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22 July, 2014

PRINCE: PURPLE RAIN Turns The Big Three – Oh – HOT METRO FINDS

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Detroit, Michigan – Hard to believe, “Purple Rain” is now 30 years old. I’ll cut right to the crash. As a kid I always wanted to see something exciting and in 1984 Prince was that one thing that people couldn’t get enough of. I just saw the famous Van Halen 1984 tour in Maryland at the DC Capital Center. I even got in the first row for that one. Now I was a pop culture adrenaline junkie. I wanted to see more outrageous stuff and Prince and the Revolution was just the ticket.

That summer PRINCE and the REVOLUTION was big news. From what I could tell this was the show to see. We lived out in the country and had no access to MTV and as a kid I found that to be torturous. So I had to collect my music news here and there and where ever I could grab it. That came in form of NBC’s hit show, “Friday Night Videos”. The real title of that show should have been, “MTV For Poor People”. Nevertheless I watched it with great enthusiasm. I made up my mind that I was going to go to see him play live that summer.

 

Prince and the Revolution - Purple Rain Turns 30 This Summer

Prince and the Revolution – Purple Rain Turns 30 This Summer

Prince and the Revolution didn’t come to the VA area right away. They came later in the fall of 1984. They played at the Capital Center in November. Now this was all before the Internet and Stub Hub and if you wanted to score tickets you either had to know somebody or you had to be first in line at Ticketmaster. So me and my hooligan pals all decided to skip school to get tickets.

Me and five guys all skipped class and headed down to the mall and waited for hours. We had to go in and score the tickets and then sneak back home so our parents wouldn’t get wise. We made a day out of it. I remember sitting out there for what seemed like forever. They weren’t cheap. I mean for us they weren’t cheap we were just high school kids. I got two tickets thinking that I was going to take a date.

Now growing up in the rural fields of Virginia we pretty much we stuck in farm country. In that type of environment the mothers talked a lot about what their kids were doing, when they weren’t sidetracked with what the cows were doing…. I mean, seriously, we were in the boonies.

And that’s what People Magazine came out with this horrible article about Prince.

People Magazine - Nov. 1984

People Magazine – Nov. 1984

 

I am paraphrasing but it went down something like this. The author went on a rampage with Prince and his band and attacked the sexual content and really blew it out of proportion. Most of, “Purple Rain” is pretty tame and somewhat silly. But there are a couple of tracks on there like, “Darling Nikki” that the parents hated and the tone of the song was pretty much X rated. The author also made some religious references to the Almighty and Prince’s member. My mom had a field day with that article and then was tipped off that I had tickets to this show. The interrogation begins…..

I had two tickets held together with a thumbtack pushed right into the wall over my bed so I wouldn’t lose them. There were there for weeks. I still have no idea how she figured out how I got them but I got suspicions. There was this chubby football geek that lived on our street. He was a goody goody and was always upset that I never wanted anything to do with him or his football games. I was more of a music and arts kid. His mother was super religious and she was friends with my mom. I’m quite certain that’s how he found out about my Purple Rain stash.

So this is what they came up with. I had to sell the tickets. My mom then forced me to sell the tickets. My step dad at the time was always up for being a menace in my life gladly fulfilled the role as the joy killer. He ended up selling them to two gay guys that worked in the mailroom department of the telecom company he worked in.

And that was that. My friends all went without me of course and bragged about how it was the greatest show they had ever seen. I believe it too because Prince played there for three nights. He sold out each show. He was doing this all over the country. I later found out he did seven straight nights in Detroit at Joe Louis Arena.

I still don’t think I did anything wrong. After all what I really wanted to see was Prince do a live rendition of, “Lets Go Crazy”. I mean the press was calling him the next Jimi Hendrix. Now you try to explain that to my Christian mother and to all of our conservative nosy neighbors.

Damn you People Magazine !!  You ruined a perfectly great experience.

Ted Cantu 2014

 

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