When I heard the news that Prince died this week, I had to sit down for a moment. It was a huge blow to the Candace I once was. Prince rarely crossed my mind in the last few decades but there once was a time when he meant the world to me. Even if he never knew I existed.
In 1985, there was nobody I loved more than Prince. I was a huge fan. My favorite movie star was Matt Dillon. My favorite singer was Prince. My bedroom had a wall dedicated to Prince. I loved that he rocked the guy liner. I loved the clothes he wore. I loved his music.
Then the most wonderful thing happened to a star struck fourteen year old. Prince came to my town. The kids all thought we lived in a ‘cow town’ but the city had an arena venue. Unfortunately, my friends and I dragged our feet and the show sold out. We were devastated. Lucky for us, a second show was announced. We all gave our $20.00 bills to our friend Lisa’s mom and she purchased five tickets to see His Purple Majesty.
It was a situation, that now as a mother, makes me cringe. Five girls going alone to a concert. The oldest is only fifteen. The youngest is Lisa’s little sister, who I think was ten. Did my mother even know how dirty his lyrics were? The fourteen year old me knew what the lyrics meant, but they didn’t have the visual effect that the forty six year old me gets. Over the years, as I listen back to the songs of my youth, I realize that I was oblivious to a lot of innuendos. It is not just Prince songs either.
I am sad to say that I don’t remember much about the concert. It was the biggest thing in my life back then. Today, as with many memories, it has faded. I remember the excitement. I remember our group waiting for the concert. I remember that I was chewing gum in line outside the venue. But there is not one clear memory of anything Prince did that night. I vaguely remember him singing Purple Rain. I’m not sure if it is a real memory or I know it to be true because it was The Purple Rain Tour. It was so important at the time. I am sure we must have rehashed the details to our other friends many times. I have searched and searched the memory files in my mind and it just isn’t there anymore. It is disappointing on so many levels and makes me worry about the health of my mind.
Up until a few years ago, I had the t-shirt I bought that night. I finally threw out the bag that held multiple concert shirts from the 80’s. All that is left is my fading memory and the ticket stub.