Scraps of thought about the past 12 hours:
– It was a night that won’t soon be forgotten.
– It’ll be remembered as the night that thousands of people flooded the street in front of First Ave and watched local artists of color pay tribute to one of the greatest musical artists (also of color) of all time… a local one who never strayed too far from home and made us all proud.
– I sang “Purple Rain” probably a dozen times and it was powerful every time.
– I danced to “When Doves Cry” probably a dozen times and it was fun every time.
– I saw my city come together in a way I’ve never seen. It was a celebration of another local treasure: the city itself. The Minneapolis Sound.
– I watched the sun rise over the Mississippi from Mill Ruins, with the 35W bridge, itself a symbol of resurrection, lit up all purple for the Purple One. It was a bit cold. I felt things and it was exhilarating.
– All walks of life were present at this celebration. For once it seemed there were no barriers between us.
– I don’t normally wax romantic about things, but this is a different beast. This is serious. This is real.
– It’s been just over a year since my interest in Prince was ignited, when he invited members of the Minnesota music press out to Paisley Park to preview Judith Hill’s debut album. Last October, I got to see Prince and Judith perform songs from that album at Paisley Park, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen such musicianship on a stage before or since. That November, I played some tunes from Purple Rain in a basement with a bunch of friends in Morris and it was one of the best nights of my college experience, if not of my life. Purple Rain has gotten me through so so so many long work calls. Suddenly, this past year, Prince was a presence in my life when he had been largely absent before. I never expected to feel this loss, or in this way.
– My heart may be heavy, but I watched a city come into its own over the course of twelve hours, from dusk to dawn, with music and dancing and lots of purple everything. Including pancakes.
Rest in power, Prince. Keep being beautiful, 612.