Skip

The first performance of "Purple Rain"
September 6, 2012 9:36 AM   Subscribe

Wendy Melvoin is fresh from high school. She is a wearing a V-necked sleeveless top, and patterned shorts. She is playing the first chords of a new song on her purple guitar, opening chords that she wrote, a circular motif with a chorus effect. Wendy is nineteen and she has the high cheekbones and diffident confidence of a Hollywood upbringing. She half-smiles at the faces that crowd close to the low club stage. This is Wendy’s first gig with the new band, and the song she is playing is “Purple Rain,” and nobody in the audience has ever heard “Purple Rain” before because this is the night that Prince and the Revolution record the song.
posted by Egg Shen (80 comments total) 121 users marked this as a favorite

 
That shit is the mad notes!
posted by Talez at 9:44 AM on September 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


It is extremely tempting to move to Minneapolis to improve the odds of having Prince knock on my door to talk religion.
posted by oddman at 9:52 AM on September 6, 2012 [10 favorites]


Ads during a video? Really, dailymotion?
posted by Curious Artificer at 9:53 AM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Hm. Until I looked just now, I didn't know that Wendy & Lisa scored Heroes among other TV shows.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:54 AM on September 6, 2012


Ads during a video? Really, dailymotion?

I almost put my fist through my monitor when that happened. That shit was several kinds of wrong.
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:58 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


For the first few bars, she looks equal parts terrified, defiant, and confident. How wonderful that this video is around and available on the internet.
posted by rtha at 9:58 AM on September 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


HiLobrow contributor Matthew De Abaitua is writing twenty-eight essays about Prince’s “Purple Rain.” This is the first...

Tune in next week for the nest exciting adventure! Though how he'll top this -- twenty-seven times! -- I don't know:
The solo is a messianic ejaculation, an absolving, annihilating ecstasy. The sky was all purple and there were people running everywhere, sang Prince, predicting the millennial panic of 1999. ...

“Purple Rain” is the redemptive baptism on the night of the apocalypse, forgiveness for the terrible sins committed by the singer and by us. Prince is clear that we are all implicated. Times are changing. It’s time we all reached out for something new, and that means you too.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:59 AM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wendy Melvoin is one of the greatest musicians of our generation, and one of my favorite guitarists. This is awesome.
posted by The World Famous at 10:00 AM on September 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm not a huge Prince fan, but I absolutely love that this is available and the analysis is great. I've played prince songs in cover bands, and I've always acknowledged that he's one of the best (and underrated) guitar players of our time, but this certainly puts him in a new light for me. Thanks.
posted by jeffamaphone at 10:01 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sorry to say, I spotted an in-video commercial break on a *YouTube* video last week.
posted by mark7570 at 10:01 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, and I forgot: The lyrics suit middle-aged Prince.

We saw him at the Coliseum last year; the audience ranged in age from about 12 to somewhere north of 70. I've been listening to Prince off and on for a couple of decades+ now, and yeah, the mark of a really great song is how well it sustains across the various pieces of your life. I hear different things in his songs now than I did when I was 18; they've taken on meanings they didn't used to have.
posted by rtha at 10:03 AM on September 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


Hearing this song is like Synethesia. Except, I'm not tasting colors -- I'm smelling, hearing, living everything about the mid-80s. Granted, for me, it was a time of change, my formative teen years, and everything in my mind about that time has etched itself into my experience in epic tones and deep colors.

It brings a tear to my eye thinking about the breakups with the girls that never really loved me, about the wrongs I did to people I cared about. It brings to stark reality in my memory all of my missteps and misdeeds, and it pleads along with me for forgiveness. The guitar solo is the theme song of my youth. And I can't help singing along, turning up the volume.
posted by thanotopsis at 10:08 AM on September 6, 2012 [8 favorites]


Ads during a video? Really, dailymotion?

