LOS ANGELES, CA—Last night (May 6) at City Hall thousands of dearly beloved gathered to celebrate this thing called the life of the incomparable Prince Rogers Nelson. Stevie Wonder sang "Purple Rain," Aloe Blacc gave us "Diamonds & Pearls" (the video for which was filmed in this very building), Faith Evans crushed "I Feel For You," BJ The Chicago Kid did "Do Me Baby" and doves were literally released to fly. Every singer, player, and dancer did their jobs beautifully (and the backing band was largely comprised of Prince's own).
Yet it was a magical thing to gather and contemplate how just one person was better at singing, playing, and dancing than all of these masters we saw. And how just one person wrote every note of what we heard. And how every note he wrote transcended social stratum, rang from every rung. At this party, we were millionaires and we were homeless. We were jamming on The One.
With the air molting from clear blue to purple hues as it went down on the LA skyline, it felt like maybe the horizon was joining us in celebrating this instantly mythical creature. And yet, dancing and singing Prince's songs en masse for the first time with him in absentia, you couldn't help but feel the aura of loss, knowing he would never be here to show up everyone on that stage ever again.
But ain't that the way with myths: They're not of this world. They're larger than life. They're symbolic. They're forever. Yesterday, we missed Prince. But we thanked him for leaving us a soundtrack to make ourselves feel a little more mythic, too.