Purple Fly On The Wall

So then you take off all your clothes and jump into the lake after he has challenged you to purify yourself in waters of Lake Minnetonka. And so you do, you take off your clothes and show your titties and you jump into the lake. And, as you do, he says “that ain’t lake minnetonka” and then he gives you a bunch of shit spazzing out on your bike while you try to get on it while you are trying to settle into your wet clothes. And then, then, this is the closer, he’s like DON’T GET MY BIKE WET. Isn’t that great?

Vanity: Fuck this.

My Back Hurts

Sometimes there’s a special place where my back hurts. It’s on the left side just below the shoulder blade in there somewhere. And it hurts like a hard pinch. And so as I write this, I’m leaning on a cold compress and that’s nice and all. But I don’t know if it’s how I’m sleeping or if it’s how I’m sitting when I work (I alternate between a sitting and standing desk here in the home office) or if it’s just a tumor. But leaning up on a cold compress sure is nice. Also Tylenol helps. So does booze.

I am currently listening to the album When God Was Great by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Imagine, if you will, an album made by these longtime music professionals in the ska/ska-core genre making an album now. It is sublime, and I highly recommend it. Ska is alive and well, kids, and TMMBT is still working. It’s not about fried mozzarella. It’s about heart, music, and love. Ska has my adoration forever.


Prince could unwind Bryant Gumbel into a quivering, giggling, incoherent puddle. Imagine if you’d gotten to meet him.



Some of this appearance is the typical nonsense you might expect from fellow Kent State alum Arsenio Hall. It is worth viewing, however, if for nothing else than the magical performance by Liv Warfield.

That’s Prince Fans For Ya

In July 2010, Prince released an album called 20Ten, but it was not released for sale in the United States. They gave it away in England, France, and Germany, stuffing them into periodicals in those countries. Of the unconventional release method, Prince said at the time, “the best way to go… no charts, no internet piracy and no stress.”

And no CD for Aaron!

Years later, thanks to a little gizmo called “Spotify,” I got to hear the thing, at least. And the thing is, it’s really good! It may be one of the better Prince albums, another pleasant surprise such as his Chaos and Disorder. I really came to enjoy 20Ten and, in fact, it often births earworms.

So in one of my Prince Facebook groups one day, someone brings up 20Ten. And I went on and on about my fanaticism for this album and lamented that I had not been able to acquire a copy because of the whole being a Yankee thing.

This guy responds: Hey, I have many copies of it, so, PM me your address, and I’ll send you one.

I did, and he did, and it arrived today, straight from Ireland. And, in fact, he sent two.

Prince fans are like that. Paisley Park is U no where it is.

U Don’t Have 2 Watch Dynasty

Sirius/XM has decided that the coronavirus lockdown is a good time to produce a number of artist tribute channels, which is probably a good idea. The one I’ve been tuned to incessantly of course is Channel 30, the Prince channel. They also got one for David Bowie, Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, George Strait, Guns n’ Roses, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, and The Rolling Stones. I mean, why not, since we’re all home.

It should be noted that Sirius/XM radio has been made available to everyone for free in the month of May, so if you’ve got an old Delphi MyFi in a Best Buy shopping bag in the back of your closet or if you have a radio in your car, it’s time to tune in.

I do wish the Prince channel would dig a little deeper, though, but then again, I’m a downright relentless Prince nerd. I’ve heard a few things previously unfamiliar, though, such as Tina Turner’s rousing version of “Let’s Pretend We’re Married,” an ingenue band I’d never encountered called Tara Ma and The Seen, and some great live clips. Those live clips are what we’re listening for, programmers. And you can take the long-play version of “Kiss” off the rotation. That song is good due to its simplicity. I’ll never know what the man was thinking by adding tom-toms and all the rest of the performance in the “woman overboard” version. And I think I’ve heard “Scandalous” seven times now.

I have yet to hear “She’s Always In My Hair” (just heard it), “La, La, La, Tee, Hee, Hee,” “17 Days…” You get the idea. I think I’ve heard one track from the Hit & Run CDs. I would program this channel a bit more broadly. But I’m digging it nonetheless.