At least you're not paying for it. Hulu+ does that shit to you AND YOU ALREADY PAY FOR A SUBSCRIPTION!
posted by KingEdRa at 10:09 AM on September 6, 2012 [10 favorites]


Enjoy it while it lasts. I doubt Ser Purple will allow it to stand.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:18 AM on September 6, 2012


"Purple Rain" is the single greatest moment of Prince's career. I'm sure I listened to it a lot when I was a kid, since Prince was a formative part of my musical education, but I don't think the song really started meaning something to me until I was in my mid- to late-twenties. A decade later, it only gets more poignant with age, like Joni Mitchell's heart-stopping late-period recording of "Both Sides Now."
posted by mykescipark at 10:18 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


From VH1 earlier this year.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:19 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Purple Rain" is the single greatest moment of Prince's career. I'm sure I listened to it a lot when I was a kid, since Prince was a formative part of my musical education, but I don't think the song really started meaning something to me until I was in my mid- to late-twenties

I had to make a rule that I could only listen to Purple Rain twice a day so that I wouldn't get sick of it. (I had a bad habit (at age 12) of playing songs to death.)

...

It worked!
posted by mrgrimm at 10:20 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks so much for this Egg Shen. I can't imagine being in that audience.

Enjoy it while it lasts. I doubt Ser Purple will allow it to stand.

He seems to have been a lot better about this lately but we'll see.
posted by Danila at 10:25 AM on September 6, 2012


I love the part where after almost four minutes of intro, he slowly walks up to the mike, grabs hold of it, then lets it go and walks away. That man's got showmanship.
posted by Flunkie at 10:27 AM on September 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


...AND YOU ALREADY PAY FOR A SUBSCRIPTION!

Not any more. Shit got old fast.
posted by Splunge at 10:30 AM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


HiLobrow contributor Matthew De Abaitua is writing twenty-eight essays about Prince’s “Purple Rain.” This is the first...

I'm keen. Loved the first one. But this essay is dated is July 14, 2010...are the others available somewhere else? Or does this mean he writes a new one every two or three years? Which would make quite the life's work.
posted by ecourbanist at 10:35 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Matthew De Abaitua is writing twenty-eight essays about Prince’s “Purple Rain.”

What did he have to do to receive that particular sentence, I wonder?
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:37 AM on September 6, 2012


Well, the prose in that essay was purple, at least.
posted by jscalzi at 10:38 AM on September 6, 2012 [10 favorites]


Watching this literally took my breath away -- as the intro went on and on, I realized I was holding my breath waiting for Prince to come in.

Even though I was only 9 when this song came out, it represented everything scary and intriguing about sex, so though I loved it, I was embarrassed as hell by my love of it -- like listening to it on the radio with a parent in the room seemed like I might as well be naked (and I didn't come from a particular 'shame centered' family, especially in regards to pop culture, since I did have a Purple Rain poster)

I'm 37 and still feel the same way I did then when I hear the song but without the shame.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:39 AM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Are you fucking kidding me with these ads?

Dear Prince: Please release this on DVD. I'll pay hundreds for a copy. <3 Phoebus
posted by phoebus at 10:41 AM on September 6, 2012


If he did, you wouldn't answer because you'd look at the spyhole and there'd be nobody there

Um, what about the two barely clothed, very fully bosomed young ladies? You gotta flirt to convert!
posted by The World Famous at 10:53 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Prince's guitar playing is one of those things that never fails to surprise people when they discover it. His Superbowl halftime show was epic and probably shocked millions sitting at home.
posted by tommasz at 11:08 AM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


I liked watching song performed for the first time, hearing the song for the first time, vicariously, with new ears and appreciation. Should be a website that collects first performances.
posted by stbalbach at 11:10 AM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Yes there should be.
posted by jeffamaphone at 11:14 AM on September 6, 2012


My favorite Prince memory is that Super Bowl he played. I was at a work Super Bowl party and I'd say only about half the people were even watching or cared about the game and there were a lot of jokes about Prince being kind of a silly choice, everyone was talking and laughing about other things save a few of us watching the game. Rain's coming down and the halftime show, if you don't watch, is usually a bunch of cheesy and well-rehearsed choices from aging, inoffensive classic rockers, so nobody expected much.

So Prince comes out and people are drifting over for Let's Go Crazy. Still talking, but paying attention now, because it's become obvious that Prince came to lay it down. By the time he starts tear-assing through Proud Mary, everyone is clustered around the TV. When he starts into Watchtower/Best of You, a few jaws dropped open. And when he started Purple Rain, the entire room was completely silent and spellbound.

It was amazing to see.

