Prince, Angel, Gospel song, live, Toronto 2011
Despite being grounded to the Earth’s very core by an intense funkiness and sensuality, Prince also always seemed buoyed by an otherworldliness that threatened to float him off to the heavens at any moment. In the middle of a particularly transcendent guitar solo he might just dematerialize into a purple haze and drift away.
As a result, his very stylized and quirky persona didn’t feel so much fabricated as found. “Ah, this is who I am. Why fight it?” Thus it was an even greater jolt to hear that not only was Prince made of vulnerable flesh and blood like the rest of us, but that that flesh and blood had given out suddenly and completely at the shockingly young age of 57.
Perhaps the time had come for Prince to abandon his meat suit and make his way to the next level of consciousness, to take his place among the choir of angels. In a surprise revelation on the Tavis Smiley Show in 2009, Prince revealed that he had been born with epilepsy.
Prince – Touched By an Angel
“I’ve never spoken about this before, but I was born epileptic and I used to have seizures when I was young. And my mother and father didn’t know what to do or how to handle it, but they did the best they could with what little they had.”
“My mother told me that one day I walked in to her and said, ‘Mom, I’m not going to be sick anymore,’ and she said, ‘Why?’, and I said, ‘Because an angel told me so. Now, I don’t remember saying it, that’s just what she told me.’”
So there’s that. In the same interview, Prince indicated that his deep, seemingly fathomless, connection to music came from within. “I went into [my]self and I taught myself music. My father left his piano at the house when he left, and I wasn’t allowed to play it when he was there because I wasn’t as good as him. So when he left I was determined to get as good as him, and I taught myself how to play music.”
Conflict From the Skies
The Purple One must have been feeling particularly expansive that day because he also revealed his concerns about chem trails. “When I was a kid, I used to see these trails in the sky all the time and I’d say, ‘Oh, that’s cool – a jet just went over.’ And then you started to see a whole bunch of them and the next you know, everybody in your neighborhood was fighting and arguing and you didn’t know why.” Maybe Prince knew more than the rest of us or maybe he was susceptible to the same impulses that lead ordinary humans to buy into conspiracy theories.
More in keeping with Prince’s numinous side, his friend Dr. Funkenberry, aka Jeremiah Freed, told CNN that at a performance in January, Prince “mentioned David Bowie’s passing. He also mentioned that he has lucid dreams a lot, and he sees friends that have passed away in these dreams, and he is able to conversate [sic] with them, and he looks forward to these dreams. This was before his long-time girlfriend Vanity passed away [February 15]… so it just was a little eerie.”
It is always tempting after the shocking loss of someone important to us to look for hints and clues toward that person’s impending doom. Perhaps Prince was in the process of easing his way onto a different reality of which his sudden physical death was just the culmination. Perhaps his race was run. Perhaps the choir of angels required his voice.