Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Sometimes It Snows in April

Damn, it just doesn't feel real, does it? The headline "Prince Dies at 57" still does not compute, and it's freaky to even type that. I had the same issue with Bowie's death. It's like both Prince and Bowie were sort of these ethereal figures--almost supernatural--like it was just sort of understood that the rules of the universe did not apply to them. They were on a higher plane than the rest of us mortals. 

My writer buddy Dan Kennedy said it best: 

As shocked as I was by Bowie's passing, the fact that Prince is gone just seems harder to fathom somehow. My friend Marcus posted on FB that although both deaths were a huge shock, Prince hits closer to home (for Gen-Xer's like us) because, growing up in the '80s, Prince was "our guy." I totally agree. 

"Little Red Corvette" (1982) was the first Prince song I remember being aware of. I recall my sister and other "big kids" really digging it, but I was just sort of neutral (also, at nine years old I was more obsessed with horses than current pop music). Then in 1984-85 there was an amazing explosion of artists and albums that coincided with that sort of musical awakening a lot of kids have at around 11 or 12 years old and I discovered Duran Duran, Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, Michael Jackson and Prince--specifically the Purple Rain soundtrack--which blew my mind. 

I saw Purple Rain (the movie) when it premiered on HBO in the summer of 1985. It was so dark and "adult" that it's funny to think of my little 12-year-old self watching that. I mean, my family (along with everyone else in our neighborhood) had gotten premium cable a few years earlier, and it was a big thing for us neighbor kids to secretly try to catch "the dirty parts" of movies like Porky's and Fast Times at Ridgemont High (or if we were feeling really brave, one of the Friday the 13th movies) when we were at each other's houses. But Purple Rain was a lot racier than the typical teen sex films of that era, so I'm pretty sure it was one of those movies I sneaked out to the living room to watch at like 2am while my mom and stepdad were sleeping. That was something I got really good at: creeping into the living room and turning on the TV so it was barely audible and sitting like five inches from the screen so I could hear the movie while simultaneously listening for my mom in case she woke up. (In the event that she did, I would switch off the TV, race into the kitchen, and pour myself a glass of milk so it would look like I'd just gotten up to get a drink. Back in the day, we had to be really creative with stuff like that. I think kids today have it a lot easier, they can just watch whatever they want to on their smart phones and their parents probably don't have a clue.)      

Speaking of access, everyone knows by now how impossible it is to find Prince clips on YouTube; the only ones that exist seem to be live performances from award shows (which are awesome, admittedly), and the only Purple Rain clips viewable online are the ones from the trailer.

I guess this is indicative of how many times I've seen Purple Rain over the last 30 years (um, a lot), because there are a few little flashes of scenes I don't recognize: 

00:28 -- Apollonia in a barn? WTF was that? 
00:51 -- Prince getting smacked around by his dad (I think?) at what looks like a rehearsal space?

Marcus, help me you remember any of this? I'm also unsure about the snippet with the cop car driving by Morris and Jerome. I'm guessing they were deleted scenes, but I want your opinion. 

Anyway, Prince is gone, and it sucks. I have more to write on this subject but I'm still getting my head together. 

(Psst...looks like someone posted the video for Take Me With U in the past few days, but it will probably get yanked ASAP, maybe by the time this goes up.) 


Marcus said...

I don't remember those shots, either. (Although it's been 10 years or so since I last watched "Purple Rain.") Trailers are usually assembled before the final cut is finished on a film, so, more than likely, all of those bits ultimately became deleted scenes. That happens a lot: Watch trailers from films you know by heart and more than likely there's one or two things that you won't recognize.

andiepants said...

Yeah, that dawned on me when I watched the trailer a second time. I guess a lot of movies do some last minute re-cutting after the trailer is released.

I remember back in the day when "The Outsiders" and "Breakfast Club" (two movies I know by heart) aired on network TV and there were all these different scenes added that weren't in the theatrical versions. That really baffled me, not sure why they would pad out the movie with extra scenes for prime time. (Although I do remember the hilarious censoring in the BC scenes where Judd Nelson goes on his profanity-filled tirades. Things like, "I don't feel like hanging out with you gosh-darned turkeys anymore!")