RIP Prince of Purple

Just an hour ago, I was searching for it, thinking it was in my cedar chest, but finding it in a watermelon-themed basket that I had once used as part of a prize-winning costume to portray melon + collie. I had thought about my raspberry beret earlier this month, thinking I would take it with me to Ebertfest, but decided against it.  I bought the beret on a whim, from a store that no longer exists in a city where I no longer live.

I was dressed head-to-toe in purple when I read the news of his death, running for between and during classes. In the evening, I drove through Los Angeles traffic to a festival opening where the organizers mentioned Prince in their opening remarks, and after the movie, they played his music. The tent housing the after-party was too crowded; no one was dancing.

I’m one of those people who doesn’t need liquor to get me out on the dance floor. I think I can remember flashes of what I was wearing when I was dancing to “Let’s Go Crazy” in a time before swing and tango turned my world around. By then, I had joined a legion of purple loving people, proud to be a member of a kingdom led by a doe-eyed Prince. When I first saw “Purple Rain”  I was excited by Prince’s electric stage presence and his dance moves. The promise made by “Purple Rain” went unfulfilled when Prince took control and directed himself in movies like “Under the Cherry Moon.”  I would have totally loved to wear those long frock coats and frilly shirts he sported in either movie.  In another era, he would have been called a dandy. In today’s world of Cosplay and steampunk, his costumes would still be fashionable. Thanks to MTV and music videos, Prince will live on forever young.

Thanks to YouTube, you can see dance videos where dance lovers compare his moves to other fine dancing men–James Brown and Michael Jackson. Just remember, Prince often danced in high heeled shoes that Ginger Rogers might have once worn. Just remember, his generosity that allowed a Chicago-based ballet company, Joffrey,  to raid his catalog to choreograph “Billboards,” and he waived the royalty fees. Just remember, he once played a Super Bowl halftime show during a torrential rain. Good night sweet Prince of Purple.

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