43/365: “Sometimes It Snows In April” by Prince
Last year I was driving a rental car from Phoenix to Indio when my wife texted me about some bad news. She said she wanted me to hear it from her, before I had a chance to read about it online. I was panicked and when I called her, she broke the news that Prince had died. On the eve of the most joyous musical outing of the year, I was devastated. Just days before, I had bought several Prince cassettes to play on our campsite boombox. My excitement about attending the festival was all but snuffed out.
I found some peace on Friday when Gallant and Sufjan Stevens and LCD Soundsystem paid tribute to the incomparable legacy of Prince with covers of “Purple Rain” and “Controversy”. Late Saturday night, my brother and some of his friends got the idea of climbing a hill within the campground and watching the sunrise. Restless and still reeling from the grief, I decided to tag along. As the sun climbed over the mountains, we listened to “Sometimes It Snows In April”. Despite the profound sadness, in that moment we found beauty and communal peace in a moment I will never forget as long as I live.
Tonight, The Time and Bruno Mars paid tribute to The Purple One at the Grammys. I knew it was coming and I still unraveled at the sight of the Love Symbol emblazoned in bright white light accompanied by the opening monologue of “Let’s Go Crazy”. As my face got several kinds of soggy, I couldn’t help but smile through the tears while watching Bruno Mars do his best Prince impersonation. He was the right man for this particularly impossible job and then just as I was starting to pull myself together, the show cuts to a Google commercial of various diverse groups of people singing “Nothing Compares 2 U” at which point I become entirely inconsolable.
We are gathered here today
To get through this thing called life