I hated Prince as a kid. Seriously. The girls and their Purple Rain movie posters in their lockers. Some pop-culture, top of the charts “look at me” cheese-ball. Yeah, I, like you, knew all the songs on his hit list. I never paid much attention because I’ve never been appreciative of pop-culture. It’s why we were never on Facebook for a long time and we weren’t on Instagram until a few months back.
But about ten years ago or so, I watched Prince in sheer, complete, inspired awe. Yes, the Superbowl 1/2 time performance.
That performance told me so much about the man. He clearly had talent. He clearly had style, charisma, all those things. But in a world of 7B people, you simply do not stand out without commitment, hard work, dedication, a strive for excellence. In short, you can find fame quickly but to maintain it, my goodness it simply takes so much hard work through committed process. And then to reach people, to share all of what you are, to have all of what you have consistently reach people, to provide aspiration for each person in their own lives to inspire them in their fields, that simply takes something. And boy, is that so incredible and so humbling to watch.
For me personally, there are so very few things that stop me in my tracks, so few moments that make me consider the massive picture of talent combined with dedication, commitment, inspiration, aspiration, that combine with ‘that moment’ that simply unfolds because of the opportunity that those things bring over time. It’s not that Purple Rain is the world’s best song. No. It’s because of everything behind the moment, the decades that led up to him being asked to be the star of the 1/2 time show at the Super Bowl, the ridiculous drive one has to have to continue, the reality that he walked in his own aura but the recognition that his aura was well beyond himself in that it reached people and he simply had to be in order for that to reach people. And when you appreciate that complexity, that complete package, you understand how the greats truly are the greats. No matter if we each “like” an artist or a talent, the appreciation of their “whole” and how it reaches our world, our society, that simply has to be appreciated. And that’s why every once in a while I slide into YouTube and watch Prince’s Superbowl 1/2 time show performance of Purple Rain. Yes, I like the song, but more so I am completely transfixed and enlightened by the aura, the commitment, the standing in who he is… and at the same time so inspired to do our best in the small things we do in life.
Watching this NFL films video, to hear how the production team was fretting the monsoon rain in Miami and everything that had to be considered in the behind the scenes of the production, to then hear how when the call was made to see Prince’s thoughts on the heavy rain and his reply “Can you make it rain harder?” – that simply tells you of a man who knows a moment was coming and he was simply going to lean into it. Like Prince or not, when you consider these things, that is pure inspiration. There aren’t many moments of inspiration that hit us life, but for me, this is one.
To hear of his passing today, I still laugh at those cheeseball movie posters from about 1985, but I am so thankful for this performance and all that led up to it.
I can’t find a link to the whole performance but here’s a link that production video.