J'Aime Prince: 13 Times The Purple One References Paris In Song
The last time I ever saw Prince, he’d descended onto New York City’s Avenue nightclub from parts unknown last March 18 to announce (of all things) an upcoming autobiography. Always notoriously dismissive about his past, he’d finally promised a memoir entitled The Beautiful Ones scheduled for late 2017—written with critic Dan Piepenbring of The Paris Review. Why Piepenbring? The French connection, of course.
Since at least his 1979 self-titled album, Prince had a serious Francophile thing going on. His Royal Badass handpicking an editor from The Paris Review came as absolutely no surprise. Living in the French capital for seven years (2004-2011), I saw Prince live there twice—at the historic Grand Palais exhibition hall, and the intimate New Morning club for an amazing four-hour aftershow. (In the 11 times I saw him in concert, the New Morning show wins as my absolute favorite.) Kissing on the steps of Versailles and strolling past Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower with Prince banging on my iPhone, it occurred to me that France made quite a few appearances in his lyrics, almost as if it represented something to him.
Want proof? Here’s an abridged list of subtle French connections from the Purple One’s hyper-prolific oeuvre spanning decades. They were legion, leading us to wonder what the City of Light might’ve ultimately meant to our man from Minneapolis.