince's music, but I happily acknowledge that he was a transgressive innovator who pushed the boundaries of mainstream songwriting and musical composition. I recall perking up when I learned that Prince's music would feature in 1989's "Batman," starring Michael Keaton. I bought the double album for that movie—one tape (yes, these were the days of cassettes) with Danny Elfman's orchestral score, another with Prince's songs. I specifically recall a funny line from "Vicki Waiting":

I told the joke about the woman
Who asked her lover, "Why is your organ so small?"
He replied, "I didn't know I was playin' in a cathedral."
Vicki didn't laugh at all.

One regret I have is that I've never seen Prince's movie "Purple Rain" all the way through. I've seen only bits and pieces of it. Prince starred in that film with smoking-hot Apollonia Kotero, who's now in her fifties. Prince was also associated with the singer Vanity, who also died this year (just this past February, in fact) at age 57, the same age at which Prince died. A multitalented lyricist, Prince famously wrote the words and composed the music for Sinéad O'Connor's wonderful "Nothing Compares 2U." Prince had crafted the song and set it aside; O'Connor got famous doing her own arrangement of it.

I'd like to imagine that Prince is up in heaven—having changed into his true form, a randy satyr—and he's chasing screaming angels around and among the clouds, promising glorious buggery, even as I write this. The angels' paths, as they try to evade Prince, describe musical notes, and the notes form a tune that will get heaven partying like it's... well. You know.


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