Wednesday, May 18, 2016

3. Prince Listening-Retrospect: “Observations”

Part 3 of 4 — Posting Mon, Tues, Wed, with a special share on Thursday
(which will be the... Third Thursday in May)

Three weeks of listening.
Soon, will be releasing a caged dove.
But first... observations.

D&P etching I did, Chicago 1992
Just after the paradigm-shifting news of that THIRD THURSDAY IN APRIL, some of you know I began a listening retrospect of Prince’s words. All of them. “319” pages-worth, to be exact. Without any thought, I instinctively began the journey very early Saturday morning, the 23rd of April. Not even a full two days after... that Thursday. 

I needed his words. 

The reading of his words was amazing to me. All 150,000+ of them. Cathartic. And made me love him even more. 

During that journey, which is now full circle and completed, I've had some observations: 

  1. I've realized just how horribly I'd butchered so many of his lyrics over the years (and apparently in my research, a lot of others did too!) and in what I compiled I can assure you there are typos and incorrect words, incorrect interpretations. Perfection was not my goal. Listening to his words was.
  2. If you've never actually read his words, they are as cathartic as I'd hoped they'd be. He said in one of many interviews I've consumed over these past weeks (I think it was Arsenio?), that if he weren't Prince, the musician, what would he have been? He replied, “a teacher.” I'd like to confirm that he continues to teach through his words. His music.

  3. Why the “Third Thursday in April?” Prince had often said there's no such thing as time. And I don't like the idea of an “end date” to this brilliant soul, either. Plus, personally, it was in fact, THE DAY OF THE WEEK which was more impactful to me than the DATE. And that is always when I will honor it. Think about it: We would then have the next full day, Friday to connect with others. We'd have a weekend to take in this impossible news in our own unique way. Then a full week — in a precious month — filled with Prince connections, sharing interviews, images, tears, laughs, videos of his pranks, collections, lyrics, songs, and stories. Just REALLY good for the soul. And then it rained. And rained. And rained. And still rains. I can't believe he's gone. Still does not compute. 
But about his many, many, many, many, many, words... 

And, as you know, there’s even still more where these came from. But for what I needed, in my journey of processing the still-to-this-day-unbelieveable loss of my long-time creative inspiration, I chose to focus exclusively on the 39 released albums. And there's still some words, I have no idea what he's saying. God love him. And speaking of which, the one exception to the 39-album focus is: one special B-Side to his most popular song.

So, yeh, you probably know Prince sang about sex and God, and did a fine job, actually, on both subjects. Oh, and his 16+ instrumentals aren't too shabby either. 

But did you know that all of these (below) made it into lyrics too? His words? Our modern day Shakespeare who could shred a guitar? 

You will soon...

