Prince belonged in a class of guitar players that include Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, and Eric Clapton. In fact, I always thought he resembled Hendrix while making love to that guitar. Prince danced on stage better than anyone I recall with the exception of Sammy Davis Jr. - which is a throwback but if you ever see old footage, you'll know of which I speak. People always speak of Michael Jackson but Prince left him in the dust AND played an instrument while doing it.
2016 has been brutal to the music world. Back in January and February, there was a music icon passing away every day. Some days more than one person died. The Cosmos have apparently selected this year for very strange purposes. It doesn't numb the pain though or the loss of great cultural influences.
Prince gave millions to non-profits, especially in his hometown of Minneapolis. People speak of his big heart and it isn't rhetoric though I could share a personal story, a rather funny one, when he was not in the mood to be so generous. It happens. We're all human and have our days when we aren't so spot on. His good far out-weighed his short-comings.
A lot seems to be made about his dying alone in an elevator. Well, hate to break it to you, but dying is a solo task. In the end, in that last moment, you are very much alone. They talk about how he was in this huge complex of a house he had and yet no one else was there. The media speaks of it as though that was a slight. I say quite the contrary. It is remarkable that someone of that stature was comfortable in his place, in his community, that he didn't worry about security or demand huge entourages to walk down the hallway.
Prince always did it his way. Whether it was fighting the music companies, changing his name to a symbol, being a black guy pushing the gender-bender boundaries, or mixing sex and religion, Prince set out from the beginning to be himself. And it speaks volumes that other musicians loved to play with the guy and in spite of his stature, he never tried to steal the limelight from another's moment.
I will miss his influences. I can't say I own every one of his recordings though I do have a few. His constant fusion of rock, funk, jazz, was invigorating and inspiring. Seeing him on stage reminded you of what true performers are made of in this day of shallowness and faux personas.
This is a purple moment in our lives, our culture, our world. Rest in peace Prince. You were truly one of the best of the best.