I was dreaming when I wrote this so forgive me if it goes astray……
It was a shock the day Kurt Cobain died, I felt a loss, sure.
David Bowie was important too but his best years and most shockingly influential albums were just enough before my time that his passing left me sad as the internet mourned but it wasn’t personal to me.
Waking up this morning, however, to the news of the death of Prince stopped me in my tracks, I actually cried, I still have puffy eyes and a little salt water running down my cheeks as I type this.
I have never written one of these “What X-artist mean to me” pieces before and feel a tad uncomfortable about doing so, the internet has made these public outpourings at the death of celebrities somehow sullied with the stench of clickbait.
But I just……
I painted my teenage bedroom Purple and Black and covered….literally covered it with pictures of him.
My mother asked me if I was gay, twice (apparently she didn’t believe me the first time), because of him. She couldn’t understand I didn’t want to fuck him, I wanted to BE him.
I could list my favorite lyrics, the way they taught a teenage boy discovering sexuality that “man” didn’t necessarily mean what my peers and society were telling me it did. The way he taught me what ‘love’ was in all its sordid, heartbreaking, exhilarating splendor. They way I learnt more about sex from listening to him than any sexual education class or soft porn magazine passed around the back of the class (it was the early 80’s no internet:). The empowerment to be different, to dress and think and be myself, to rebel and revel in doing so.
I could, but I won’t because there would be pages of it and the mere words on a screen would only be half of the story, it would be missing the visceral way his music (and the fact that he produced and played all the instruments!) made me feel, the way his dancing, the way he moved, excited me.
He was a singular amazing talent, a truly unique artist and one who touched me in a way few others ever have.
Thank you Mr Nelson, I mourn your passing.
Sometimes it snows in April.