Prince – 1999
I was stuck in traffic on my way to work the other morning. I turned on the radio to find out what was going on and, after learning I’d be there a while, started flipping through the stations. During the half hour I sat there I heard three Prince songs on three separate stations: When Doves Cry, Raspberry Beret, and Little Red Corvette.
Chances are if I’d been stuck there a little longer they would have played 1999. The album 1999 came out in 1982 (whoa, over thirty years ago!). At the time, the turn of the century seemed so far away and I couldn’t begin to imagine where I would be or what I’d be doing by New Year’s Eve 1999.
By 1999, I was living in Brooklyn and working in Manhattan at a giant publishing company. You would think New York would be the ultimate place to be for New Year’s Eve, that one especially. However, I had my then fiance and his mother staying with me for the holidays. My future mother-in-law was 75 and didn’t speak English and taking the two of them into Manhattan where millions of people would be jammed in the streets, seemed like the worst idea possible.
My best friend was living outside of Philadelphia then and they were going to be away for a few days so she offered me their house. New Year’s Eve in Philadelphia instead sounded much more manageable and the chance to see the famous Mummer’s Parade on New Year’s Day was a big plus. Not many people would leave New York City for one of its biggest nights but that’s just what we did.
It also turned out to be Ed Rendell’s last night in office as the mayor of Philadelphia and they had a number of events all around the city creating a kind of roving party. As one event was ending and the crowd was making its way out of Rittenhouse Sq., someone bumped into my mother-in-law and said, “Oh, excuse me!” It was none other than the mayor himself. After that we made perhaps one more stop on the party tour but it was cold and we didn’t want to get stuck in traffic so we made our way back to my friend’s house before midnight and watched the fireworks on tv. Pretty low key. Let’s just say we didn’t bother knocking on Prince’s door.
(Sorry about the ad, the original video was removed from YouTube. I’ll keep looking for a better solution.)