top of page

Purpled Rained

Hero Purchases

True story...

I went to see Purple Rain at the cinema on my own at the first showing in the afternoon (because my sister was at work and I was a bastard and wouldn't wait for her) the day it was released and there were two old ladies in front of me who, from their chat, I ascertained went to see everything that came to the Brighton Odeon.

They had a packed lunch and flask and were talking through the trailers about how "'ansome Kirk Douglas' boy" was in "that Romantic Stone".

Then the BBFC card came up as the lights went down, that chord struck on a Hammond Organ and the cinema was filled with "Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life..." and one old lady turned to the other and gave that nod and down-turned appreciative smile a connoisseur gives a fine wine and said, "it's a musical!".

They then proceeded to bop and jive and shuggle their way through the film.

They laughed when Morris was naughty, they tutted and said, "ain't it a shame" when Prince thumped Apollonia, "just like his father, oh I SEEE" (there's a surprising amount of domestic violence in the film, like West Side Story directed by Ken Loach) and they gasped when Prince saw a premonition of himself hanging from the basement rafters after his Dad's botched suicide attempt. They of course wiped away a tear during the title track and once again seat-boogied to the climactic Baby I'm A Star.

They didn't even bat an eyelid when, with one last flurry of unambiguous strokes, Prince disgorges his Telecaster all over the First Avenue (7th Street Entry) audience. A crowd-pleasing solo-bukkaki premonition of the modern preoccupation for facials not offered at most Health Spas.

But the best bit was when Prince, AKA "the Kid", is getting fruity with his love-interest Appolonia for the first time.

There's a scene where she's kneeling on his bed in her frillies facing the camera with Captain Thunderfingers behind her warming up his best moves, when he reaches down and gives her gusset a good old proper rummage.

Right there.

In 70mm.

He dry-humps her trumpet with his paw and it's really quite graphic.

There was no internet back then and I didn't live near a railway siding so I hadn't seen anything like that before. I'd thought about it, drawn it, but not seen it.


At that point both the old ladies, without taking their eyes off the screen, simultaneously took a bite from their sandwiches and I was momentarily distracted from the sight of my musical hero showing me how to entertain the ladies with a good knicker-knuckling, by the sound of very loud, and incredibly enthusiastic, munching on what can only have been very generously filled fish-paste sandwiches.

That day taught me so much that I've carried with me throughout my life.

Most of it good, some of it disastrous and unattainable.

But the most important thing it taught me is that I wish I'd convinced my sister to bunk off work and see the film with me, because then she too would have had the indelible sound and smell of Shippam's fish paste burned into her memory and have its unwelcome savory intrusion every time she listened to one of the best albums ever made, instead of it just being me.

Life is best enjoyed when shared.

May you live to see the dawn.


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
No tags yet.
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • w-facebook
  • Twitter Clean
  • White YouTube Icon
bottom of page