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April 22, 2016

The Day Doves Cried is the Day my Father Died.

Flickr/thierry ehrmann

God damn—that’s all I can say, with tears streaming down my face.

Prince died, and although tears are being shed all over the globe at this musical god’s untimely passing, the explosion of emotion coming from my heart was prompted by listening to his otherworldly guitar solo during the Hall of Fame induction for Beatle George Harrison.

To say this performance is extraordinary, is to diminish its brilliance. To say his guitar reached into my heart and pulled it out while it was still beating wildly and refusing to die is much closer to the truth.

I’m angry. I’m heartbroken. He was too young, he deserved a longer life. He didn’t deserve to be taken out by the damn flu. I know very well about men who are too young to die.

At 57 years of age, my father died of a heart attack. That was 1984, and Prince had just released the single “When Doves Cry.” I was 22 years old.

The day after my father died, I went to the record store, bought the 45 and played it over and over and over for days: “How could you just leave me standing, alone in a world that’s so cold.”  I was angry then as well, I was heartbroken and devastated.

And I was young, a photography student at The School of Visual Arts in New York City. It was the 80s. Prince’s music provided the soundtrack for those artistically formative years of my life.

The song went on to be Prince’s first “Number One” single.

Prince dying at age 57—the same as age as my father so many years ago—somehow seems personal.

Rest in peace, you sexy beast.

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Author: Roseann Pascale

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

Photo: Flickr/thierry ehrmann

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