My 30 Years With Prince
by  HeartStrings, Sabine Gonelli, 8/05/2016


While everyone else seems to have accepted that Prince has left us over two weeks ago, I can't. Prince is a part of my life. I still wait for the big announcement that Prince has played a trick on us to see how we do. I expect him to return and bring us comfort. It is just too painful to think he might really be gone. A world without Prince feels empty. If the news is really true a big part of me has been ripped out, leaving an ugly oozing hole right in my core that can never heal.

Prince has influenced me in so many ways. Among them to live life to the fullest, trust in God, allow myself to discover who I really am and live by it. Now, I cannot even listen to his voice without being seriously upset.

Apart from my violin and my sister, Prince is a rock-solid reality in my life. First came my violin, then my sister. Prince's entrance into my existence hit like the beat of the drum. I clearly remember the night. It was 1986 in a tiny disco in Kreuzberg, Berlin, called the "Bronx". The DJ played "Kiss". What kind of music was that? It was so different from the usual. This music was tight, somehow sparse, and straight forward. A totally different kettle of fish! And how cheeky were those lyrics?! I listened perplexed and dance-less and processed for a while - then went over to the DJ to ask who this was.


Throughout the following 30 years, I witnessed and partied through many, many Prince concerts on several continents. In 2002, I saw him perform in two venues, one concert following the next during the same tour. How amazing! He played a completely different set the second night. It must have been a challenge for his musicians. For his loyal audience, it was fantastic, though.

The magic of Prince totally unfolds during live performances. He is the master of a huge, unforgettable party. It is a life-changing event that eternally uplifts and stays with you forever. I've seen many great musicians but they never made me feel that way: that this night's performance is carefully crafted just for me. Prince's connection to the audience truly is mind-blowing. There was no concert where we were not happily singing together, and of course dancing. He can't be gone! This world needs his energy.


Should the news really be true, Prince has sacrificed himself to us ordinary mortals. Reading now that he was on strong painkillers makes sad sense if you have ever seen him dance and give it all, including the astounding splits he used to sprinkle into his shows.

Prince has always been sparkling with wit and boundless energy. He apprehends and deeply knows womankind, he is tongue-in-cheek funny, and totally understands how to gently play with his audience. What a voice acrobat he is, what an incredibly versatile composer, multi-instrumentalist, dancer, fashion designer and producer. How often did Prince make me smile and chuckle with his erotic, cheeky and cheerful lyrics, written in his smart shorthand, and his sexy shows? Prince is the only all-round artist we have. How much joy has he brought to the world with his oeuvre! He can't be gone.


Sometimes I met those downright groupies who spend their lives in Prince's footsteps. Unfortunately, they often liked to boast with their "insider" knowledge. I was never too interested in Prince's private life. I never thought I had any right to "know everything" about him. What Prince presented through his music, lyrics and performance truly was good enough for me.

Once I was told that I had chosen the better concert night because the night before Prince had played a few wrong notes! Yeah, right! What is that in people that they always like to pick on genius? People who can probably barely hold an instrument think they can make a judgement? Incredibly enough, Prince is human. Humans make mistakes. That's how we recognise that they are!


What kind of pressure do we "normal" people actually dare to put on those gifted and talented higher beings among us? Why is it so acceptable, also from the press, to be negative? Why do we turn a blind eye to the pressure it puts on those we adore so much? It destroys them! Is that what makes us feel good? Drug and alcohol abuse is so common in the classical scene as much as in popular music.

We, the ordinary crowd, should be thankful for the gifted and talented amongst us. We should be very quiet and humbly listen, taking in as much as we can of what they want to adorn us with. This way, we may catch a glimpse of heaven through their genius and feel closer to the good side of humanity.

If the news of Prince's passing is really true, humankind has not only lost an artist. The world has turned monochrome. It absolutely can't be true.

10 Comments on “

  1. Your pain is evidently still very raw. But how wonderful that Prince will forever live on in his music.

  2. I feel your pain. I still cry when i hear certain songs. I play the funkiest songs to dance it out. Suddenly i feel ok…then on social media ..bam a new rumor i refuse to read.but the title and reminder of his passing rips me open all over again…. I wish that anyone who had anything negative to say would shut up….i love to hear or read all of the wonderful stories about interactions or first time meetings. I cry along their retold journey….i only got to see him in concert once…once….and for that i will feel forever greatful… i was never lucky enough for the opportunity to meet such a wonderful human being….but i loved him none the less…..thank you..thank you for loving him and thank you for sharing your beautiful experience.

    1. Thank you, Angel, for mourning with me and for your kind words. How touching are your gratefulness and love! It is overwhelming to read how Prince has influenced us all in such good ways and how we can’t come to terms with the ugly news.
      I truly feel Prince has left me behind. At this point, I can’t even listen to his voice. It rips me apart… I don’t like listening to any music at all for the first time in my life…
      It’s hard to get around the rumors. Prince avoided the press for a reason.
      Love and peace to you and …”dance on!” if it helps you. Prince would have loved it, I’m sure.

    2. I was never lucky enough to ever see him live! But i too loved him from the beginning and sure partied with him in 1999!!!!! That was awesum!!! Im sooo glad they televised that!! My heart goes out to us all for as great as Mj was, the loss of PRINCE can never be forgotten and will forever leave huge holes in our hearts!! Xxx 💜💜💜

      1. Thank you, Char ratty, for sharing your story, your feelings, and your thoughts. No one compares to Prince. For a number of reasons.

  3. Your words are so meaningful and so true. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. My heart is still heavy.

    1. Thank you, Tami, for having and sharing your heavy heart, and for your kind words. I am grateful we can at least mourn together…
      Isn’t it unbearable how the world just keeps turning?! But something has changed for me…
      Love and peace to you, Tami. Prince has touched our souls. How is this even possible. What a gift he is. And how lucky are we to witness it.

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