June 7: Prince Is Born

(unpronounceable symbol)You guys, it’s Prince’s 55th birthday! Yes, on this day in 1956, Prince Rogers Nelson (later known as Prince logo.svg, The Artist Formerly Known As Prince, The Artist and now back to just regular ol’ Prince) was born and the world became a little bit more awesome. In fact, today also marks the twentieth anniversary of when he changed his name to the unpronounceable symbol Prince logo.svg that was eventually dubbed “the love symbol.” It was also around this time that he got involved in a lawsuit with Warner Brothers Records and would go out in public with the word “slave” written on his cheek.

Really, Prince in addition to being the funkiest musician since James Brown, he’s probably one of the most fascinating eccentrics of the last fifty years. Any Chappelle’s Show watcher knows about Charlie Murphy’s basketball game against Prince. My own personal Prince story involves a concert he did at the Forum two years ago. It was part of a 20-night stand he was doing in L. A. and everyone who had already gone told me he would say his goodbyes, take a ten or fifteen minute break and then come right back and play for another hour. So, after he said his goodbyes, I waited half an hour and he hadn’t re-emerged yet. Then, just as I’m about to head for the exits, Prince starts riding a bicycle around the floor of the Forum. The arena’s security would kick everyone out soon after that, but suffice to say, if I couldn’t get another hour of music, at least I got to see Prince doing something unusual.

This all brings us to today’s cocktail, a wonderful Friday drink called Purple Rain. It’s named of course after Prince’s landmark 1984 album and accompanying film Purple Rain. The album is often thought to be Prince’s greatest musical achievement and won him two Grammys, although the Grammy for Album of the Year would go to Lionel Richie’s Can’t Slow Down (But really, what do the Grammy voters know?). The movie was also the last film to win the Oscar for Best Original Song Score. Anyway, back to the drink, it’s a perfect summery concoction: Cool and fruity, with just a little bite.

Purple Rain

  • 1 1/4 oz. Blue Curacao
  • 1 1/4 oz. Vodka
  • 2 oz. Grenadine
  • 1/4 oz. Lime Juice
  • 2 oz. Pineapple Juice

Shake well with cracked ice and pour into a tall ice-filled Collins glass.

Tomorrow: The third race of the Triple Crown.

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