Sixteen’s just such a great age when you love music. You discover a new artist and it’s like they’ve never been heard by anyone but you before. You want to tell all your friends about them. You want to rush out and get all their back catalogue and rarities.
My love affair began when a boyfriend lent me the ‘Dirty Mind’ album on vinyl. Subliminal messaging? Whatever. It blew my mind. Out went Elvis, out went Michael Jackson, out went A-Ha. All paled into significance next to the amazing world of Prince.
I played the records over and over again in my bedroom. I had a little pink box room with a single bed covered with a crochet throw. It was a bit of a girly room, but I’m a bit of a geek so it had a massive poster of Star Wars on one wall and on the other John Cleese from Monty Python doing the funny walk. I’d invite my friends around and force them to listen. My Mum and Dad learnt his records from the base that would bounce through to the sitting room underneath. I think they could judge my mood from the song I was playing. If it was Prince I was going to come down happy.
I spent 1987 to 1989 buying up his back catalogue. I used to spend hours at a record stall in Middlesborough’s Hill Street Centre looking for B sides. Then in 1990 I managed to see him live in NEC Birmingham. It was incredible. Me and my boyfriend travelled down on the Prince coach from Middlesborough. Just as we were pulling in to the gig ‘Its Gonna Be A Beautiful Night’ came on. Perfect timing! I was so excited. Everyone started screaming as he appeared from the shadows. He was wearing a back leotard and boots- leaving nothing to the imagination. He wears feminine stuff and yet he’s so masculine.
There was a great atmosphere ‘cos the fans are a real mixed bunch. He swears a bit, and he’s bit rude and the rebellious bunch like him. But women and older people like him too because he writes really good lyrics and he’s really respectful of woman. A friend from university has kept a letter I wrote to her at the time where I detail the concert step by step…I think she got the impression it was rather good….
My relationship with the ex ended long ago but I’m forever grateful to him for introducing me to a brilliant artist. He’s filthy of course too (Prince, not the ex) so that’s always an added bonus….!
It’s very rare that a week goes by without me listening to one of his albums. I’ve even converted the husband. I don’t think he’d choose to put him on but if am playing his records in the computer room he doesn’t mind.
We were lucky enough to see him in Leeds last year and he was still brilliant. He’s in his 50’s now so he DJ’s more than he dances. Nothing is every going to be as good as when I saw him at 19. If my husband had seen him then he’d know what all the fuss is about!
I’ve loved many artists before and since but Prince is always a mainstay of my collection… Give it a go…you’ll not look back, I promise you!
Sent in by Sarah, Chester le Street, Co. Durham