But no matter what I can't escape the inevitability of such a pure and true influence in my life as Prince. He was the purest form and personality of an experimental artist that an artist could be. I feel as if a member of the community of experimental artists have passed away.
To be experimental in anything artistic, a person has to be willing to push the envelope. Disregard polite society, escape the normal and come to terms with the fact that whatever they create would be ridiculed and never become popular.
But Prince did with his experimentation with music the same as George Lucas did with film. He made his boundary crossing music famous, and by extension he became a legend.
I grew up on Prince's music at a time when music was in my bones. To this day, I still can't do without music. I have a special playlist that I listen to before I start to write. Back in the day I would listen to Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 and make mix tapes of the songs I loved on the countdown. I went to sleep with the radio on. Though I'm not a musician, music has really impacted on my life.
I was young for all Prince's hit songs. I loved and listened to Diamonds and Pearls, The Most Beautiful Girl in the World, and wow - Batdance, I really, really loved Batdance. Thank you Prince for Batdance.
Prince embraced the role of experimentation with sexuality in his music in a way I could only dream of putting in my writing. He could have just produced songs that were sexual in nature and not perform them, which is sometimes a draw for people who are religious by nature. To be a true experimental artist whatever you do has to go beyond sexy. And he wrapped himself up in this cloak of sexy that only women would do and yet he still kept his manly visual essence. He was a sexy guy, period.
Prince was an artist ahead of his time, but born in the right era. His drama with Warner Brothers and writing Slave on his face, to adopting the symbol...he was a pure, no holds barred artistic genius. The world has lost an idol of a master of music. And it is just amazing that he kept his personality pure, in a world where there are so many people play-acting at being nice. He pushed the limits of generosity in so many unnecessary ways, you see it in the memories shared by other artists of their time spent in his presence, his friendship with Van Jones...
Prince's influence on me is right up there with the time when Madonna sang Like A Virgin and the catholic church spoke up against it. And when Murphy Brown became a single mother and the church spoke out against it. It is when I hear people who generally speak for the normal right, conservative side of society turn their nose up at great artistic vision that it generally molds my view of what experimentation should be and I will never forget Prince for his driving force in the artistic value that he has rendered upon this Earth.
Thank you Prince. May God Be With You.