Goodnight, Sweet Prince: We Always Seem To Lose The Beautiful Ones

prince music

I don’t write facts — I write feelings. Prince has died, and though it’s a fact, I have nothing but feelings to express how utterly tragic this is. I don’t know how he died, I don’t know how sick he was. All I know is that I loved that sexy mofo and that he was one of the people in my life who brought me true joy.

The other day I was telling my best friend that I was going to hang a warning sign on my door that said, “If you didn’t come to party, don’t bother knocking on my door.” It was yet another Prince joke, just one of the many we’ve shared over the years.

The first time I saw Prince, I thought he looked like the lovechild of Little Richard and Dr. Frank-N-Furter. There he was on this huge poster, not really a superstar yet but destined for glory in ways nobody could predict.

He’d just come out with Dirty Mind and he was touring the album. The poster was black and white, and he was absolutely gorgeous. He was this tiny hot babe, done up to hell and back in eye liner, lip gloss and no pants. Just a black jockstrap and some thigh high stockings and high-heeled boots.

I had no idea what he sounded like, where he was from or what kind of music he made. All I knew is that I was curious.

I got myself a copy of Dirty Mind and life changed. Being the same age as Prince, I was as hormonally overdosed as he was, although it’s impossible to think that anyone could be as sexually charged as that beautiful, gifted man. “When you were mine, I used to let you wear all my clothes.” Lyrics like that mirrored my own life, as I was way into flaunting my own crazy eccentricities in fashion at the time.

The original Magenta (Patricia Quinn), me, and Columbia (Nell Campbell)

Back in those days there was no internet, so you actually had to make an effort to get to know what your star was all about. There was no online purchasing of tickets — you went to the box office and you laid the money down. And that's what my best friend Gail and I did. We got our tickets and we were Prince-bound.

The year was 1980 and the album 1999 just came out. We hit Radio City Music Hall and saw the show. After it was done, Gail and I hung out by the backstage entrance, hoping to catch a glimpse of the man we were both dressed up to look like. In fact, back in those days, we always looked like members of his band.

We had our hair slicked on the side, curls all a-flow in our eyes, and our eyes always said, Do me, baby.” We had our jackets with studs and our Mozart shirts, and just in case Prince needed someone to fly up to his side to replace Wendy & Lisa of The Revolution, we could be counted on.

Over the backstage door at Radio City, there was a window, and guess who popped his head out? The Maestro himself. And he looked down at me and Gail and gave us his coyest, sexiest, knowing smile, as if he’d just had a menage with us ten minutes earlier.

We melted into hot purple messes, knowing that Prince just looked at us "that way." But then again, Prince looked at everything "that way."

That was Prince — pure nerve and passion. Nobody was more insanely sexual in the history of music, and every inch of that love was pure, inspired genius. When he took the stage, all you could do was hope to survive the energy he put out.

Whether he was crawling on all fours sniffing some girl's butt like a cat in heat, or wailing on a guitar in ways that let you know you were in the presence of a superior talent, he made every second of it worthwhile.

His music was beautiful, erotic, funky, soulful, exciting, energetic, hard, soft, daring, audacious and perfect. I have never once turned off "Little Red Corvette" if I heard it on the radio. Not once.

And I’m sure his presence on earth led to many children being born because my former partner and I certainly worked on that zipper baby quite a few thousand times while "Sign O' the Times" played in the background. Hey, we even fell in love with Apollonia. At least I did.

Oh, the beautiful ones. They always seem to lose. And lose we certainly did when we lost the most beautiful one: Prince. His was a story we really never knew, though we were privy to glimpses. We’d heard of tremendous loss and heartbreak in his life. 

We knew of his struggles as an artist, and we adored him for his unique and oft times bizarre ways, but never did we ever doubt his purity or his genius.

Nothing compares to you, dear one. Good night, sweet Prince. Good night.