Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Dear Prince...

Dear Prince (Rogers Nelson)

Forgive the old open letter malarkey, but I have no other way of reaching your funky self. Let me start by stating a fact: I have loved you for 30 years. There, said it. My name is Suzanne, and I have loved you for 3/4 of my small life...  (That is older I am sure, than most of the folk at them there BRITs tonight...).

But Prince, (is it ok I call you that? I know over the years you've been a few different names and a symbol or two)... I'm a bit disappointed... Yep. I'm a bit gutted really. Because it seems that with all my devotion, all my enthusiasm for you and your various bands (the Revolution, NPG, 3rd Eye Girl etc) that I just cannot get to see you get your funk on at all these 'secret gigs' in London town. Not for want of trying - oh no, on want alone, I'd be getting down last week in Camden, shaking my booty at N1 on Friday, or rocking out at KOKO last Sunday... But life - and when I say life - I mean two small people aged 7 and 3 - my kids - got in the way. With no sitters and Husband working and all - I just couldn't physically get there and queue - which trust me, I would happily have done. I'd have sold a freakin' kidney if they'd let me exchange my offal for a side seat at Ronnie Scott's....

But so far - you have remained elusive to me - which is pretty disappointing for someone who has the responsibilities and obligations that most of your old old fans would have - unlike many of the 18 year olds who can queue all day and next....  If I sound bitter - I aint. I just want to get near your purpleness... somehow.. some way...

You first hooked me in when I heard 'Let's Go Crazy.' I'd question how anyone COULDN'T be hooked in when they hear your guitar riff at the end, or even the prayer to begin - but for me, that was a defining moment... My step-sister made mix tapes on a weekly basis - you know that old 'press play and record' trick on the tape machine? Do you miss mix tapes? Me too. Anyway, she'd gathered together some rubbish 80s music and in between the slushy ballads and the synthesized warblings - there you were. I stood stock still and fell in love. I was almost 11. Immediately (no internet in those days) I raced to the local record store and bought Purple Rain. I took to sketching the face on the album inside sleeve on my art folder and doing all the obligatory things to announce to the world that YOU were my favourite artist. That's where the love began - somewhere between 'When Doves Cry' and the naughty 'Darling Nikki.'

Fast forward to the summer of '85 and this here hick from Belfast is in the big smoke, strutting down Oxford Street to HMV. Pocket money saved, notes in sweaty hand and I buy 'Around the World in a Day.' Paisley Park is still one of my all time favourites. I practically wore out my record player needle on that record...

And so it went on.. That Xmas I rummaged in your back catalogue and bought 'Dirty Mind' - which is one of your finest albums ever - fact. Then Prince, For You, Controversy, 1999, Parade... But nothing really prepared me for the mighty tomb of 'Sign O' the Times.' I have that album on tape, record, CD and downloaded. It is without question, my favourite album of all time.

I remember being up a mountain on some awful Duke of Edinburgh award with school when I heard you'd cancelled your UK dates for the Sign O' the Times tour. I cried all the way down the hill... That was the summer of '87. You cancelled again on me in 1990 and I started to take it personally... Finally I laid eyes on you in the flesh in 1992, your Diamonds and Pearls tour... and in 1993 and of course at the O2 in 2007. Of course you didn't disappoint...

Which is why I am amping to see you. So when you and those lovely 3rdEyeGirls have rocked Manchester into next year - can you PLEASE come back to London and offer some tickets - so as us oldies - the ones that have kicked around since '84 and even before - can come and worship at your purple altar - and not miss out just because we can't stand in the rain for 9 hours?

Thanks Prince, that would be ACE. Oh and for encore, I'd love Starfish and Coffee, The Cross and When you were Mine. Thanks.

You look great by the way. You've aged way better than me.

Much love, always. Suzanne xxx

PS. You should employ @MrFunkyG in your PR team - as he has been nothing short of incredible with all his promo work on twitter. #justsayin'
 

2 comments:

Rachael.bryett said...

I could have written this - scarily, almost every word. I know what you are going through, I have gone through huge excitement when it was announced he was coming to the UK to losing a little bit of hope with every gig he does with no advance tickets. And I had tickets to the opening night of the O2 gigs in 2007 then had to sell as I was due to give birth 10 days later... X

Julie Joseph said...

Totally relate. I even had a sitter sorted for Sunday but couldn't get there til 6 and figured queue would be too long since it had 60 people at 8an!