Text by Brendan Phelan
In what seems like only moments, a man who took over the ‘70s and ‘80s, went from performing glam rock on the main stages to hanging out with big guy in the sky. He’d always carried the angelic or extravagant sort of charisma, a real “Rock”afeller. Weeks before our warrior of wonder took flight for the greener grasses, Prince came to visit our humble abode, at Place Des Arts for his Piano and a Microphone Tour. He had surprised the city once before with just three days notice and a gang of funky musicians under the name of 3rdeyegirl.
Prince gave us two shows here in Montreal, afterwards presenting himself inside local night club Muzique. He synchronized himself and his piano keys to DJ Uppercuts’ smooth turntables for a crowd of nearly three-hundred and fifty listeners with an entourage of Kirky J on drums and KBLX DJ Pam the Funkstress, flown in from San Francisco, on turntables.
He came with a gust and is gone with the wind. (To quote another great mystery, Mr. Dylan.)
I believe Prince was more than a symbol or a glittered pair of high heeled boots. I was never a huge fan of Prince, except I remember being a teenager, trying to figure out how to get woman to look at me the way they looked at Prince. Even if he’s not your style, a man can appreciate somebody who carries his career with pride and passion even after the spotlights go out.
Prince died at the hand of a nasty flu. It was almost as if once his spirit had finally signed his lease and unpacked all of his goodies up there in that mansion in the sky, his soul held a massive farewell tour, because that very night his fans gathered in wicked numbers to celebrate his death by singing “Purple Rain” in the streets of downtown Minneapolis.
It’s these kind of things that keep us motivated to continue doing whatever it is we truly love, because one day maybe one of us will be able to affect someone the way Prince has affected his hometown of Minneapolis and people all around the world.
I may sound like a dreamer, (“but I’m not the only one”) but honestly music is a telephone and Prince was the operator for a lot of people. Imagine wearing shoes like those! He dreams, breathes and eats just like everybody else. I don’t believe he’s a God figure or better than anybody, but I think if you are able to bring people together, then you’ve got something special.
Please look for hope in this empty glass bottle, because Prince will be standing beside Apollo up in the big blue sky watching gracefully over the next musician to fill his big old shoes.