  • ABSCAM — this is the first term that made me begin looking up any ones I needed more reference for, or just wanted to list it for future generations. His songs are like a history book. 
  • Ronnie (Reagan)
  • AIDS
  • Star Wars
  • The Million Man March
  • NATO
  • 13th Amendment
  • Wounded Knee
  • Malcolm X
  • Mr. Charlie 
  • A Golden Parachute
  • Martin's “I Have A Dream”
  • Coretta Scott King
  • “Can’t We All Just Get Along?” 
  • Green Card
  • Bailout 
  • Power to the People
  • Saddam
  • Hurricane Katrina
  • Michael Brown: Ferguson, MO, 2014
  • Freddie Gray: Baltimore, MD, 2015
  • Isis Shooting in L.A. 2015
  • 5th... Amendment
  • Baltimore riot, 2015
  • Gat 
  • Unabomber
  • Tech-Nine
  • Bonnie Parker & Clyde Barrow
  • Smith & Wessons
  • Leslie (guitar)
  • Fuzz Tone Remote Control (guitar)
  • “In The Upper Room” Mahalia Jackson
  • “Precious” By Chanté 
  • “Ol’ Man River,” Paul Robeson 1927
  • “The Symphony No. 3” by Gustav Mahler
  • W.C. Handy
  • Henry Mancini 
  • Life/Dream — Row, Row, Row Your Boat, 
  • John Hammond 
  • Doug E. Fresh 
  • Earth Wind & Fire
  • James Brown 
  • Sly & The Family Stone
  • Dr. Dre
  • Missy
  • “You’re So Vain” Carly Simon
  • “Europa” Santana
  • Hollow Body 12-String Marshall 
  • Chuck D.
  • Mary J & Chaka, Sweet Thing
  • Muzak 
  • Common
  • “Industry Just A Better Built Cell Block” Mos Def
  • “Why Buy You If He Can Just Lease U” Meek Mill 
  • Támar 
  • 33 rpms 
  • “A Song For You” Donny Hathaway
  • M.I.A.
  • Michael Bland
  • John Blackwell Jr.
  • The Bus Stop, dance
  • “Way Back Home”
  • Rita Ora
  • Sade & Babyface
  • “What If” Nichole Nordeman 
  • Richie Havens
  • Woodstock
  • Eryn Allen Kane
  • Dido
  • Ray Charles 
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Know Bo
  • Bet Your Life
  • Aol
  • Liz & Dick
  • Ke-Mo Sah-Bee
  • 1990S “Got Milk?” Mustache Ads 
  • Y2K
  • Bet Your Life, Groucho Marx
  • Gimme a Page On My Two-Way
  • Parental Advisory
  • Love Jones (1997) 
  • Weakest Link 
  • Doo-Rag
  • Floss 
  • Kurt Loder, Mtv News
  • The Green Mile 
  • Frank & Ava
  • Chocolat 
  • Zuzu’s Petals, It’s A Wonderful Life
  • Juicy Juice 
  • Saving Face
  • 9½ Weeks 
  • Like Water For Chocolate (1992) 
  • Box-O-Chocolates 
  • Ultra Lash 
  • Ugly Betty 
  • Star Wars’ Yoda
  • Shade Throwers — 2013
  • Put Your Phone Down
  • Upper Echelon 
  • Silly Rabbit
  • Idol
  • X-Factor
  • Pope  
  • Cain 
  • Yalda
  • Crossing Of The Red Sea
  • Proverbs 31:10
  • Milk And Honey
  • Theocratic 
  • Love . That It Just Is. And Never Yearns. 1 Corinthians
  • Pearls B4 The Swine 
  • Prayers: Greek Orthodox, Jew, and Islam
  • Babylon
  • Judas Iscariot 
  • The Battle Of Jericho
  • Hour Of Power
  • Blood On Calvary
  • Moses 
  • Crag Job 39:28
  • 100 Days Of Prayer 
  • David & Saul
  • Fall of The Philistines
  • Lion Of Judah, Revelation 5:5
  • Sheba
  • Whosepapers 
  • Violet Brown
  • Jack Hazard and his Fortunes 1872
  • Dutch Elm Disease
  • L. Londell McMillan, his lawyer (wassup w/ the will, dude??)
  • BCE— As an Abbreviation for “Before The Common (Or Current) Era (Same Dates As “Before Christ” “B.C.”
  • Carthage & Rome
  • Nefertiti 
  • Galpin (Street Of His Purple House?)
  • Calhoun Square
  • Piccadilly Square, Might Actually Be “Circus”
  • The Egg
  • Palazzo 
  • Lavaux
  • Vevey
  • Faces Of Mount Rushmore
  • Serotonin
  • Goldenseal and Licorice
  • Elixir 
  • Olive oil in my hair
  • Electromagnetism
  • Chakra Transfer
  • REM, sleep
  • Full moon in June
  • Ripple
  • Remy
  • Blunt
  • Vodka & 7
  • Alizé 
  • Red Bull & Patrón
  • Limoncello
  • Kirby Puckett 
  • Bo Jackson
  • Ali’s Jab 
  • Michael Jordan Dunk
  • TKO 
  • Serena’s serve 
  • Dorothy Parker, American Poet/Writer
  • “The Table And The Chair” Children’s Poem by Edward Lear
  • Nellallitea Larsen, Novelist of the Harlem Renaissance
  • Brushed Their Hair 100 Strokes, Jane Austin 
  • Beg, Steal, Or Borrow, Chaucer
  • Chazz’s Bar 
  • Nell’s 
  • Crazy Horse Showgirl
  • Lagerfeld Blazers 1990s
  • Paco Rabanne
  • Apache Scarf
  • Te Amo Corazón 
  • French, Spanish, Norwegian
  • Brand New Pill It Feels Like Sex, 1996 Release Of Viagra

See you back here tomorrow...


P 7:1
“Open your heart, open your mind, A train is leaving all day
A wonderful trip through our time, And laughter is all you pay”

(Around the World in a Day)

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