(Video is here)
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 11:16 AM on September 6, 2012 [19 favorites]


Wendy Melvoin comes from a ridiculously musically talented family. Her dad is Mike Melvoin, a jazz pianist and a member of the LA Wrecking Crew, who also put out his own album, Keys to Your Mind. If you ever hear Susan Dey play electric harpsichord on an episode of the Partridge Family, that's Wendy's dad. Her brother Jonathan was also a professional keyboardist, but is more infamous for fatally OD'ing on heroin during that Smashing Pumpkins tour that led to Billy Corgan sacking Jimmy Chamberlin.
posted by jonp72 at 11:23 AM on September 6, 2012


Ads during a video? Really, dailymotion?

Did you see the Olympics this year from the U.S.?
posted by Melismata at 11:25 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


This isn't the recording that was on the album, was it?
posted by gottabefunky at 11:31 AM on September 6, 2012


This isn't the recording that was on the album, was it?

It was the foundation of the album version. Prince performed overdubs and recorded new vocals at Sunset Sound in Los Angeles starting later that month.
posted by Egg Shen at 11:45 AM on September 6, 2012


Purple Rain is a song that very much crosses generations. Chosen by my step-daughter to be her "dance with dad" at her wedding reception in 1993, we both reveled in the memories of first hearing the song a decade before. It was a special moment between us that will be a life-long memory.

The only downside was it is a really, really lllooonnnggg song and the reception crowd just stood there seemingly forever leaving Anna and me awkwardly alone on the dance floor. Finally, when Prince's lead solo guitar licks kicked in we waved the crowd to join in. To this day I get a sense of relief whenever I hear Prince on guitar.
posted by netbros at 11:48 AM on September 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Curse you for posting this while I was on my way to work. Now I have to wait NINE HOURS to watch it!

BUT THANK YOU!
posted by trip and a half at 11:51 AM on September 6, 2012


it is a really, really lllooonnnggg song

The rendition that closed the April 7, 1985 Orange Bowl concert - the final stop on the Purple Rain tour - ran 20:09, which puts it into "Dazed and Confused" territory.
posted by Egg Shen at 11:53 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, the prose in that essay was purple, at least.


I do agree, jscalzi.

But once in a blue moon purple prose can actually work.
(I think this is one of those times!)
posted by Jody Tresidder at 12:02 PM on September 6, 2012


Everytime Prince launches into a solo, I imagine that the only way it can possibly end is with celestial forces lifting him off the ground and carrying him to the heavens.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:36 PM on September 6, 2012 [12 favorites]


I love Prince's guitar playing, songwriting, production, etc. And I love his guitar solos. And he's one of the best performers out there, if not the best. But every time he launches into a solo, I cross my fingers and hope that this will be one of the rare times when he plays a melodic solo instead of a flashy one that goes off the rails from the very beginning. There are a few examples of him doing that, and I love them. But more often than not his solos are too much performance and not enough of the musical brilliance he's capable of. Now, the solos he did when he played Fury on SNL - that was the best thing ever.
posted by The World Famous at 12:49 PM on September 6, 2012 [11 favorites]


Thanks TWF, that SNL performance is no joke
posted by subtle_squid at 1:55 PM on September 6, 2012


Prince is one of my favorite singers EVER...but I could swear he look like he's stroking a shaft starting at 3:45. Other than that, he's KILLING this.
posted by KillaSeal at 2:05 PM on September 6, 2012


That performance was nothing less than magnificent.
posted by Webbster at 2:08 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


My favourite Prince performance is the one he did for some all-star rendition of 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' - it's a solid performance, yer Tom Petty's and yer Jeff Lynne's are warbling away, there's a bit of guitar action, it's a fine musical time. Then the camera pans a little over and Prince is just there... it's not even like he arrived, he's just there like he apparated or some Harry Potter shit like that and he busts out this solo that could stop the world in its tracks, turn it round and keep it spinning, and it just keeps going getting ever more deranged as the band - which is constructed from solid fame, remember - chugs along behind him, and then when the song has reached the fit point for ending Prince just takes his guitar off and throws it into the air, stalks off the stage. And the guitar never comes down.
posted by Sebmojo at 2:14 PM on September 6, 2012 [35 favorites]


Wendy?
Yes, Lisa.
Is the water warm enough?
Yes, Lisa.
Shall we begin?
Hell yes, Lisa.
I saw the Purple Rain tour when I was in 7th grade, undoubtedly the idea of my much cooler older sister. My parents were not very hip, or permissive, but somehow they agreed to let us go and drove us an hour there and, MAN, is it just so incredible to have that kind of experience as an adolescent, and to be able to look back on it so fondly now.

