43. Prince Image

In 1981 Prince supported the Rolling Stone’s tour for two nights. His ambivalent sexuality compared to the rock hetrosexuaity of the Stones didn’t go down well, and he was booed off stage. He was coaxed back for a second night, and the audience was ready.
Again he was booed off stage with food and vegetables. Never again.

His rebellion against sexual mores, and religious values were controversial. He abandoned any traditional truths of being black or male. He blurred the boundaries including his own early life.

At his peak Prince was one of the biggest manistream stars of his day without diluting his blackness. Quite a feat. Then he slid into his own cliche. Staying safe feeding of past glories. He changed his name which removed his audience further from the glory days.

He was one of the first pop stars to create his own world in Paisley Park. Like Neverland it became a refuge, a bunker where he was in control of his world. A good idea. Real life is replaced by a Boys’ Own World.

He preferred younger women, who didn’t argue with him. He could never be seen to be vulnerable. The polished presentation and image took him over. Who was he underneath might never be known. Perhaps ordinary and dull. Not compatible with the image.

His drug use was hidden but people knew it was going on. After Purple Rain he got everything he wanted and didn’t like it. Five days before his death he bought music by Joni Mitchell and Stevie Wonder. Listening to the past. He went back to playing his old tunes to small audiences on his own.

Prince died alone in Paisley Park. Even he couldn’t keep reality out. Maybe he just thought he could.

Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2019            
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Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only
This article is designed to provoke argument and critique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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