I’m very sad to hear about Prince passing, my memories of him go way back to when his first album was released decades ago. I was a teenager working at Tower Records on Sunset Blvd. then; I remember all the album covers and posters plastered on the walls and, being the punk I was, I had major (negative) attitude about him. My interest piqued as time went on, and I really wanted to go see him when he played Flippers roller disco, which was on La Cienega and Santa Monica Blvd. (it’s a CVS now); it was the happening event that everyone was talking about and I wanted to be part of it; I was curious. But the tickets were, like, $25, which was a lot in 1981, so I didn’t get to go. I did see him open for the Stones that year — he got booed off the stage. I had backstage passes but I don’t recall if I saw him there. By the time Purple Rain came out, I had been working at Warner Bros. Records and was a huge fan of his. I still remember the night I went to a screening of the movie on the lot; the energy in the room was like when something’s about to break big. I drive by that gate on my way home from my new job, so lately I’ve been thinking about Prince and that night five times a week. A few years later, when I worked at MGM in Culver City (now home to Sony), my mom and her friend came to have lunch with me. We went to the lot and they wanted to see movie stars, but no one was around. We saw Spielberg (the were filming Hook) but he wasn’t a STAR. While we were walking back to my office, lo and behold, a huge door swung open and out walked Prince and his entourage. He was filming a video there. He was wearing a bright yellow jumpsuit and he walked right by us…my memory of it happens in slow motion, as if it was in a movie. My mom and her friend were thrilled — and so was I! I eventually came to realize, like everyone else, what a genius he was, and I regret that I didn’t see him live in recent years. But, unlike when I was a young punk, I don’t feel compelled to be at the most happening events, and his concerts were always happening events. With such icons as Michael Jackson, Bowie, Merle Haggard and now Prince gone, I think next time I will make the extra effort to see my favorite musical icons once again while I have the chance. RIP Prince.

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