Thursday, April 21, 2016

Saying Goodbye to Minnesota's Patron Saint

Grief. Sadness. Heartbreak. The day sex died. It's hard to put it into proper words.

One of my greatest regrets in my short life is that I never got to see the Purple One perform live in person. The only Prince story I really have involves specifically not getting to see him play -- I was at some sort of showcase type show of local music (I want to say it was one of the Doomtree blowouts, but I honestly don't remember) and suddenly there was an insane buzz all through the venue. Now, I have to assume that anywhere in the world, if Prince is in the house, people start to go crazy. But when Prince is in the house in Minnesota, people go even crazier. But when Prince is in the house in Minnesota and furthermore it's in First Avenue, a place nearly synonymous with his funkness, it's truly insane. As soon as the first person sighted Prince lurking in the wings, every person in the place knew within moments. In the greatest tease I'll ever experience, Prince stood in the wings for awhile, before eventually strapping on a (unplugged) guitar and beginning to noodle around as if trying to figure out the songs. It was only a matter of moments before he would join the performers on stage, surely. But, as is his beguiling way, he instead simply took the guitar off and disappeared back into the ether of the wings.

Really, this might be the most fitting anecdote I could have. After all, Prince is one of the few people to ever exist where you repeatedly tell the story of the time you kinda sorta could see him offstage. That's the kind of presence the man had.

Yet through it all, Prince remained a fairly...well, normal guy, as much as you could ever apply that word to a pansexual little person funk god. After all, he was a huge Vikings fan and regularly attended games. He continued living in Minnesota most of his life, despite being a world-famous rock star. He beat the siblings of celebrities at basketball and made them pancakes.

This is one of those times when I really wish I was in Minneapolis to join in the collective mourning for the hometown boy done good. I've got nothing to say that will compare to the inevitable countless eulogies and obituaries penned for the man by writers much more insightful and loquacious than I. I just know that I, like a lot of folks right now, feel like I lost a family member and it'll take a good while to recover.

Good night, sweet Prince.

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