Purple Rain / The Clash / Connecticut

Rented Purple Rain, out of curiosity, to watch with one of my rock and roll sons. It was filmed in ’84. I was living in Connecticut then, going to concerts in New Haven and Manhattan, clubs that I don’t remember the names of, and all that Big Hair everywhere. I do remember some mosh pit in NY where one of my buddies got his glasses knocked off, then everyone began stomping on them, including my buddy. I watched from aside, amused.

When I wasn’t going to clubs, or working at the art museum, I was writing my first novel. Up at 5:00 every day to write for three hours before work. I knew, even before finishing it, that it wouldn’t be good enough to publish. I knew I had a long journey ahead of me. Though I had a lot to learn as a writer, and a man, those were damn good days: the train into NY weekends, a fine girlfriend in New Haven, and summer Sundays on Long Island Sound.

I never bothered seeing Purple Rain then, though it was apparent that Prince was a genius with the guitar, the lyrics, the intensity. But it was pop music, and those were the days of The Clash, hence you wouldn’t catch me dead or alive at a pop movie.

So here, 22 years later, my son and I rent it. Good soundtrack. Fantastic beat. Dubious writing. The acting? We were only able to get through half of it before calling it quits. Like most pop movies, too bloody gratuitous. But I will say that the scenes with Apollonia were awfully nice. My son agreed.

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