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 When my opportunity to spend a little more time with the first girl to truly steal my heart came, I bought a ticket to the Purple Rain tour and called my friend to tell him I needed a ride too …In the fall of 1984, I met the first girl that consumed me completely.  She was graced with classic beauty, eyes that took me away to forever and flowing orange-red hair (shaved on one side a la Cindy Lauper) … There was nothing more beautiful.  She was one of (maybe?) four girls I have truly loved with every thread of my existence; she was the first and she’ll always be remembered that way.  She was also the first person to introduce me to Prince.

By the spring of 1985, I thought of her night and day nearly encompassing every waking moment.  When we weren’t on the phone, which was virtually every night, I wanted to be near her, to experience her warmth and insightful (high school) beauty.  When I wasn’t awake, I was dreaming about her. I wanted nothing more than to be with her every second.  But, as the story goes, she had a boyfriend … who was known as Rude Boy (yeah, I know that sounds too 80’s … but, it was the 80’s and you really don’t need to make this stuff up).   To her, I was just a friend that provided stability in an otherwise chaotic life.

When Hank Told me he was giving her a ride to Market Square to see the Prince concert, I was in; how could I not be? And, as Hank and I drove to Indy (alone because she decide to go with someone else), I was very “why did I buy this ticket?” but still interested.

Our seats were northern nose bleed, right of center …

Following the opening act (either Sheila E or Appollonia 6; but was there really a difference?) and intermission, the lights went down in the smoke filled arena and the showman took over shredding the audience with the opening tune, Let’s Go Crazy. Neon coloured lights and more smoke accompanied soaring guitar riffs, primal screams, a life time of sexual innuendo, more searing guitar, more sexual innuendo, more smoke, more sex … more, more, more.  The next two hours were a dizzying array of euphoric lights and music, screams and implied orgasms, personal moments and straight forward rock.  Life for the moments seemed distant and small.

When the stage went black after the first encore, no one moved. The stage sat motionless, devoid of it’s creator, devoid of movement and the crowd waited for something. Somewhere a clap began at 116 bpm.  The clap began to swell as the other 15,000 exhausted (but still needy) fans matched the 116.  Still the stage remained black and motionless.  We all strained to see some movement on the stage,and, finally,  a distorted guitar began to play.  A piano joined the black and the floor began to slowly sway to a new beat closer to 58…

I never meant to cause you any sorrow
I never meant to cause you any pain
I only wanted one time to see you laughing
I only want to see you laughing in the purple rain

Purple rain Purple rain
Purple rain Purple rain
Purple rain Purple rain

I only want to see you bathing in the purple rain

I never wanted to be your weekend lover
I only wanted to be some kind of friend
Baby I could never steal you from another
It’s such a shame our friendship had to end

Purple rain Purple rain
Purple rain Purple rain
Purple rain Purple rain

I only want to see you underneath the purple rain

Honey I know, I know, I know times are changing
It’s time we all reach out for something new
That means you too
You say you want a leader
But you can’t seem to make up your mind
I think you better close it
And let me guide you to the purple rain

Purple rain Purple rain
Purple rain Purple rain

If you know what I’m singing about up here
C’mon raise your hand

Purple rain Purple rain

I only want to see you, only want to see you
In the purple rain

Prince

And, for as long as it stays up, a link to a live version:

Rest in peace beautiful artist.  We will always miss your love and gift.

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