This one is dedicated to my friend Dove Rose. I was going to text you about Prince, Dove, and then decided to write that text as a blog post instead.
The day that Prince died—two years ago today—I remember that day so clearly. Driving to work, and the guys on the sports talk station were talking about Prince and what he had meant to them… I knew what that meant. So I switched over to KCRW because I wanted to hear what Jason Bentley, host of Morning Becomes Eclectic, would say.
He was wrecked.
Myself, I cried every day for three weeks. My Prince-loving friends and I connected over that time. I was too sad to reach out to Andria, who always sold me on Prince (and Lyle Lovett, and Chris Isaak, but mostly Prince) when I was in high school. Two of my Facebook friends, Megan and Ian, posted “It’s been seven hours and fifteen days / since you took your love away” exactly 15 days and seven hours after Prince died.
Dove Rose, my beloved friend and fitness teacher, was as wrecked as Jason Bentley and I. For a month, she played Prince exclusively in class. The first class ended with “Sometimes It Snows in April.” We were sitting and meditating. I cried so much that I had to put a blanket over my head and keep it there for five minutes after the song was over.
It was a really, really sad time. Since that time, my feelings have (thankfully) become a lot less acute. But I think they’ve also changed.
I think Prince had a force within him, one that a lot of people would call the force of God. I’m not a believer in the traditional God—but sometimes you see something, feel something that my therapist Jay (a Prince fan too, for the record) would say rings the bell for you.
Well, Prince rang the bell for me. He still does. We listened to “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man” last night. Recorded in 1987, it’s as fresh as an April daffodil.
Listen to that, then listen to “Pop Life,” “Controversy,” and “Sign o’ the Times.” Listen to “Kiss.” Listen to how weird that song is, then remember what a gargantuan hit it was. Listen to “Hot Thing,” and the interplay between Prince and Eric Leeds on saxophone.
How does that sound to you?
To me, the groove he plays with is so polished and refined that he settles into it naturally, like when you know something so well that you can relax and still deliver it with razor-sharp intensity. It’s music at a level that is, literally, transcendent.
Prince is gone. We won’t get any more records or live shows. We have to live with that. But we also get to live with a catalog that I sincerely think of as a gift to humanity. Listen, enjoy, love. Strive to offer as much to everyone else as Prince did.