Hi! <Waves>

Funny and honest tales from a made-to-work Dad of three, wobbling, graying, and laughing his way through parenthood. Armed to the teeth with Nerf guns, full of pie, fighting a chocolate addiction, but genuinely honoured to be at least half of Team Parents (yay!).

25 April 2016

Bye Bye Purple Man...

Prince died the other day, at 57.
In cricketing terms: not a bad innings but everyone would have liked to see him bat on, at least until after the mid-afternoon sandwiches and pint sinking drinks. Ready for the evenings play.
In real terms: Sad news. A loss.

I'm quite gutted at the passing of Prince.
He was an amazing guitarist, singer, a brilliant songwriter and a very unique individual. 
And now he's gone from the world which is never a good thing. I like those kind of people in the world. I like them to stay. The more the merrier.
People like Prince can really put some colour and sparkle into life. 
People like Prince scream to world, it's fine to be yourself.
Even if yourself is a sex and purple obsessed loon genius.

('Rows 1 & 2... my room later... bring friends')

"Dearly beloved
We are gathered here today
To get through this thing called life
Electric word life, It means forever and that's a mighty long time
But I'm here to tell you, there's something else
The after world..."

If the funeral didn't start like that, I will be sodding sorely disappointed.

It was Purple Rain that I fell in love with.
The album obv. I'm old. I have vinyled.
There's nine tracks of magic on there. Which considering there are only nine tracks on the album, is pretty good going. Not a single dud. 
Compare that to a Bieber album...

<Plays opening bar of first track on Bieber album>
Dud <Skips on>
Dud <Skips on>
Dud <Skips> Dud <Skips> Dud <Skips> Dud <Skips> Dud <Skips>
Ooo... hang on... yeah... this isn't so ba <Beiber starts singing>
Dud <Skips to the end throws CD out of window>
<Hits flying rat seagull, is fine with that>

But Prince meant more to me than just his music (and his music meant a lot).
As a young man (me, not Prince). I wasn't very tall (I was short) and I wasn't very sexually switched on (all the high scores were mine <Does dramatic voice> Allllllllllll...).
I felt my height and appearance were not really going to cut it with the ladies (A.K.A. girls equally terrified of being 13-16 with similar worries and concerns). 
Prince however, pointed out that maybe my understanding of the world, and what is considered attractive. Was utter crap. 
Not in person obv. Through the tele.

To my young eyes he was pure sexual attraction. 
He oozed it. As though it was poured into him every night, and repainted on every morning.
I watched him on Top of the Pops dressed in his velvet suits, surrounded by the tall beautiful talented woman in his band. He stood there singing brilliantly, basically making love to his guitar on stage, singing in falsetto. And everyone loved him for it.
Especially the ladies.
And ladies were very much on my mind at that time.

(He did the Batman music.... OMFB!)

"Six o'clock already
I was just in the middle of a dream"

<Leaps out of bed>
Stop pulling on my eyelids and asking me if I wanna make a snowman!!!
<Miss5 looks guilty>
Of course I bloody do!
Miss5: 'Yay!'
But not at 6am <Gets back into bed>
<Gets eyelids pulled>

Now, looking back.
I wish I had thought more about the ladies in the band it. There was Prince proving to a young-me that it wasn't height and appearance that made the man. A key young-me worry. 
The lesson was there right in front of my eyes. Shame I ignored it.
It takes me ages to learn that lesson, and was largely done by Mrs. Amazing's reluctant acceptance and the need for someone that could wire the stereo love.
Yet there it was, right in front of me, very early on in my life, a brilliant lesson that would have saved me hours of pain and worry.
Why didn't I absorb it?

Because... No idea. Sorry.
I can only guess. It's probably because at that time in the universe, in my world. I was surrounded by uber MEN! BIG MEN! TALL MEN! STRONG MEN! You had to run fast, be fast, hit hard. GRRRRR.
Men that hated purple. Men that are manly men. It was everywhere on the tele, computer games, school, adults.
Everywhere the message was simple. Men are big and strong.
And big men get the girls.

