RIP Prince—A Reminder To Live Your Dreams

Posted on: Monday, May 2nd, 2016
Posted in: Sabbatical Shuffle | Leave a comment

The passing of Prince was sad in so many ways. But one sentiment I’ve heard over and over that hits hardest: Regret. One friend shared, “After seeing Purple Rain in 1984, I was so inspired I moved to the Twin Cities to escape my dreary small town life—and see Prince whenever possible. But I never made it to a show.”

That hurts. Because between 1984 and his death, Prince performed hundreds of times in the Twin Cities. There were always excuses to pass on the opportunity—too expensive, too far, “I’m too busy.” But he was available. And in my experience, the investment paid off with a priceless experience and a timeless memory.

Much like BreakAways. And people put them off for the same reasons. But compared to three-month journey, a Prince show provides an example of an attainable and affordable, yet potentially life-changing, event. The lesson remains: Don’t postpone your dreams—or concert desires. Or at some point, it’s too late.

I was lucky; I saw Prince several times—and followed his creativity and career for reasons including inspiration, awe, and curiosity. The loss shocked and digs deep. So I’m still more melancholy than ready to “celebrate” and dance in the streets.

But I’m so grateful that I grabbed the opportunities when they arose. Because there will be no more. May that reminder motivate more yesses to what may be fleeting chances.

  • My Prince Tribute

11 days ago, the sky cried purple rain. I’m still feeling those tears.

I so feared this. Yet here we are. Prince has been a nonstop player on my life’s soundtrack since I first heard his music, thanks to a saucy waitress, while working in a restaurant during college. I was hooked. And have been blessed to have him in the cities, so seeing him early and often was easy. So many memories now flow.

Sitting on a speaker on the stage while he shredded the ceiling with an 11-piece band at Glam Slam. Getting a gentle high 5 from him when took a break right by me just off the stage at Rupert’s; he seemed so tiny, so tired—until he took that stage again. Singing along (on a birthday night out!) while he played several ballads with solo grand piano. Dancing way past midnight with the house lights on and the security agog at Target Center…and then he invited all remaining fans to Paisley Park—where he played until 6 am and ended the evening on the dance floor. Driving through a blizzard to make the Purple Rain show in St. Paul and passing his purple limo while en route. Watching him have a full-on snit at Met Center because the cops had broken up his PP party the night before, “I’ve got a bad attitude tonight, y’all!” Seeing a rarely-shown video of him jamming the blues with a power trio in the upstairs studio of his short-lived Uptown store; I’ve never heard anybody play the blues better.

Nothing compares to Prince.

He embodied life’s mysteries—and was obsessed with God, sex, love, fashion, art, privacy, controversy, control, and, of course, music. He played every instrument. Wrote 1,000s of songs. Mixed and recorded his own material. He cared little about what other people thought. But cared deeply about his fans and his legacy—which is beyond measure. Having him around was one of the best reasons to stay in Minnesota. We never knew what he was going to do next—but couldn’t wait to find out—and he took delight in surprising us. Heck, he shopped LPs at the Electric Fetus and appeared at a PP dance party just a few days before his death…

By fearlessly chasing his visions and passions, he became the most talented rock star that ever lived. Yet he felt more like a friend.

May his courage and creativity live on by inspiring us fans to aim for the same.

I’ll miss him very much.

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