June 7: Prince

(unpronounceable symbol)On this day in 1958, 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 21st 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.

Prince, in addition to being the funkiest musician since James Brown, is easily one of the most fascinating eccentrics of the last 50 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 L. A. Forum two years ago. “The Purple One” was doing a 20-night stand in L. A. and after the first few evenings, it became apparent that he had a pttern for the shows: After performing “Purple Rain”, he’d say his goodbyes and the house lights would go on to indicate the show was over. However, then ten or fifteen minutes later the lights would dim anew and he and his band would return to the Prince logo.svg-shaped stage and play for another hour. So, after he said his goodbyes at my show, I waited half an hour and he hadn’t re-appeared yet. Then, just as I was about to make my way to the exit, Prince emerged riding a bicycle around the floor of the Forum. The arena’s security kicked 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.

Oh, and by the way, do you know what the number one song on the Billboard Charts was when “The Purple One” was born? “The Purple People Eater” by Sheb Wooley.

Today we have a refreshing drink called Purple Rain. It’s a perfect summery concoction: Cool and fruity, with just a little bite, and 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.

Purple Rain

  • 1 1/4 ounce Blue Curacao
  • 1 1/4 ounce Vodka
  • 2 ounce Grenadine
  • 1/4 ounce lime juice
  • 2 ounce pineapple juice

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

Tomorrow: We build a house.

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