I bought one Prince album in 1981 or so, and then went out the next day and bought all the Prince albums. One was “Controversy,” and the title track included this line:
Am I black or white?
Am I straight or gay?
With Prince, you never were entirely sure. Well, he was certainly black, but his sensibility, and his artistic vision, spanned too wide a panorama to be pigeonholed as pretty much anything. He was rock, pop, dance, funk, gospel when he was feeling it, playful, serious, falsetto, growly. Today I found a clip of a performance from earlier in his career, and he’s wearing a tiger-print kimono thing, matching briefs and thigh-high socks. But he also played guitar on a par with Eric Clapton, and performed like James Brown. Only better.
(Evidence.) Watch that. It’s great.
Someone on my FB feed today called him the African-American David Bowie. I think that’s pretty perfect. Always original, sometimes imitated, never duplicated. Plus fancy outfits;
Now we wait for the cause of death. As always, watch the local sources:
In a transcript of a 911 call released by the Carver County Sheriff’s Office, an unidentified male caller tells the dispatcher there is “a person … dead here,” says he doesn’t know how the person died and struggles to find the exact address of Prince’s home, which the dispatcher urgently seeks.
“You’re at Paisley Park, OK, that’s in Chanhassen,” the dispatcher says. “Are you with the person who’s …” and the male caller quickly interrupts to say, “Yes, it’s Prince.”
Multiple responders were quickly dispatched. An ambulance dispatcher soon canceled further medical help, saying, “confirmed DOA.”
Drug overdose? Who knows.
Lots of interesting tidbits in that story. I liked this one:
He became a Jehovah’s Witness in 2001, and on at least one occasion went proselytizing door-to-door. An Eden Prairie woman told Star Tribune columnist C.J. in 2003 that she was stunned when Prince and former Sly and the Family Stone bassist Larry Graham knocked on her door. Prince introduced himself as Prince Nelson and spent 25 minutes at the woman’s house talking about his faith.
With that, I’m heading out for the weekend. I hope yours is good.