23 April 2016

Sometimes it snows in April...

When I was in middle school, ball was life. I mean that not only was I completely enamored with the NBA (similar how I still am to this day,) but I also mean it in the sense that I just played a frankly absurd amount of basketball each and every day. My school used to hold these open gyms every day after classes were over, and sometimes during the day too. It's hard to say if they did this in some sort of misguided "keep the kids off the streets" type endeavor since it was Westminster, but then again late '90s Westminster was also peak "Heroin High" so maybe. Looking back, I'm more thrown off by the fact that we were allowed to hoop during the day. It was bad enough that it was private school and were already losing precious time learning about math and science because we had religion class, but to lose even more time just so we could hoop seems kinda crazy. Then again, I'm not complaining and I certainly wasn't complaining then. 

Whenever we got a full court game together, our computer teacher, Mrs. Hurley, would always get in on the action. She could hoop for sure, and I'm just not saying that because she was 5'10" and we were 12. Anyway, whenever she'd hoop with us, she always wore this Prince "Sign O' The Times" tour T-shirt. It was white, but it had a picture of Prince on the front and then all the tour dates running down the back. I was beyond fascinated with it, mostly because it indicated that she had been to a concert before and I didn't known anyone who had ever gone and seen live music before (In my book, my parents going to see the Eagles didn't count.) At this point, Prince had just become the symbol so this was shortly after him writing "slave" on his face. My point is, I was aware of who Prince was culturally but certainly didn't know much more. I just knew that I liked Mrs. Hurley's shirt. I tried asking my parents about Prince once or twice after, but each time they shut the conversation down. A few years later, the Chappelle Show did the infamous Charlie Murphy sketch where talked about playing basketball with Prince and then being served pancakes after. My fascination with Prince went up another level after that. It'd continue to go up after that. When I heard the news the other day, I was bummed to say the least. 

You might have read by now that it is extremely difficult to listen to Prince online (He kept it off of here for a reason, though. Buy your own copy.) Anyway, two videos that still manage to hit the right chord are easily available. One is the 2004 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tribute to George Harrison. Prince Rogers Nelson absolutely blows Tom Petty, Steve Winwood and Jeff Lynne right off the stage. There isn't even a question about it. He takes over and he never lets go. Then he throws his guitar up in the air and it never falls back down. It's amazing, just like Prince. There's also Coachella 2008 when Prince covered Radiohead. Again, he absolutely shreds and it's beautiful. If you need a pick me up after that, I highly recommend the footage from a 1983 James Brown concert where James Brown calls for Prince and Prince arrives on the scene by riding in on the back of his bodyguard.