Being the private-must-process-my own-feelings-first-without-interference Scorpio that I am, I had NO intention of joining the social media, blogging, infotainment world today. I do know that certain aspects of life cannot be controlled. I was doing a little spring cleaning in our basement looking for a photo album. Opened a box and Prince’s Controversy was the first CD I touched. Sigh. Long. Sad. Sigh. His artistry and courage in the late seventies and early eighties augmented my courage to be just the man I knew I wanted to be, but was conditioned by a confluence of forces to be someone else…
That’s why my admiration and love for him demands that I separate his artistry into BPR (Before Purple Rain) and APR (After Purple Rain). Aging may not be for the faint hearted in our culture, however, my age allows me to do this. Particularly because the Motown sound was extremely receptive to his Minneapolis sound. As a matter of fact and lore, he would test out his new tunes in Detroit. One of my favorites was the 10 minute live rendition of ‘Crazy You’. It was a B-side tune to Soft and Wet. It was two minutes and 17 seconds long. Or the censor beep of Erotic City also a B-side tune…we can fuck until the dawn/making love until cherry’s gone, a hook so beautifully delivered by percussionist Sheila E.
BPR (Before Purple Rain)
It was 1977 when Soft and Wet flooded the R&B radio. Who was this guy? Was he straight or gay? (Which he brought up that question on a later tune, I knew he was provocative, playing to his androgynous strengths.) After all he was born a Gemini with a Pisces Moon and Scorpio rising. Translation, his consciousness would imagine any thought or word, a true sense, amoral, beyond judgment. However, his instincts were floating in a sea of collective feeling aka the mainstream, compassionate, seeking utopia, needing escapes and redemption, ‘l live to be at one with…’ that is Pisces. The sexual goad is easily projected with a Scorpio mask aka rising sign.
All that aside, I cannot recall a teen girl at my high school that did not have a Prince Textbook cover (great 70’s marketing strategy).
Seven years later, oh 7 we’ll watch them fall/they stand in the way of love/and we will smote them all/with an intellect and savoir faire/no one in the whole universe will ever compare, the world would receive Purple Rain.
APR (After Purple Rain)
Although my baby sister and I have different mothers and are nearly a decade a part in age, I owe Prince the beginning of our chosen connection as we grew into adulthood. When families blend and consistency is almost nonexistent, you look to almost anything to genuinely connect. Purple Rain accomplished this for my sister and me.
Motown had moved to Los Angeles. Reagan was POTUS. Jobs had already been shipped overseas. I remember a fight with my father because I purchased a Honda Prelude, a no-no in Detroit. Forty percent of the car had been assembled in Tennessee, but no matter. I could escape his tirades through a mixed Prince tape.
As I learned in undergraduate marketing, I’d be called a ‘brand loyal’ person. I purchased his Crystal Ball Three Pack CD which I received a XXL tee shirt that I still have to this day. I must admit after he joined the Jehovah’s Witnesses/JW’s (some report in 2001, I seem to recall a Watchtower/JW publication in a video of his as early as 1998). Due to my personal experiences with the suppression of creativity and sexuality from the Jehovah’s Witness cult, I lost my passion for his music (still purchased it, however, it was more out of habit and wishful thinking than enjoyment).
Within the last month I prescribed my favorite ballad of his “Adore” to a second time client who needed to have her faith restored in the divine and absolute power of love. I rarely do this. And, I also followed up to see if she had downloaded the tune. That was my first time doing that.
I am so sorry he passed. Years of dancing with high heel boots took their toll. I wish with all my heart that it was not because he would not get double hip replacement (Jehovah’s Witnesses do not allow their members to get blood transfusions). It was rumored that he would not get them replaced due to this religious belief. The immense amount of pain he had to endure, I cannot imagine. The astrologer in me (another thing not approved of by JW’s) knows the potentially addictive power of a Pisces Moon to drugs (Elvis and Michael had Pisces Moons). Like Dr. King (another Pisces Moon who died in a Monkey year, 1968, like Prince), whose sacrifice moved our country to awaken and to continue to riot.
Once Prince’s cause of death is determined and if it is connected to opiate use, may it bring in a revolution of our drug policy? When will we have a more enlightened perspective regarding opiates and religion? It is not lost on me that he died on a Scorpio Full Moon. This Full Moon in the sign of death and transformation was rumored that Buddha was born, became enlightened and died on…I wish he would have become a practicing Buddhist instead of a Jehovah’s Witness, maybe he would have still been alive…I know one of the best decisions I have made in my life affirming life is leaving that cult and adopting Buddhist principles.
He will always be in hair…whenever I feel like giving up/whenever my sunshine turns to rain/whenever my hopes/ and dreams are aimed in wrong direction/she will always be there/tellin’ me how much she cares/she’s always in my hair.
What can I say? Even in his passing, I still have a profound thing for his B-sides tunes.
(Dedicated to the late Norene Yvette Johnson whom I attended the small venue where he played Crazy You.)