What if Prince were still alive? Paisley Park Quarantine w/Sheena Easton, Sheila E, Apollonia, Carmen Electra. Showdown in Purple Rain w/Morris Day

Written by: Jason Lucia – April 21st, 2020 1:37pm pst

Credit: New Power Generation

AfterBuzzTV Imagines…What If Prince Were Still Alive?

Credit: New Power Generation

The artists, entertainers and celebrities whose work and whose personas inspire us stay with us well beyond their passing and add to our life’s supply of beauty.  They can seem like old friends to us or members of the family. In these trying times, AfterBuzz TV takes comfort in the abiding presence of these art angels. We can’t help but wonder how they would react to society in the time of COVID-19 and what joyful wonders they would wreak in quarantine. What fresh perspectives would they give us on the now as they have on the struggles and heartaches of less isolated times?

Today, on the 4th anniversary of  the Purple One’s tragically premature passage from this world, Afterbuzz Imagines…What If Prince Were Still Alive?

Credit: Warner Brothers

It’s hard at first to imagine his reaction to so many of the bizarre cultural events that have come to pass since his passing in 2016, because, in a strange symbolic way, I think many of those events could only have happened in a world without Prince.  As palpably as he lives on in his music, the divine carnality of his embodied positivity has been subtracted from the world’s equation, and we’ve been a little lost without it.   So we can imagine scenarios that account for his absence, like he faked his death to vanish and get his head together, but he was already so cloistered, already living in a creative quarantine of his own making.

As crucial as community and human connection have turned out to be in the current crisis, Prince was not by any stretch of the imagination a people person, a point made poignantly by Prince MegaFan Vogue Wilborn, who speculates thusly:

“…so prince was not a ‘people person’ lol. very over the human race (mood) but in general very enlightened and tapped in to spirituality. i think he would be leading 3rd eye awakening meditations for the collective  he liked to throw a little razzle dazzle in and had a huge catalog. he was known for eating pretty healthily (perhaps vegetarian or vegan) so i’m thinking watercress wednesday’s where he prepares a healthy meal and plays a new track every week.”

Credit:  New Power Generation

Prince lived to make music.  He had the neo-narcissistic confidence to decide that he had a message and the world needed to hear it and he would weave every facet of his life into the delivery of that message, and its perfection.  He allegedly left behind hundreds of hours of unreleased music, albums in progress, bizarre experiments, funk pop symphonies as sexy and sublime as anything he released in what the critics called his prime, vocals by a choir of Princes, Prince on every instrument. Above and beyond all other things, Prince would be making music, holed up in Paisley Park, his Minnesota Graceland, the studios and rumpus rooms tricked out in the sultry silks of luxury, a quarantine compound fit for a mystic and sensualist.  To me, Prince has always evoked a genius mash-up of Marvin Gaye, Little Richard, and Doctor Strange.

Credit:  NBC/SNL

His faith as a Jehova’s Witness would have prepared him to assume a certain “end times” perspective, I imagine, but I see Prince interpreting apocalypse not as the end of the world but as a profound transformation that ends obsolete ways of seeing.  I see Prince emerging as a semi-secular Saint of a wokeness so complete it transcends all politics.  When he saw the signs and symbols of the great change accrue, the call would go out to his women.  

Prince was by all accounts a passionate heterosexual serial monogamist, but he loved who he loved with such a feverish fusion of flesh and spirit and music that he made the love of one Other seem as rich and multifarious as the most orgiastic polyamory.  So he would summon Judith and Manuela and Mayte.  He would summon Vanity and Apollonia and Wendy and Lisa and Sheila E and Sheena Easton and Gayle Chapman and Carmen Electra, not just women he knew romantically but the willing Trilbies to his pop Svengali, the divas he mentored and recreated as de facto members of his New Power Generation.  

Credit:  FG Bauer Griffin/Getty Images

They would come from far and wide with their families, a new kind of community in the promised land of Minneapolis.  They would be tested for corona before entering his presence, and, if clean, they would join him in his purple paradise, an extended tantric family, here to heal the world with a love bestowed by the King of Kings and a fleshworld funk supplied by hHis Prince.

There’s no way around it, people.  In times of plague, with racists in high places and the money-lenders running amuck, in the midst of recording the soundtrack of a new world blooming, we feel that Prince would form a benevolent cult of sorts, where devotional meditation is practiced (as Vogue suggested), Prince leading the astral pathworkings at the crack of every dawn, seated n the lotus position, afro an orbicular halo, shades with three lenses to tint his third eye’s view of the void with roses, growing six arms, playing three guitars at once, invoking a soul jam between Jimi Hendrix, Robert Johnson, and Ravi Shankar.

Credit: Comedy Central/David Chapelle

And yes, the meals would be delicious, fixed by Prince himself for the whole congregation, healthy vegan dishes in general, but sometimes pancakes after an evening of graceful mastery on the basketball court.  Prince would be keeping the tribe well fed and stimulated, to prepare them for what he would perceive as an apocalyptic confrontation.  Listen between the lines of his records, and you can hear the ecstatic prophecy.  Everyone who has truly tasted the purple rain knows that all things begin and end with a showdown between the forces of the spirit and the forces of the flesh, just like in BatDance.  

Credit:  Warner Brothers

All of history has built to this, to a battle of the bands between Prince & the New Power Revolution vs.  Morris Day & The End Times.  Vanity will allegorically settle the fate of mankind by demanding a dance-off between these cosmic dandies.  The winner is the dancer who is most in love with himself.  Morris Day struts like he has it in the bag, nonchalantly checking himself in the huge gold mirror his demonic minions bear aloft for him for eternity.

Credit:  Warner Brothers

The Resurrected Prince (reborn forever in a Raspberry SugarStorm of Lovesexy Controversy), impishly smirks as only our Prince can smirk, knowing that to attempt to “play” Prince is to play yourself.  Morris Day’s ego is just an old cartoon.  As always, Prince remakes the world in his image, and therefore has no need for a mirror.  His diamonds and pearls saturate the world, the funk is restored to the order of things.  The world does not just breathe again.  It sighs as if in rapture.  If Prince were alive, he would save us all.  In lieu of a living Prince, let us seek the Prince within and make a home in our hearts for him.  Make art and music. Make Love.  Make a difference.  And always make it sexy.  When these facets are fused, Prince is with us, helping us dance to the days as they pass, saying “Life is just a party, and parties weren’t meant to last”.

Credit:  Warner Brothers

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If you enjoy the writing of Jason Lucia, give him a tweet @jasonmlucia.

He also writes as Jason Squamata.  You can buy his new novel HERE.

About The Author:

Jason M. Lucia is a media critic, columnist, and professional ghostwriter whose work has been published under several pseudonyms.  He was raised in Medford, MA.  He went to school in NY.  He lives to rhapsodize the stories he loves on the page and in the flesh.

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