Before it seemed like the world would end in Y2K, Prince Rogers Nelson helped millions of fans worldwide see the light – and the bright side of 1999. The recording-world Renaissance Man’s 1983 chart-topper by the same name, from the album 1999, offered an optimistic view of life and is just one of countless Prince hits that influenced a generation.
That same year (’83, unfortunately, not ’99), I became a man, and a DJ played “1999” at my Bar Mitzvah after-party in my dad’s basement.
In case you haven’t been been to one, Bar Mitzvahs are where matchmaking grandmothers nudge pubescent kids to dance with future lawyers and doctors. And it’s where sixth and seventh graders slow-dance and ignore what the yentas (Yiddish word for “gossip,” usually referring to aunts and their mothers) are talking about.
But when Prince came on, oy vey!
The crowd, including Aunt Norma, went wild. Mom did the Jitterbug. My brother did the funky robot, and Grandmom Ida slipped on some icing and nearly broke a hip.
The point is, when the DJ spun Prince, the whole tribe hit the dance floor and partied like it was 1999 (in a basement). Prince’s music helped craft the memory, among others, which I recall every time that song plays on the radio.
This Music Issue of PacificSD is dedicated to the music and memories of Prince, a rock star in every sense of the word. Rest in peace, sweet Prince. You brought the world diamonds and pearls… and left it way too early.
David Perloff, Editor-in-Chief