Unless you are Prince (5'2" apparently).
I've read many times, from various sources (twice), that he didn't give a crap that his height was considered low by some. It wasn't a worry for him.
And why would it be? It's only a comparative measurement. Seems dumb when you put it that way.
Also his sense of style should have marked him out as loony to be avoided at all costs. But somehow he made it work.
I can't help but compare him to David Bowie. The decks were stacked greatly against them both and yet they managed to make it work for them, in similar, but wildly different ways. 
And both to an amazing level of achievement and recognition.
To me that is bacon impressive, hell, that's bacon pie impressive.

(‘What’s my name?’
‘ALL: We don’t know, it is impossible to pronounce’
‘Ah yeah’ <Grinds>)

I hope my children have people like that in their lives as they grow up.
Not Bieber. I suppose... that person could be me.
I've left it a little late for the music career thing, and the god-like guitar skills.
But you know, I like a challenge.
The unique dress sense may be a bit trickier. As at present I seem to be sporting clothes from ten years ago - The Essential Dad Range 2016 or 2006 or  1996.
And Mrs. Amazing may be pretty pissed when she meets my band...

This is Jenny, Tracey, Britney and Jane. But everyone simply calls her 'Shagger'... she plays bass
Mrs. Amazing: <Looks about> I hate you all Nice to meet you all...
Mrs. Amazing: 'They need to leave now, of course'
But they're my band!
<Gets a look>
Yeah... OK... I know... Come on girls, dream's over.
Back to welding and dancing in barns for the lot of you

My children are likely to look similar to me.
That's just the way genetics works, I can't be blamed for it.
Sure they might be big and strong and play for the England Woman's rugby team (Miss5 that is). But the odds are against it.
The odds are they will go through the same worries and fears I did. But in there own way. Obv.
So I hope there is someone like Prince out there for them all and they learn the lessons I didn't.
I hope somewhere in the nasty world of mass media they can see, loudly and brightly, someone not physical huge, not the standard model, not looking like everyone else, just doing it their own way.
Basically like Frank, but in purple.

"You don't have to be rich, to be my girl"
How much you got in your purse?
Mrs. Amazing: 'A few quid...'
Oh... That's what I've got...
Mrs. Amazing: 'How about the kids share some chips, a hot chocolate, and...  and... we can share a cuppa'
Good plan <Gives a kiss>
<Steals a lot of chips>

As for Prince.
I know some of his music will be remembered for a long time. Because its awesome. 
And probably his style and personality too. That's what happens when you're that special and talented.
Everyone remembers what you did.

For me Prince's greatest song will always be 'When Doves Cry' (with Purple Rain a close second).
Lyrically, poetically, and awesome-grinding-sextastic-guitar-lead rockingly, I consider that song to be one of the greatest of all time. Really.
The words speak directly in my mind and heart and say it's OK, we've all been there.
Also there's no bass line. Really no, bass line. Next time you're boogieing-on-down to it, have a listen. No bass line there. He did that on purpose (apparently). How the smeg do you make a song that funky and cool, but have no bass line?
Beyond genius.

"Why do we scream at each other"
Because you're annoying we're family
"This is what it sounds like when doves cry"
Damn right it does, and that's neither good nor bad. It's just the way it is
<Does dove shadow puppets attacking each other>
<Then doves get it on and feathers start flying>
<In tribute to Prince obv.> 

I'm gonna leave you with, not what I thought I was going to leave you with.
Which was going to be fifteen minutes of Purple Rain (here) awesomeness and lead guitar perfection.
No. On the day of Prince's death my little brother sent me this saying it was utterly brilliant and amazing. He was dead right ruining a lifetimes run.
Just watch how Prince owns the stage, the crowd, the guitar, the suit, those collars, himself... amazing.

Bye bye purple man and thank you for everything.
X (with tongues)

(If the stupid embedded video isn't working, click here)