When I was a kid I was one of Prince’s more casual fans. It wasn’t that I disliked his music. Though I wasn’t aware of it at the time, I did, in fact, love it. Hell, for better or worse, “Raspberry Beret,” “Peach,” “Little Red Corvette,” and “Kiss” basically helped me form my idea of the ideal woman. Truth be told, in more recent times, this image might have had something to do with it too:
If that looks familiar, it should because:
I know. It confuses my sexuality in all the right ways. And don’t even get me started on what some of Prince’s New Power Generation stuff taught me . . . .
In 1989 I hadn’t been quite so schooled in my own preferences yet. I didn’t own any of Prince’s tapes or records or anything like that. I just listened to his songs when they came on the radio or watched his videos when they popped up on MTV.
It was a different time, kiddos.
On June 23rd of that year, my casual relationship with Prince’s music changed as I sat in the theater at the premier of Tim Burton’s Batman. When I watched that movie as an 11-year-old impressionable comic book nerd I realized someone outside of comic books could take them seriously, could make them into something everyone enjoyed. At the time (and to this day) I thought everyone should enjoy comic books. I thought the superhero concept was far from an immature trope that should be relegated to adolescent boys’ bedrooms. Sure, people within the industry and fandom had thought this for ages. Alan Moore’s Saga of the Swamp Thing, Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, and Grant Morrison’s Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on a Serious Earth are all 1980s releases that treat the superhero concept seriously. But Burton’s Batman was in beautiful celluloid, before my eyes, mainstream. The world at large was finally taking comic books seriously. Fast forward to 2016 and holy crap. Am I right?
Back to Prince who, rumor has it, basically created the soundtrack for Batman in, like, 10 minutes or something, after only watching half of the movie. And I loved that soundtrack, people. Hell, I still do. I don’t know what’s going on through most of it, but that doesn’t matter. It’s so funky! And check out the video for “Batdance”! What the hell is going on in it? It’s insane and . . .
When I realized I loved it, I realized that not spending my hard-earned cash on more Prince music was an egregious error. I wasn’t purchasing his work because it was outside the scope of my world. I wasn’t getting out of my safe and familiar shell. Though I enjoyed it, I was doing to his music the same thing the world was doing to comic books.
I remedied that situation immediately and Prince’s music has been with me since.