… that it wouldn’t last.
I wish I had more time and energy to devote to this tonight. I wish I had his energy.
A lot of people have made the comparison to David Bowie today. So bold, so talented, so ambiguous, so sudden. But this one sits differently with me. Ironically Bowie was part of my sexual awakening as I grew up. Even though I grew to love and respect him, he would never stop being an object of fantasy for me. Prince was someone I was just passingly aware of as a child. But when I “discovered” him as an adult… it was like discovering the New World. The gifts were mind-blowing. The foreignness was natural and unthinking – without any sense of artifice. There were great, forested depths in which to lose myself. It changed my nationality.
Anyone who knows me will know that I’m hardly one to shy away from raunchy sexuality, and I fundamentally understood Prince’s raunch like a revelation from God. In fact, the two things seemed so intertwined in what he did. His body (and your body, and my body) was wondrous in its mysteries and power, and he seemed to be exploring them and reveling in them in the same way that he was exploring his own soul. He was way past the frontier and out in the wild wilds. There was so much to this which made people regard him as scary and dangerous… but it was just another nature – another New World. Philosophy, souls, are much more deadly.
Compare for a moment a couple of the songs below that he wrote for other artists. Both bring out familiar memories in many of us. It feels like both came out of my own gut. Both are breathtakingly bold in the way they lay open our secrets… but only one makes you want to kill yourself.
That was Prince. Shy but never shy. While Bowie seemed to come from Mars, everything about Prince was shockingly human.
… I can’t believe there will be no encore, my friend. You were our New World, our frontier, our manifest destiny. And we commodified and wasted you…
Some bastard will probably take this video down in a few hours too…