Friday, April 22, 2016

Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today 2 get through this thing called Life!

Dearly Beloved, I was 17 when Purple Rain was released. It was the soundtrack of my high school class; the class of 85! I was lucky enough to know about this person called Prince, a couple of years before the P.R. mania happened, a friend of mine (I was 16, she was 17) told me about him and brought me to a show at First Avenue in downtown Minneapolis. This little guy performed his act in a G-string and a rain coat. He was preforming songs from his first album, Dirty Mind. I don't remember that night being ALL that wonderful. We had semi-bad placement in the crowd and the acoustics weren't memorable either. I never thought that only a few years later, after his meteoric rise to fame, I would meet him face to face. Purple Rain was new, unique, tragic, innovative and wildly eclectic, just like the man who created it. As teens, we thought we were the coolest things that ever arrived on the earth because we had Prince and anyone older than 20 didn't! We got him! Raspberry Beret was also one of my favorite songs, instead of singing my boss was Mr. McGee, I would sing, my boss was Corey Tracey (my McDonald's manager at the time). As the years went by, I spent my fair share of time at First Avenue, always hoping to get a glimpse of his presence in the upstairs V.I.P. lounge. Never being beautiful, rich or well-connected, I guess I just hoped luck would somehow be on my side so I could meet him one day. That one day happened in 1991. The four of us decided to go to ladies night at The Pacific Club in downtown Minneapolis. The evening was pretty run-of-the-mill until a small man in a pale robins egg blue custom suit sauntered to the back corner booth. He was wearing matching spike blue leather boots and his double breasted jacket had a ruffled neckline. He had his signature curly hair swept to one side of his face. I wont admit to how many whisky sours I had consumed, but lets just say it was a plural amount. Oh wait! I forgot to mention an important piece of the story! The night before, Prince was to perform on The Arsenio Hall show. I was exhausted and was struggling to stay up for the 11 pm late night show, so I laid down to take a short nap. Regrettably, I didn't wake up in time and missed the show, and what a show I missed! Prince had worn a pair of ___less chaps and turned around after his performance to share his assets with the world! DANG! I was so mad at myself...that was on a Friday and ladies night was the very next night. So, yeah, in my state of delirium (from the drink) I decided to approach Prince by pushing my way through his body guards to state, "I missed your ___less pants show!" He stared at me with a complete poker face; the face he is famous for. Serious, dead serious! We locked eyes for a split second when two of his body guards reached down and lifted me up over the table and escorted me to the back of the club. Then a few months later, one of my best friends cousins' (who was his business manager) agreed to take me on a private tour of Paisley Park. It was beautiful and amazing and that was my conclusion with my fascination with Prince. I more or less forgot about him until Lotus Flower was made in 2010 -- at which point, I found a whole new appreciation for this gifted artist. I was super sad to hear of his passing, and yet I had to remind myself that Prince had discovered his one thing -- and poured his heart and soul into it. He created an amazing life by design and that was nothing to be sad about; that was something to celebrate! I am inspired to live a life by design because of people like him. Thank you to your Purple Highness for your amazing contribution to our lives! Dearly beloved We are gathered here today 2 get through this thing called life Electric word life It means forever and that's a mighty long time But I'm here 2 tell u There's something else The afterworld A world of never ending happiness U can always see the sun, day or night RIP PRINCEπŸ’ŸπŸ’ŸπŸ’ŸπŸ’ŸπŸ’ŸπŸ’Ÿ Lisa Ekanger