Name: Suzy “Six” Clay
Years as a Prince fan: 36
First album: Prince, 1979
Favorite album: The Rainbow Children
Current jam: Black Muse
Suzy is an incredibly valued member of the purple community. A little over a year ago, she was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure and was forced to stop working her job as an Inventory Control Specialist for Walmart in Albany, New York.
At 15 years old, Suzy saw Prince on American Bandstand and was baffled. Prince’s level of beauty was something she had never witnessed on anyone else. She had heard “Soft and Wet” a year earlier but didn’t know who Prince was until seeing him in those gold, metallic leggings. The day after the show aired, Suzy ran out to the record store with her cousin to buy the “Prince” album. They split the cost of the album and only paid $1.50 each!
Since then, Suzy’s been hooked on Prince. She bought every album (except Dirty Mind, which she didn’t know existed until after Purple Rain came out). Being looked at as an outcast for a long time, Prince was a liberating force in Suzy’s life. She liked all kinds of music, had a unique way of thinking, and a strange sense of humor. Prince paralleled Suzy’s personality in a variety of ways and made it cool to be different.
To this day, I ask myself “What Would Prince Do?” Yeah, that got me in trouble a FEW times, but still… -Suzy
When Purple Rain was released, Suzy was amazed that there was going to be a movie about the guy who she alone loved. She went to the same theater about 777 times to see it! She had a reputation in Albany for loving Prince’s music, and was informed by a coworker that local radio station “Fly 92” was sponsoring a trip to Syracuse to go to a Prince concert.
I couldn’t keep my mind on my work! Do I wanna go? Ummm…lemmethinkaboutitYES!!! -Suzy
She had no money to her name at the time but was determined to see Prince. She ran into her father’s house yelling, “Prince!” to which her dad replied, “How much?” Since the show in Syracuse in 1985, Suzy has been to 4 more Prince concerts, the most recent being at Paisley Park in 2014.
Suzy’s favorite song is a toss up between “The Work Pt. 1” from The Rainbow Children and “Avalanche” from One Nite Alone. Every time she hears “The Work Pt. 1,” it’s like the first time all over again. It hits her brain and her body viscerally. On the other hand, she could talk about “Avalanche” all day. The combination of the pain and angst in Prince’s voice, lyrics, and overall tone of the song land deep down in her heart every time.
Every Prince album is a new beginning. We have great memories attached to certain albums or eras, but we are always super excited for the next one. We look back lovingly, but we forge ahead. -Suzy
Although Suzy’s favorite songs and album are from the early 2000’s, her current jam is from Prince’s newest album, HitNRun Phase Two. “Black Muse” carries an uplifting feeling into the brains of its listeners. It acknowledges problems in our society but also offers encouragement when Prince sings, “a new day is dawning.” Suzy compares this song to “Family Name” from The Rainbow Children in the sense that Prince goes deeper into the music, offering acknowledgement, enlightenment, and empowerment.
Black Muse, we’ve been so abused. Our mothers were good looking, and our fathers were too. If they don’t stay together, we can’t walk no better in these shoes.