Bet your bottom dollar that I'll be doing the same for any kid/teenager I have in my life someday.
posted by argonauta at 2:17 PM on September 6, 2012


Pretty much every musician and/or songwriter on the planet holds Prince in unmitigated reverence for his genius. My favorite part about that is that the man himself is just so utterly silent on the issue, he obviously holds himself in pretty high regard, but he never EVER talks openly about the craft of his trade. I remember reading a Guitar World interview with him when I was a teenager, and the interviewer was trying to get some insight or useful information from Mr. Rogers Nelson that would be relevant to guitarists reading and Prince just was not having it. At one point the interviewer asked him to describe his ideal, perfect guitar tone. His response was something that no one else on the face of the planet could answer with and be met with anything other then a laugh. Prince simply responded: "A woman in climax."
posted by mediocre at 3:02 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I love this song, and this is an outstanding performance. Held my full attention for the entire 13 minute and 35 second running time. My admiration for Prince as a musician and performer is just about limitless.

Some night soon I'm gonna have to make a new "Covers Collection" playlist for "Purple Rain" on my YouTube account. Number one on the list is going to be this Tom Jones cover with David Gilmour on guitar from 1992, with Etta James a close second.

There's just one thing that bothered me. I just couldn't help thinking one thing over and over again during the otherwise excellent intro: Check your 'B' string, Wendy.
posted by ob1quixote at 3:15 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ads during a video? Really, dailymotion?

Browsing the web without Adblock Plus? Really, Curious Artificer?
posted by straight at 3:27 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wow, Sebmojo, that was incredible. Thanks.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 3:28 PM on September 6, 2012


Funny this is posted today (and it is AWESOME, by the way). I had just the other day come across this.

You're welcome.
posted by NedKoppel at 3:31 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I saw Prince in Memphis during the Musicology tour. It was a full arena, of course, but it was the most diverse audience I have ever seen: black, white, Asian, old, young--there were whole families there with grandma and everything--punks, hippies, frat boys, you name it. He opened with a big production number based around the song "Musicology", and of course it was brilliant. And everyone applauded, but it seemed a little reserved. The cheap seats were sitting down. Memphis audiences can be like that because there's so much good music here, and so we are spoiled.

But Prince was having none of it. He said "Oh, it's gonna be like that?" and then he turned, yelled to the band, and strummed the opening chords of "Purple Rain". The place went absolutely nuts. Everyone leapt to their feet. He did the full-on, tearjerker, calling the angels down from heaven version. It was rapturous. The concert lasted for another couple of hours, and everything after that felt like an encore. No one sat down for the rest of the show. It was, to this day, the greatest feat of showmanship I have ever witnessed.
posted by vibrotronica at 4:33 PM on September 6, 2012 [18 favorites]


re: Prince as a guitar wizard- what you want is the 14:42 version of Something in the Water from the pre-birthday-show rehearsals at First Ave, 05-06/84. That was one of the first pieces of bootleg music I ever downloaded, and it's a revelation, he just goes *off*- it's sad as hell that his majesty's minions have apparently knocked it off the interwebs. Or, if it's still out there somewhere, I'm not sure how to find it anymore :(
posted by hap_hazard at 4:33 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


@vibrotronica: I saw that tour. After intermission, he did like 40 minutes of just him, a stool, and a guitar. Such a thing could be rather dull, or even just, you know, nice. Not at this show. It was damned captivating.
posted by NedKoppel at 4:41 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Very timely post! I just bought tix today to see him in Chicago in a few weeks, as an Xmas gift for Mr Fig.

When Mr Fig was younger, the inspiration for his room decor was Purple Rain. All 4 walls painted purple, and purple carpeting. I'm not that much of a fan, but still super-pumped to see him live.
posted by Fig at 5:58 PM on September 6, 2012


I remember seeing Purple Rain in a theater in Times Square. I was with an on again/off again girlfriend at the time. We cried together. I'll draw a curtain over the rest.

And it turned me on to Morris Day and the Time.
posted by Splunge at 6:06 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


This made me very happy. Thanks.

