On this blog, I've written about royalty, princesses, palaces, interiors, colour, style, exoticism, travel, artisanship, beauty, nature, literature, history, film & poetry ... but never music - more specifically, my undying love of it, AND, in particular, the 'music-man' who has captured my heart & countless others for nearly four decades. Gosh that sounds a bit old! ... But hey, he's older ... though significantly more spry & fly' than I'll ever be!!
Yes, I'm referring to the one & only 'Artiste' - the diminutive dance-dexter, swoon-scintillator, heart-palpitator, groove-motivator & purple thunder of all regal wonders ... that is Prince.
A name & noun that sits & fits plumb in my Palace. For PRINCE & MPW are one. Practically sympatico - OK, I'm getting slightly carried away, but I mean the PURPLE, the PAISLEY, the embroidered emblems, eclectic fabrics & outfits, the classicism, the divine design, the flower-power, the sensuality, balladry, poetry & romance. HELLOOO!
fuchsia funkmeister. Prince does pink proud.
I've been privileged to see Mr Nelson in concert on several occasions, in a swathe of slinky costumes, on a few kinky continents ... sporting an array of fabulous hair-do's too: from powerful, masculine mohawk to long, sleek & sexy-full, short-shaved & engraved (with slave) to his present funky 'fro ... & boy, does he become them all - tilting his head, tapping his feet, commanding the beat & sounding-off like the masterful, maestro he truly is.
His latest incarnation - stripped back & super-cool on a mic & piano (nothing else & with no heels in sight!) - was, & is, without exaggeration & fully deserving of the hype ... the greatest concert experience of them all.
Did I happen to mention the bling-connection?
Stepping out for a night with His Highness
Sans band, back-ups, booty-girls, special effects, synths, lights & other mod-cons, we got to see the Prince of pure, practised perfection. THAT voice (& celestial range), brought into sharpest focus, & the consummate keys that accompanied it ... were a gift - one that pierced our ears, hearts & minds to the verge of quiet collapse.
I say 'quiet' because the Princely vision held our attention ... completely, astutely, telling the hysterical 'Let’s go crazy' one's when to shhhh, & the dazed among us when to stomp & holla. And the people listened - shushed, stomped & sang when summoned - because, he IS, after all, a Prince.
To be honest, he had us at stage-entry. Standing silently in (back-lit) golden silhouette, with rotund locks & regal sceptre outlined - an almost 'holy' apparition ... We ate it up & lost our flirty, 'Dirty Minds' before he even started singing it.
From there, Prince took us on a musical ride of remembrance, of lost-love ballads that 'Nothing Compares 2', of first 'Kiss' kisses & relaxing drives that 'smelled of the weekend'. He asked us to 'try to imagine what silence looks like' ... Yeah ... what silence looks like ... & he looked at us.
artsy album covers from the 80s through to the Noughties.
How's that luscious 'Love Sexy'? (bottom/centre) ...
Oh Maaaa! So risqué back in the day.
And so, in my umpteenth decade, listening with pounding heart & a river flowing down my face, to even smoother versions of songs I first cavorted to when I was twelve!!! (Great-gosh-almighty!) I realized what a long, colourful, winding road it was that led me to be here, all 'growned-up'. In fact, WE are ALL growned up now. Prince too. But the sweet, melodious memories remain.
Though no longer a gum-popping teen in the playground, with secret ambitions of joining a 'revolution' (Prince & the Revolution! :) ) ... & Prince himself not the tufted, pompadoured, frilly shirt-slayer of yesteryear ... the musical reality was the same. The intensely beautiful lyric, the syncopating, hypnotic beat, the gripping growl & faultless falsetto, the sensuously deep emotion, sultry, side-eye glances & fluttering lashes, the energy, the enigma, the 'gentle' man, the Music MAJESTY. Up close & personal.
Oh this was REAL - but for me it was a forty-year fantasy, from which I will never, ever recover. Xx
*In other fascinating royal news, Prince's doves, 'Divinity' & 'Majesty' (see what I mean? Sympatico!!), are credited on his 'One Night Alone' album with providing "ambient singing". Coo Coo, Woo Woo! Tehe :)*
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#All writing & photos by Rani.Cee
#Albums/CD covers - personal copies
*Image from Essence magazine
*Top image - Taken inside the State Theatre, Melbourne, at the February 17th Prince concert, 'Piano & a Microphone'.