How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height.. Wait, you mean Prince’s height? That’s not going to cover it…
Basically I love him a load. For all the obvious reasons - is Purple Rain the greatest guitar riff of all time? Yes, there are people in the 10:10 office who may feel more passionately about this than about clear solar panels.
But we also love him for a whole host of excellent reasons that may well have passed you by.
1) The guy was more talented than you even know.
He released his first album in 1978 and played every single instrument on there himself. He could play 27 instruments in total and even played electric guitar for Madonna’s “Like a Prayer”. I can’t even name 27 different instruments.
2) He showed promise from extremely early age.
Prince wrote his first song aged seven. Then followed it up by dancing on stage with James Brown aged ten. He’s achieved more by ten than I have at 30.
3) He was actually pretty jokes.
Anyone lucky enough to have seen the diminutive star play live will attest to his warmth, humour and unexpected accessibility. But if you’ve got your doubts let me direct you to any of the following:
- That time David Chapelle impersonated him, and he responded by featuring an image of Chapelle, as him, on the cover of his newest single.
- In his later years the only TV he watched was the news and Zoey Deschanel’s “New Girl”, leading him to make a guest appearance. When you’re Prince, you can pretty much wander onto any TV set and they’ll work around you. Hence…
- That time he appeared on the muppets. No, I’ve got no idea either, but it’s excellent. Trust me.
4) He had no time for genres.
Prince did rock, funk, R&B, pop, even a near-impossible to find jazz album. He wrote songs in male and female personas. And he wore a crop top in a way that 16 year old 90’s kids could only dream off.
5) Have you even managed to play the tambourine while doing the splits? In the air?
Nope. Me neither.
6) The guy was a 5’2 basketball pro.
That Chapelle sketch was all about a time that Prince schooled comedian Charlie Murphy on the basketball court. The story was backed up by his former coach and school pals after he died attesting to his skills.
7) He loved performing as much as we loved to watch him.
Huge stars can sometimes seem tired of their own schtick. Prince was not that star. His love of performing was notorious, and evident. He played 21 nights straight at the O2. His 2014 hit-and-run tour in London took “pop up” to the next level: he announced tiny venues with just hours’ notice and tickets on the door for only £10-15. And of course, any Prince fan worth their purple wishes they’d been born in Minneapolis where he’d rock up at local venues with almost no notice, trailed by musician friends all fresh from Paisley Park jam sessions.
8) Some people think they don’t know Prince’s music. But they do. They always do.
Manic Monday by the Bangles? Prince wrote that. I feel for you by Chaka Khan. Prince again. Nothing compares to you by Sinead O’Conner. Yep, you’ve guessed it.
9) The guy was wonderfully weird.
His favourite meal was spaghetti and orange juice. He used to write fan mail to Joni Mitchell. He scrapped a whole album after a “spiritual epiphany”. I wish I had his sass.
10) He secretly funded solar panels, tech projects and more.
When Prince died, it turns out even the super fans amongst us didn’t know the full scale of his excellence. As his friend Van Jones pronounced – “it wasn’t just about the music”. Prince was a committed philanthropist – passionate about people and dedicated to making change. We could all do with a bit more Prince in our lives.