Dear Prince: Nothing Compares 2 U

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How can this be?  How can another musical icon’s time end so soon?  I feel like I just got over David Bowie’s untimely passing, and now Prince.  The sting of someone so influential and so unique is definitely something I’m feeling on a level I never thought I’d feel.  Is it because this is yet another missed opportunity to see a musical great live?  Is it because Prince was merely 57 years old and performed a show just last week?  It’s all so overwhelming and confusing, and scary at the same time.  There is a growing list of icons leaving Planet Earth in 2016, and it’s only April.

Prince was like Bowie: A controversial musical genius and fashion icon.  He did what he wanted (including changing his name to a symbol), and fans loved every minute of it.  Prince’s music crossed genres in so many ways from R&B to pop to rock.  All in all, most will agree: his music was just plain good.  An early Prince memory was a bus ride home from Disneyland when I was in the 8th grade, singing songs from the radio.  One song we went back to over and over was “Little Red Corvette”.  I wasn’t truly aware of what it all meant, I just knew it was a great song.

Since I’m still trying to process the news, I’ll just post about how Prince influenced my fledgling dreams of being a rock star when I was a teen:

I wrote a couple of songs when I was in junior high and high school.  I fancied myself to be like Depeche Mode, making the keyboard my instrument of choice. My first one was a Casio, which I chose as a Christmas present.  I would set up a mock recording studio in the privacy of my bedroom with a tape deck and a microphone.  I finished my first recorded song and presented it live in one of my English classes my senior year.  I recall being scared out of my wits because I was not only performing live in front of my friends, but I was putting my creative soul out there for judgement.  It went very well, and my friends were so supportive.

In my first few years of college, I wrote many songs, but recorded only one demo.  I wrote a song called “Destiny’s Arms”, which was a duet ballad.  It was inspired by “The Arms of Orion” by Prince from the 1989 Batman soundtrack, also a duet with Sheena Easton.  I love the idea love prevailing above all, no matter where, when, time or space.  I recorded “Destiny’s Arms” with one of my former teachers in his mini-home studio over the period of about a month.  I even sent the demo tape and lyrics to be copyrighted at the Library of Congress.  I never sent my demo anywhere, but in hindsight, I wish I had sent it to Prince.  I don’t know if he would have ever responded, since it was a basic little love song.  But I wish I had sent it just so he knew that a 19-year-old kid in San Diego found inspiration from one of his works of art.

Farewell dear Prince, rest in peace.

In the heart of a sleepless moon
I’ll be with you forever
This is my destiny
‘Till my life is through

The Arms of Orion by Prince

(Top image from my personal collection)

3 comments

  1. Still can’t believe he’s gone. You’re right, we’ve lost too many greats this year, too soon. Thanks for a lovely tribute to an artist that had a huge impact on me too. Prince was the definition of an icon – there was no none like him and he brought people together from different cultures and backgrounds like no one else could. I’m sorry you didn’t get to send him your demo. I know he’s listening to it now in his big purple heaven smiling.

    1. Awww, thanks Kali. Prince really did blur so many lines, and he was taken just a little too soon. But like Daruis Rucker said “Once again, heaven’s band just even more incredible…”

      xoxo

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