Candy Starling Traxler shares a personal story about her encounter with Prince. There are some interesting similarities between Prince and the King that she points out in her article. It will give the reader pause to ponder Elvis Presley’s influence on Prince.
DUBLIN, GA. Back in the day, I was in places I shouldn’t have been and lying to my parents about where I was going. I met every musician/singer/band known to man. I didn’t drink or smoke or do drugs and I was a virgin. I was there for the MUSIC! (I partly blame my folks. After all, they started it when they took me to see Elvis in 1976 when I was barely old enough to walk.) For me, it was about the music. You either get it or you don’t. Some people don’t just hear music, they feel it, and I am one of those people.
Ever since I heard Elton John’s songs written by lyricist, Bernie Taupin, I knew I wanted to write lyrics. I carried a black 3-ring binder full of lyrics everywhere I went and talked lyrics and wrote with some of the most famous artists in the world on napkins at 4:00 a.m.
My first impression of Prince: “Man, he’s a LITTLE GUY!” I was a tiny girl, 5’2″ on my tip toes and 98 pounds. Prince was the same height as ME! I doubt he weighed much more than me, but he could fill a room with his presence. He was soft spoken, he was flamboyant. He was shy, he was magnetic. He was raunchy, he was tender. He was cocky, he was humble. He was arrogant, he was kind. He was a sinner, he was a saint. He boasted of his own talent and he praised others for theirs. He was a pupil, he was the teacher. He was EVERYTHING! You may ask how can Prince be raunchy and cocky, yet, tender and humble? Or how can he be both a sinner and a self-proclaimed Christian? Do yourself a favor and look up his lyrics to The Cross. It could be in a Baptist hymnal.
When Prince was 19 years old, he recorded For You and played all 27 instruments on the recording. His peers call him a musical genius, I call him a soul whom I was blessed to encounter! He was tiny, yet, he was larger than life. I really hope I can find the lyrics I wrote with him on a napkin in my bins of my memories that make up my life.
The day after his passing I was driving listening to Purple Rain on the radio with windows rolled down so I could feel the breeze. On both sides of the road, as far as the eye could see, there was a sea of purple wildflowers. Prince, this one is for you…
Like Elvis, Prince seemed to share the same duality of being an ordinary man with an extraordinary music genius as detailed in the article. In Prince’s own words quoted by Candy:
“I wanted to be ELVIS! I wanted to be ‘The King,’ but my Mother named me Prince. so I suppose that’s close enough.”
Thank you, Candy, for sharing your memories and revealing how much Prince was influenced by the King of Rock & Roll.