Some thoughts on Prince..
The first song I can remember hearing by Prince was when he ditched the bass and harnessed his electric falsetto for the 1986 smash “Kiss.” I must have been in 3rd grade and heard it in the morning carpool on Z100 on the way to school, in between the incessant banter of the drive-time DJs. It was so fresh - so artistic. I was really just learning about pop music at that time, and I think whatever curious surge of energy I felt was probably the unconscious prepubescent inkling of Prince’s powerful and artistic sexuality. I loved that song. A few years later, in my high school band, we covered that tune along with a few other time-honored songs - The Violent Femme’s “Blister In the Sun,” the Beatles “You've got to hide your Love Away,” and the Grateful Dead’s “Friend of the Devil.” All those tunes were good melodic campfire jams, but Prince’s Kiss had a rhythm and soul that felt so good to play. Into college Kiss became my go-to song for karaoke and I loved trying to hone in my sexy falsetto and dance moves. A protege I was not. A clumsy, theatrical wannabe I am.
Prince is many things to millions of people. His music, philosophies, and successes have influenced generations of songwriters, fashionistas, and performers. The world will never see another Prince in any lifetime, but we will see new waves of artists and makers inspired by The Artist to be themselves; to be talented and headstrong; committed and unapologetic; unyielding and masterful. I too, with confidence will strive for excellence. Viva la Purple Rain.
For some reason, years later "I Would Die For U" became my anthem. It is a very different song than Kiss.. less casual and a deeper cut, for me. We recorded this tune, at a session way back in 2007 at Pachyderm during the sessions for The Dark, Delirious Morning, with guest vocals from Haley Bonar and Joanna James. Lance Conrad at Humans Win mixed this tune a few years back and released it on a studio compilation album. It's an interesting take.. sweet, raw, silly, and polished.