My first Prince song was on a K-Tel album. It was "I wanna be your lover." I bought that album at a yard sale we were having to raise money to go to Marching Auxiliaries Camp. I'm not sure who brought it or donated it, but I had to have it.
It would be at MA camp, or on the bus to said camp, that I heard Purple Rain all the way through, probably for the first time. I remember going to the skating rink in Harrison once with my friend Jennifer and skating around with some pimply guy nicknamed Benji to the song that summer. Songs from the album played on the car radio as my mom taught me to drive up and down Bruno Ridge Road. She was especially fond of "Let's go crazy" because of the peppy beat. She even bought me the album for my turntable and put up with me blaring it over and over.
And one night, on the way home from what was probably our last "date" my gay boyfriend who wore too much cologne stopped his car in the middle of that dirt road and we danced in the headlights until the song was finished. I didn't realize it at the time, but he was telling me all sorts of things that night by dancing with me on that dark dirt road.
"I only wanted to be some kind of friend." For a couple of closeted kids in small town Arkansas, he was definitely some kind of friend.