The band was 20 acoustic guitars, a percussionist and a little girl in a dinosaur shirt dancing around in sneakers that lit up whenever her heel bopped.
My girlfriend called her “The Dancing Kid.”
It was the student showcase at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Classes come together for mass performances for each other. Mostly guitar classes, such as the one where my girlfriend had just crushed her solo, but with a few oddball classes like the go-go dance club snuck in.
It was the last band of the night, the one known for being the size of 5.25 Beatleses, plus the daughter of one of the band members dancing around like a tiny little Bosstone.
They started a new song, the last of the night. It started with an odd acoustic beat.
The guitarists and singers started in, a little warbly, a little unsure. It was decently played, but in addition to the size and the dancing kid, this class is also known for its military marching band precision.
This was fine, just unpracticed, an unheard-of thing for this group.
I guess I should of known
By the way you parked your car sideways
That it wouldn’t last.
“Is this…” I said, venturing a guess that turned out to be dead wrong.
We kept listening.
See you’re the kinda person
That believes in makin’ out once
Love ‘em and leave ‘em fast
“Oh,” I said.
“Should I know this song?” my girlfriend whispered.
“In about a second, you will.”
I guess I must be dumb
‘Cause you had a pocket full of horses
Trojan and some of them used
But it was Saturday night
I guess that makes it all right
And you say what have I got to lose?
And honey I say
Little red Corvette
Baby you’re much too fast
Little red Corvette
You need a love that’s gonna last.
We lost Prince yesterday. The Prince of Purple Rain, Raspberry Beret and the song in question, the hit single off 1983’s “1999,” Little Red Corvette.
It was the single that launched Prince’s career, and the song that got the pitch-perfect giganta-class to play a half-prepped song in tribute.
The duets class clapped and sang along. The visiting guitar combos from the school’s Armitage location bopped heads to the beat. The go-go dance class jumped from their seats and did an impromptu shimmy, which the dancing kid in the dino shirt copied.
We were laughing, singing, clapping, half-dancing in our chairs. At that moment, we weren’t sad that we lost Prince. We were happy that we had him.
The song ended, which of course it does. And the night ended, which of course it did. And Prince Rogers Nelson of Chanhassen, Minnesota, died at his home on April 21, 2016. He was 57.