Hearing this song is like Synethesia. Except, I'm not tasting colors -- I'm smelling, hearing, living everything about the mid-80s...

That was beautiful man.
posted by UseyurBrain at 6:24 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks for this. I remain an avid Prince fan, after all these years. These older songs bring back great memories. NOBODY was doing what he did back then. This made my day.
posted by legweak at 7:00 PM on September 6, 2012


I was 11 when Purple Rain came out, and I had the purple-colored 45, which I played on repeat until somehow it got cracked. My mom took me to see the movie even though it was rated R. This is awesome.
posted by candyland at 7:30 PM on September 6, 2012


Truly great song and an awesome post, thanks.
posted by arcticseal at 8:28 PM on September 6, 2012


I was around 20 or so (mid 1980s) and had a discussion with my older brother and his girlfriend's daughter (early teens) about Prince. I said that Prince would still be well known in 1999, the song playing at the time. The girlfriend's daughter said no way, but my brother agreed with me,* a rare occurrence. It's now well beyond 1999 - I win!


*I'll have to ask him if he remembers the conversation.
posted by deborah at 8:38 PM on September 6, 2012


Purple Rain shimmers the ripples of its guitars down the marrow of your spine.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 8:52 PM on September 6, 2012


The music makes me talk that way. I can't help myself.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 8:59 PM on September 6, 2012


At about 8:41 in the video, Prince owns the crowd. At this moment he dismissively turns from the audience and gives Wendy a regal kiss on the cheek while continuing into his solo while pacing the stage. I believe the message he imparted with that peck was, "NOW I'M IMMORTAL."

Of course, I'm watching this very very high.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 10:24 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


While clicking Post This Comment I realize that I like the word while far too much and should stop typing it while typing. While.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 10:26 PM on September 6, 2012


I thought I got this link from MeFi a few days ago, but no matter: While My Guitar Gently Weeps - Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Steve Winwood. It's really good.

And then Prince materializes 3/4 of the way through, blows the top of your head off with the solo, throws his guitar in the air, and disappears. It is a testament to the professionalism of Petty, Lynne, and Winwood that they don't just say "fuck it" and drop dead, right there at the Hall of Fame.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:32 PM on September 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


I thought posters above were exaggerating about the ads - after all, it's the same thing you have on YouTube - but on YouTube they don't reappear when you close them. THAT is fricking irritating.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 10:48 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lyn Never: and the bit where he just turns around and falls back off the stage, still playing, and a big man in black gently catches him and tilts him back upright... too fabulous. And the giggling grin he wears for a while afterwards.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 10:56 PM on September 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


Fantastic. I'm glad I saved this post for last today. Thanks, Egg.
posted by homunculus at 12:24 AM on September 7, 2012


If we are talking about Prince we should also be referencing this post.
posted by adamvasco at 1:04 AM on September 7, 2012


What do great songs sound like the first time we hear them? Can you remember that feeling? When Bob Dylan heard The Animals’ version of “House of the Rising Sun,” he got out of the car and ran around it again and again he was so excited. The first time you hear a great song is so rare, and it can never be repeated; watching the crowd during this first performance of “Purple Rain,” I see that look on a few faces, a silent shocked awe. On the twenty-seven other recordings of “Purple Rain” on my iPod, the moment the first chord is strummed, the crowd cheer, acknowledging the anthem. They become a congregation, keen to be guided through the Purple Rain, and that has its ecstasies, even if it involves cigarette lighters held aloft, and hands waved in the air. But to hear silence flowing back from the audience, no singalong because they don’t know the words, is to eavesdrop on the shock of the new.

