Feeling the shock of losing another life guidepost today.
To me, “The Meaning of Prince” was that I saw him as an unexcelled paragon of the courage of letting his artistic soul shine the way it wanted and needed to, of being who he authentically truly was, of following his inner guide, regardless of what was the safe, acceptable, or practical thing to do. And, lucky for us, his inner guide was a tapped into something deeper and more inspired than I think most of us could usually see.
He went from being, as a gangly wild-eyed kid, one of the sexually dirtiest funksters to ever dirty funky sex the sexually dirty funk, to someone constantly following his muse all over the map, to whatever far-out uncharted territory it lead him. He continued into his fifties, as few rock/pop stars do, to create art that was actually interesting, creative, and relevant – like the stripped-down raw solo piano show he was in the middle of, as of a few days ago. He was someone genuinely surprising and shocking again and again in ways that are hard to shock people any more – and it was only years later that people caught up, got it, and saw the genius.
I once watched this video on YouTube, the series was, “What would famous people be like if they weren’t famous”, so, it was Rogers Nelson as a diva-ish, lascivious but otherwise common HVAC technician, hahaha. I left a YouTube comment: “There’s no way for Prince not to be famous. He’s one of the most talented people humanity has seen, and world-class at like thirty different things – rock composition/songwriting, funk composition, ballad composition, keyboards, evocative lyrics, raw emotional self-expression in singing, studio production, insight into the human condition, mentoring other artists, raw expression of sexuality, theatrics, fashion/costuming, aesthetics/design, working hard as fuck … plus, from among the tens of millions who have tried, being one of the best rock guitarists ever. If he wasn’t famous for all of those things, he’d be famous for at least one of them.”
As the saying goes … Goodnight, sweet Prince.