There is not much else to the weekend. Phone calls with Mom and then with Dad. A trip to the wine store yesterday and a grocery pickup at WalMart. I now have more bread products than I can eat and am glad I can again make a decent margarita. I took a nice walk. Saturday’s movie of the day was the masterpiece teenage romp Superbad. This is a good time to have options on the TV.

Now to go find some lunch and I may have something to write about “reopening.”

Will You Accept My Tears To Pay The Fare?

I got my first copy of Prince’s 1999 album accidentally.

See, when I was a kid, they had this brilliant sales tactic called a “record club.” So you signed up, and then if you didn’t cancel an order, they sent you the record anyway. This was a brilliant selling tactic that probably should have been illegal. But as a result, one of the albums I ended up with was weird and purple and had a penis on it.

Face it. That “1” in 1999 is a phallus. It just is. Let’s move on.

I had a bias at the time, I have to admit. I mean I was what, 14? And I didn’t like this boom-boom music. So I accepted the record, but I didn’t listen to it, for a while. I just didn’t. Until, one day, I did. I think it’s because “Delirious” was on the radio. I got it out and listened to it.

And this song came on.

It was called “Lady Cab Driver.”

There is a drum beat, and Prince calling for a taxi. Funky guitar and bass. Then Prince regaling the “lady cab driver” and engaging her in light conversation but then begging her for relief via escape.

Then there are the clock-chimes and the water-blow noises. And the part where he’s f*ing that broad and giving her the what-for.

And what’s with that flute-synth sound ?

And then the traffic noises continue and we fade into “All The Critics Love You In New York”

and I

was instantly a Prince fan

and I always will be

U no what I’m talkin’ about.

*

The eighth performance in the film Sign O’ The Times is a drum solo by Sheila E. The “E” stands for “Escavedo.” Her father is Pete Escovedo, a renowned percussionist in his own right. Tito Puente was her godfather, and she is also auntie to a young lady you may have heard of called “Nicole Ritchie.” Sheila was romantically involved with Prince at one time and, I was stunned to learn, was also in a thing at one time with Carlos Santana. Yeah.

Her album, “In The Glamorous Life” was always one of my very favorite Prince albums.

But there is a moment in the middle of her drum solo I think about often, because it shows her to be one of the most terrifying drummers out there. During the solo, Sheila gets rid of her sticks and starts beating the cymbals with her hands.

I have never seen another drummer do this. To my knowledge, Mick Fleetwood never did this, nor did John Bonham, nor even Stumpy Joe Childs. This is a move it took a girl drummer to do. She is the fiercest drummer ever and don’t ever forget it.

*

Prince didn’t merely record albums. He forged worlds. And for a while, one could look forward to entering one of these worlds pretty much annually. I’ve spent a good amount of time at Paisley Park (it’s in your heart), and at Christopher Tracy’s Parade. I’ve been talking stuff in the Violent Room, and I have kept Vicky waiting. I was of the New Power Generation and wanted to change the world.

And, I have most certainly spent a lot of time experiencing a religious epiphany known as “Lovesexy.”

It was three years ago on a Thursday. I had taken April 22 off of work to drive to my Grandma’s house for her birthday with my Dad. I had taken a break to peek at my phone, and there were reports of a body found in Chanhassen. Later reports confirmed the body belonged to Prince. He had been found slumped over in an elevator, which I immediately found to have been horribly poetic.

Punch a higher floor.

Strangely, that weekend, I had to explain Prince to my 92-year-old grandmother. To explain to her how widely admired was the Dude Extraordinaire, I broke out the big comparison. What was it like, I asked her, when you lost Glenn Miller?

I watched Purple Rain every night for a week once I returned. I have since re-written it in my head because it is not a good movie. I have also since purchased and digested Art Official Age, PlectrumElectrum, and Hit and Run Phases One and Two. These, his last released works, would all sit comfortably next to anything he had ever done; they are that good, which I find to be the largest shame of his end. I think he was ready to unleash at least another decade’s worth of music on us.