I love this sentiment, and now I love it all the more having learned that the soundtrack album version is simply an engineered recording of this performance. Everyone who knows this song knows it from the album, and so everyone who knows this song knows this performance, this first performance, this same beautiful, wonderful performance. I'm stunned and grateful to learn this.
posted by cgc373 at 1:11 AM on September 7, 2012 [8 favorites]


> [...] during the otherwise excellent intro: "Check your 'B' string, Wendy."
IMHO, that's the chorus pedal accentuating the inherent weirdness of standard-tuned guitars (the major third from G to B) and is a big part of what makes the progression so compelling.
posted by hawthorne at 7:51 AM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


hawthorne: > [...] during the otherwise excellent intro: "Check your 'B' string, Wendy."
IMHO, that's the chorus pedal accentuating the inherent weirdness of standard-tuned guitars (the major third from G to B) and is a big part of what makes the progression so compelling.
I see what you're saying because I'm a chorus pedal man myself, but compare with this 20 minute live version from 1985 that also has an extended introduction.
posted by ob1quixote at 11:15 AM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wendy's guitar is sadly out of tune - if they used this take it would explain why the final recording has quite so much modulation on it. Tuning is impossible, though. It also might not be the string so much as erroneous bends on some of the chords - which are much trickier than I thought they were. The out-of-tune-ness changes from one pass to the next. Or perhaps she sneakily tuned up while holding a chord.

But then what do i know?

Out of curiosity, is Prince's godlike nature something only people over forty appreciate, or has his reputation extended through later generations?
posted by Grangousier at 12:57 PM on September 7, 2012


Grangousier: Out of curiosity, is Prince's godlike nature something only people over forty appreciate, or has his reputation extended through later generations?
I was just discussing this with my roommate and hetero life-mate who happens to be 10 years younger than I am. He said, "I've just never cared for 'Purple Rain'. For whatever reason it reminds me of bad early '90s black movies like Jungle Fever." So I think the answer is no.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:14 PM on September 7, 2012


Sad if kids today are missing out on Prince. To take someone else from a similar musical lineage, when I was growing up in the 80s I had no idea how great Parliament-Funkadelic was. When I got into them later I was stunned.
posted by zipadee at 2:34 PM on September 7, 2012


I've had a crush on Wendy Melvoin since 1984. This video just reinforces my good taste in hot chick guitar players, whether she's in tune or not. It's her cool persona next to The Hot Sweaty One that makes her awesome.

Since we're all walking down memory lane: Rented a car, blew off a final exam in college to drive home 3 1/2 hours to see the Purple Rain tour, and drove back to school the same night. Cost me a ton of cash and a whole letter grade in a class, but it was worth it to be in that stadium that night. I still have that black floppy fedora with the scarf I wore then...
posted by SuperSquirrel at 3:11 PM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


The article got Prince's age wrong. He was already 25. (Though IIRC, back then he used to fudge his age a bit to seem younger.)
posted by litlnemo at 8:12 PM on September 7, 2012


Out of curiosity, is Prince's godlike nature something only people over forty appreciate, or has his reputation extended through later generations?

Well, I'm only 38, and I deeply grok it. And I'm raising my children to be Prince fans, as any good Minnesotan should be doing. "Let's Go Crazy" is a major family jam.
posted by padraigin at 9:21 PM on September 7, 2012


What do great songs sound like the first time we hear them? Can you remember that feeling? When Bob Dylan heard The Animals’ version of “House of the Rising Sun,” he got out of the car and ran around it again and again he was so excited. The first time you hear a great song is so rare, and it can never be repeated

Oh, yes. Not to wrench things off track (in the "Albums: Purple Rain or Thriller?" question, I come down hard on the Purple Rain side), but I remember the first time I heard "Smells Like Teen Spirit", listening to KFJC radio going east across the San Mateo Bridge, feeling like I was vibrating on a bone-deep level Please say who this is before I drive out of range. Please say who this is before I drive out of range.
posted by Lexica at 9:49 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was just discussing this with my roommate and hetero life-mate who happens to be 10 years younger than I am. He said, "I've just never cared for 'Purple Rain'. For whatever reason it reminds me of bad early '90s black movies like Jungle Fever."

If that's your HLP's opinion of Jungle Fever. then he may be an outlying data point with a bad case of Insane in the Membrane.

As for the subject of the FPP, I caught the movie at the end of a difficult summer that had followed a difficult first two years of college; it was one of those times when you find out that the person that you thought you were and/or thought you were becoming didn't really line up with reality. and although it was a necessary experience and probably made me much happier in the long run, I had a hard time appreciating it at the time, and so the movie's messages of redemption and accepting who you are and what made you the person that you are resonated hugely with me. It may have been the first time that I cried at the movies. (Plus, of course, I got a huge crush on Wendy, because dayum.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:37 AM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


« Older The Slow Web Movement   |   All stories are mine. The whole world’s mine. Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post