It was the song my twenty-two year-old self waited for a DJ to spin whenever I found myself on a dance floor. Patience then (and now) as scarce as my bank balance, I’d invariably make an urgent plea, shouting over an already too loud snoozefest of a dance mix, Play Kiss. PLEASE! A nod from the DJ (always male in those days, usually bemused) and I was content enough, sucking back Tom Collins cocktails. Yet to come was an appreciation of wine, my own playlists, and other predilections.
Prince didn’t care.
You don’t need experience
Then came that unmistakable guitar riff and my loins woke up. There may have been others on the dance floor. I wasn’t aware of any. It was just me and Prince, having communion right there. As the song went, I didn’t have to be beautiful or rich (good thing as I was neither) and the cool crowd? Prince mocked them too. We both knew better.
You don’t have to be cool to rule my world.
So what did he want?
I just need your body baby from dusk to dawn.
YOU GOT IT.
In my second year of McGill, Purple Rain hit theatres.
My roommates and I flocked to it.
That’s me on the right. My roommate Tamara, her eyes closed, may very well be dreaming of Prince. It’s only a guess.
Prince was a funkmaster, our wizard of weird and wonderful and god, his music was sexy. We didn’t need therapy. We had Prince. The guy understood women’s needs.
Women, not girls, rule my world.
Clearly, he loved women. He shared his stage with all female band members. Just ask Toronto guitarist Donna Grantis, recruited to join an all female quartet with Prince.
“I think he likes the energy. He’s mentioned the strength he admires in women.”
-Donna Grantis, Working with Prince is as purple as you’d expect
Shedding inhibitions is a story of increments. I was headed for the stars, my inner engines chugging cheerfully along predictable tracks. Finish university. Seek higher learning from multitude of sources. Find meaningful work.
Along the way, Prince, guitar god, king of earthy, utterly sensual magic was whispering in my ear:
My love will be your food.
Many musicians have recorded their own versions of Kiss. Prince remains the best interpreter of that masterful groove. The song also has a worthy spot on Rolling Stones’ Greatest Songs of All Time. As for me, I’d bump it way up on my own list: songs of my life soundtrack.