With this post, I just want to take a moment to look at and appreciate Prince’s absolutely beautiful fan community. Exactly: this is about you and me – and I love you 😀 *
My journey as a Prince supporter began in the Summer of 2003. It was all my older sister’s fault (but looking back at it all, I can only call it a GIFT now)! While I TRIED to be a gamer (at which I simply was no good), my sister stumbled in our room and started playing music while I was trying to focus on my game (older teenage sisters can be super annoying)! She started playing some album from this Prince guy she liked. So there we were – together in our room, each doing our own little thing. As much as I detested her playing records, something happened… At some point I told her: “If you really want to play music in here, you can play that one song again. What’s it called? 7? Yeah… It’s not bad at all”. One song became an album… et voilà! Not much later, I gave up on gaming and yet another teenage passion was born: the music of Prince.
Fast forward to when I was in my early twenties. After years and years of waiting, I had witnessed my first Prince concert (at Werchter Boutique during the Summer of 2010) and my craziest ‘Prince is the best’ years were definitely behind me. He obviously IS the best – but those crazy teenage years during which you discover someone who’s absolutely the bee’s knees ( 🙂 )… simply can’t be beat! ENTER: university life in which I often was a total nerd with – at paper-writing times- an extremely limited social life. Those were the days I joined Prince-related groups on Facebook and got to know other fans a little bit better. And I had SO much fun while doing it (while I was secretly listening a lot less to Prince’s music, ever since that Canadian Cohen dude caught my attention after playing a gazillion shows in Ghent). Then a peppered photograph got posted on some royal Twitter account and everything got even better…
Believe it or not: this is what a purple nutcase looks like
I must admit that I did have some serious prejudices before I got to know these Prince loving people a little bit better. The best example has to be how I looked at people who were willing to cross an ocean to go on a pilgrimage to Paisley Park. There was no doubt about it: they might be nice people, but also totally obsessed nutcases. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong! These seemingly crazy lunatics – although it’s not impossible that some of them ARE actually totally insane – aren’t making that trip because they’re total fanatics (in the creepiest sense of the word), they’re doing it to meet their family (or does saying that make me a crazy person myself!?) 😀 A couple of years ago, I wouldn’t have thought I’d EVER consider making that same trip, but now? Who knows! I won’t be travelling there this year (because very soon, I’ll finally start at my new job – and I simply don’t have the luxury of taking an unplanned holiday), but maybe some time after 2016…
Some of the people I met online over the last couple of years, have become friends I talk to on a daily basis. They’re people who cheer me up when I’m not having a great day, people who were there for me when scary news hits us, people who make me laugh and even laugh at my silly jokes**, fellow foodies, friends who taught me to always try to look at things in the most positive way (BIG change – so thank you, darlings!), a lifesaver who offered to buy a HITnRUN PHASE TWO album for me at Paisley Park and even delivered it to my doorstep, chosen family… I’d really love to meet and might even cross an ocean for some day (to hot Australia, or cold Minneapolis – who knows 😀 )!
Somewhere along the way, it became about so much more than the music. You, the incredibly sweet/awesome/funny/loving people bring me the most joy. For you, my sweeties, I have one message I just LOVE to repeat: I LOVE YOU!
* Unless you’re Prince, in which case, this isn’t directly about you, but I still love you anyway!
** No worries, some of my other friends have a decent sense of humor as well 🙂