In the soundtrack of our lives, some artists loom naturally larger than others, tying themselves inextricably to a time and a place and a memory, such that they become a part of your life, a part of you, a part of that moment that cannot be separated from the whole.
This thought occurs to me, now, as I sit in my room, thinking back to my very first run with the dinner theatre, living in a hotel room, with no roots in the town in which I lived, inviting the cast over, night after night after night, for endless games of Doctor Mario, games that would go on until the sun came up, because we had nowhere to be until four o’clock the next afternoon and we didn’t want the night to end…
We would play every Prince album I owned, and I did own most of them, play them again and again, but we always came back to the Gold Experience. It’s not his best work, not one of his classics, but it was the one we wound up listening to, for reasons that years later I can’t begin to remember, and when I hear it now it still takes me back to that sense of belonging, that community, that camaraderie.
That funky-motherfucking sense of camaraderie.
I’m listening to the album now, as I type this, and I’m thinking about that period of my life, a time I’d count among my very best, and I’m thinking about the people with whom I’d spent it, people my life is infinitely richer for having known. And I’m thinking about Prince. And I’m thinking about the Gold Experience, and playing Doctor Mario, and the younger me I used to be, and I can’t help smiling as I do.
Everybody’s trying to sell what’s already been sold.
Everybody’s trying to tell what’s already been told.
What’s the use of money, if you ain’t gonna break the mold?
Even at the center of the fire, there is cold.
All that glitters, ain’t gold.
But in that case it was. It was a very golden time indeed…