‘Hello, how are you?’
‘I’m fine cause I know that the Lord is coming soon.
Coming, coming soon.’
This call has been on our machine since, 1984 - albeit, in reverse. It heralds the end of long-play side one of, Purple Rain. The words are only revealed when the backwards-tape effected audio of, The Artist Forever’s voice is decoded. Curiously so, the untitled/uncredited audio art is heard with storm and rain sounds, as ‘outro' to the characteristically scandalous, Darling Nikki. Yet, the printed lyrics at the bottom, as included in the inner sleeve’s graphic declares the translation into English: another realization of the mind of Prince.
Sometimes the world’s a storm
But one day soon the storm will pass
& all will be bright and peaceful
No more tears or pain
If u believe look 2 the dawn and
fearlessly bathe in the…
Dearly Beloved, peace to you and yours and; glad we made it - through this thing called... The Rest Of Our Lives. True, I’d like to be more glad… Nevertheless, let me take you back to the summer of 1984. Former B-list actor, former California Governor, then U.S. President Ronald Reagan was on his merry way to a landslide re-election victory. Campaign slogan slinging that the epoch was, “Morning In America.” (Hmp!) I recall reading a review of, Purple Rain from that time. The writer (who’s name I couldn’t begin to remember,) appeared puzzled enough to ask, “Just what is purple rain?” If I were to give the benefit of the doubt… I’d say maybe, that by posing such a question, the writer was playing devil’s advocate; and prodding those interested to dig a little deeper.
I myself cannot think of a time when I didn’t consider what Prince was wailing about to be, nuclear annihilation and its aftermath. Weren’t we all…? (That is, when we weren’t all partying… like - as if we knew what - the year of, 1999 would in reality, be.)
“Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve just outlawed Russia. The bombing will begin in five minutes.” - Pres. Reagan joking with the press corp… with a live mic.
Seemed pretty obvious to me since “purple” enters the Prince lexicon via, 1999. Messengers of the apocalypse run rampant throughout classic recordings from the late 1960’s on, particularly in, Pop i.e. youth driven music. Hendrix introduces the phrase, “a change of climate” in 1968 and refers to, “the methane seas.” Not long after then, Bob Marley was, “pleading with humanity.” It seems as if prophetic visions are part of the package when one discovers themselves as one molded into the ancient archetype of, ‘Man With A Guitar.’ Now I’m generally not one to make an issue out of gender… Nevertheless, there does seem to be a pattern here - on earth. All the way back to, great King David - who, by the way like Prince, was reportedly also fond of dancing in the temple, in his loin cloth.
Or, was it all an act?
In my travels, I have come to the conclusion that most people don’t really have an inkling of what it is like to be a true artist. This notion goes for the artists as well! What it is to actually live life through one’s own imagination… To find out what it really means to be an artist… great or un-known. This experience is discovered along the way.
P.s. You youngunzz out der can take a lesson from all this: Don't make any hard and fast commitments, until you really know how you feel; it's often not what you feel.
Much more along the way, as the criminal investigation is on-going. I know my grieving must now cease - as I go on living, just (not) the same.
Comments below reveal more, as shall time…
Peace & Purple,
Maison Musique, New Orleans