Prince and My Brother

“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
A world of never ending happiness
You can always see the sun, day or night…” 
-Prince 1958-2016
My love affair with Prince started at a fairly young age. If you follow my blog, you may know that I spent a lot of time in my early years with another family, my “filipino family. The youngest of the siblings was Randy. He was still older than me by more than a decade but he was the baby of their family. He loved me too. We spent a lot of time together. I know it was likely because he was the youngest and got stuck with me but he didn’t make me feel like I was bothering him ever. Of course he teased me, but what big brother wouldn’t? As we grew older, I listened to what they listened to and a big part of that, circa 1984 was Prince. My sister Traci was a big fan as well. I’m not entirely sure how it happened, but Randy ended up with two tickets and no date to see Prince at the Oakland Arena. Somehow, he ended up saying “Jenny-Faye, get dressed you’re going with me.” Phyllis, the matriarch of the family, said something like “Bonnie (my mom) will flip… Fuck it, don’t tell her.” This is just how that family rolled. It wasn’t meant to be disrespectful… well, maybe it was. Knowing Phyllis, it could very well have been, she didn’t give a fuck. Straight up, but I digress. That night, my adult brother took me to see Prince. He didn’t treat me like a baby, he took me to a grown up concert and I didn’t give a single fuck that I only got to go because somebody else didn’t want to. I was there and it was awesome.
From then on, Prince always reminded me of Ran. About 7 years ago, Randy died. Much like Prince, he was taken too soon, only not from adoring fans, from adoring children, his wife, sisters, brother, mother, father… He was adored. In the year that he passed, I went to see an 80’s tribute band. We all crimped our hair and put on our pearls and shoulder slouch sweater and went for it! Midway through the night, they played a “Prince Block” and I lost it… Cried like an idiot. I’m sure bottle service helped but I was lamenting the loss of my brother through his music. 
So, thank you, Prince. Thank you for the amazing music. Thank you for knowing your brand and staying true to it.Thank you for writing a prolific catalog of music that effortlessly crossed genres. Thank you for being a visionary. Thank you for standing up to “the man”. Thank you for being so gottdamned awesome that you didn’t even need a name… and thank you for giving me something that was my own with Randy. Thank you for that. May the four winds blow you both safely home. Swearing Mom (sister) out.prince 1

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