When I was 4 or 5 years old, most of my family lived under the same roof. My uncle, Papo (Marcelo) was a big music/movie head. He lived in the converted basement area downstairs with his wife and kids, so I was always down there playing with my cousins and listening to music and watching movies.
I have a lot of good memories of that.
Specifically the day my uncle put on Purple Rain because to paraphrase him, ‘This dude is fucking bad’ (it was the 80’s).
I can’t tell you how many times I watched that movie. All I know is I have that entire album memorized. I know that movie in and out. I’ve watched it with genuine enjoyment as an adult. Not out of a sense of irony, but out of awe.
Jump a few years ahead to 1989. I remember standing on a line nearly three blocks long to go see some flick called Batman at the Loews American around the corner from my apartment. That movie was vibrant, different, indelibly marked with that man’s unbelievable talent.
And it never ended. If there’s any single musician we can call an American parallel to David Bowie, it’s Prince. He was other-worldly, capable of anything, furiously individual – a fucking guitar god above all.
Like Bowie, the first notes of the first album you heard from Prince changed the shape of your brain. It set the tone of your memories.
It’s frankly bizarre to believe he could possibly die from something as banal as a flu.
But giants fall easy, I guess.