My first hero was Michael Jackson. I kept so much grease in my hair in the 3rd grade that it affected everything I did. I had developed the habit of running my hands through my shining locks every time I stood up, and because of this, my writing assignments at school would always be covered in little grease stains. I had The Jackets and The Pants, and even the trade mark look over the shoulder to see what’s going on. But then, out of nowhere, at 10 years years of age, my mom took me to a Prince concert. That was it. It was all over.
I traded in my dance moves (very limited as they were) for a guitar, and becoming a serious musician, that could make the ladies scream, became the first and foremost ambition of that 10 year old boy. In the 5th grade, Prince was the closest thing that we had to a god. The awe inspiring metaphysics of Purple Rain, the before his time ambiguous sexuality of imbibing the male and female into one personality, the power to be loved and respected by both men and women for the same thing – hard as nails sensitivity – were surely all some tricks of maya.
Being able to draw the masses from funk, to rock, to rap, to pop, to dance, and at the same time legitimize the crossover, before it was cool to crossover, were all only side aspects of his whole circus persona. But of course, changing his name to a symbol and not really explaining it until he had gotten out from under his old label, and then telling that he couldn’t have used his old name until he had the rights to it back, was simply brilliant. Who else could have done that? There was, and still is, no one like him. For me though, Prince will always be Purple Rain. And the ten year old inside of me will always be that guitar god.
Of course as I grew up, I matured. I took on more serious dreams like, Duran Duran, Public Enemy, Metallica, and Alice in Chains, until at 15 I finally met Amma, and it all became clear. Since then music, poetry, writing, even cooking, has all become ways to express my love for God and Guru, and for that I’m eternally grateful.
What did you want to be when you were 10?