It’s been too many hours, and 365 Days…..
His Royal Badness, His Purple Highness, Prince. There have been three days (So Far) in life that will always stand out to me with a clear line of before and after. There is before and after my Dad passed away, before and after my dog Lucy who was my best friend and biggest comfort passed, and a clear undeniable line marked in Purple with Gold glitter of the before and after Prince.
Making the announcement on C100, was, and could possibly always be, the single most difficult thing I’ve done to date in my broadcasting career. There I was, processing the news myself, and trying to deliver it, trying to control the grief that fought its way from my chest and free of my throat. There was absolutely no way that I could have kept emotions at bay that day. I think I had always been preparing myself for his loss, as strongly as I also was in denial of his mortality, I wanted to let myself believe that he would live forever, someone who was so huge, someone who seemed to me to have the secrets of life hidden in his always changing hair, his grin always looked like he was moments away from telling us everything in a whispered falsetto. I liked to believe that he was trying to tell us those secrets through his guitar. A gifted guitarist yes, but maybe that was another language where he could share with us, and we could understand without words what he wanted to say.
Guitarist, Vocalist, instrumentalist, producer, song writer, band leader, mentor, Party thrower and cooker of pancakes. To call him multifaceted is still selling him short. There were many Princes, funky, sexy, thoughtful, religious, but my Prince, the one I shared the most heartsick times of my life with, was the lonely, heartbroken, unrequited Prince. Those songs always meant so much to me, those are the ones that I’d listen to in the tough times, my darkest times. He made it ok for me to not to be ok, because he felt it too.
I have read so much about him and his family and his circle of friends since his passing, to be honest I watch and read everything associated with him. The part that is still the most devastating to me, he died, alone, in an elevator. Prince, who commanded audiences around the world, had everything a person could ask for, died. Alone. I’ve tried to come to terms with version of Prince we saw in the days leading to his passing. Thin, obviously hurting, and now we know, addicted. The emergency landing it turns out wasn’t for the flu, it was because of an overdose, and he flew home reportedly because the hospital didn’t have private rooms and he didn’t want the true cause of the planes detour on the internet. Notoriously private so it makes sense. But if Prince wanted a private room, should they have found a way to make it happen? Would he be here today if they had of been able to? Questions no answers, what if’s, all amount to nothing and don’t change a thing.
I recently had someone ask if I was disappointed that I’d never be able to meet him, in truth, I’m not sure that I ever really wanted to. I had no reason to. I’m not a musician, I don’t have a reason to brought into his circle. To meet him as a fan, I wouldn’t have even remembered the experience and probably would have said something so horrifyingly embarrassing that it would haunt me for forever. No I believe that seeing him in concert here in Halifax on his Welcome2Canada tour was all I needed. I barely remember it. I sobbed through most of the show, he was there, just feet from me, playing the piano. If there was a moment of pure happiness in my life it was that moment.
I’ve been struggling as well with things like watching his videos on youtube, he would have HATED that they were there, but it was so great to share him with friends, and send songs they didn’t know, or even introduce people to him the first time. Do we need to know what’s in the vault? As a fan my goodness yes, crack it open and send us his words and sounds! But there must be respect in it. The people he worked with in recording studios should be the people to work on the music coming from the vault. The completed Albums, the tour movies, all of it should be Okayed by his inner inner circle. But I think we all know that it won’t be. And I’m not strong enough to not buy all of it as it comes to us and for that Prince, I am so damned sorry.
April 21st, 2016. April 21st 2017. Same day, same feeling, a year apart, the only thing left to do now is drink “Banana Daiquiris until I’m blind”, and remember, and listen and hear his smile, a hero to me that was larger than life, and is now truly free.