Then life went on, I got married in the late 80s and had a kid in '92. I bought every album up until Diamonds and Pearls, and then not another one until Musicology, missing, I now realize, a lot of great music in between. Maybe it was because he was so prolific that it became hard to keep up, and that's why I fell behind. Or maybe it was because he wasn't so much in the spotlight any more. My tastes changed and evolved, and I explored lots of new music, but I never stopped loving him. Now that he's gone, I feel like a bad fan for not having followed his music more faithfully all along.
"Now that he's gone"...I still can't get my mind around that fact. Not only did he die so young - after all, he's just a year older than me - but he left the world bereft of a mighty presence. I may not have thought about him so much anymore, but when I did, it was with a great deal of love and affection. He influenced me at a very influential time in my life. He seemed to speak my language back then, to express the things I was trying to express myself. The 80s, pre-AIDS awareness, were a whole other sexual revolution, and Prince was leading the charge. As a young woman in the heart of the NYC club and dating scene, Prince was my standard bearer.
I've now downloaded most of his music, and again, I see that I've missed so much phenomenal stuff during the last 15 years or so: rock, funk, blues, dance music, ballads...you name it, he did it all...incredibly well, with a few odd bits thrown in that were just Prince exploring the range of his artistry. As I listen to it, I'm both delighted and incredibly saddened. There's a hole in the world now that no one else can fill. I miss him, though I never knew him in person. I can only imagine the hole for those who did know him, and worked with him over the years. I keep wishing it were all a dream - a publicity stunt - but I know it's not. He's gone, and a part of me went with him. He was a very spiritual person in life, and I hope the afterworld is all he thought it would be. I send my purple tribute up there into the ether to him, and though he surely doesn't need it now any more than he ever did, it makes me feel connected to him in a way that brings me, at least, some comfort.