Jesse Johnsons touching FB post
Why I Don’t Photoshop My Life
Living your truths, warts and all, takes away the weaknesses that will eventually destroy your soul. It’s a new day, feelings and outlooks of the past don’t represent where and what I am today.
I am very honored and happy to be participating in this year’s Celebration 2019, and out of respect to the Prince Estate, family, friends and the fans... Let me really explain the unfortunate illegally taped posting of a private personal conversation.
I have always tried to draw a (thin yet visible) line between my public and private existence and have avoided people or situations that are toxic. I have personally experienced the ups and downs of this business and diplomatically in public forums have tried to convey my experiences – my story is not Photoshop.
I will share a few stories... A few insights.
My father begged me for years to come visit him and I would not. He had remarried (that persona was not good to him – so I stayed away as to not witness it). I told him” Pop, I will fly you anywhere I am” – he would not hear of it. My father had never flown in his life. When I was told he was deathly ill, I’d ask him if he was sick and he’d tell me no I’m fine. Well he died Thanksgiving Day 2010, and it haunts me to this day that my visiting him would have made his life. He loved me very much and was very, very, proud of me too. In essence I ghosted him, when I should have been in his life. After all, my father never tried to deny me nor block me from achieving my dreams
Stories are often misrepresented, and yet this is the part of the business I signed for (perhaps unknowingly), but just know when you buy the records, go to shows and such, you can’t rewrite or dismiss one’s story or feelings when it comes to their personal experiences.
The dynamic of Prince and my relationship was that of brothers – we were family. I lived with him, we did not always see eye to eye like in a lot of relationships (mother and son, husband and wife, sister and brother), but at the end of the day there has always been admiration and respect.
The people I truly loved as family were Prince & Morris. I didn’t know the other band members very well when The Time formed.
I have gone through some things, of course; I suspect we all have with our own families and jobs behind closed doors. But even more so, similar with my dad, I am definitely angry at myself for not calling Prince back when he reached out to me in 2016 (I was in Wellington, NZ rehearsing with D’Angelo) – Denise Matthews (Vanity) had just died a week before that trip. It was all too much for me.
Jesse the people you are dealing with are beneath you. People want me, you, and Morris. Just wanted you to know you are much more than that. I love you and I’m proud of you. I have something I want you to have. Prince
I never called, I never spoke to him. Now I’ll never have that opportunity again...my loss forever.
These days I find myself having a really hard time with friends dying and me knowing I had not spoken to them. I have lost so many friends in 2016-17-18. It was like a gold rush on death.
Regarding my performing in Prince’s house: Celebration 2019
The first time I was in Paisley Park, Prince ran up to me and whispered “Man I’m glad someone else is here that can dress. He showed me all around his building, it was amazing and I told him he did a great job. He was most proud of his sound stage and stated if he had $10 -11million more he could have made the ceiling move like Francis Ford Copolla’s Zoetrope Studios.
So, here’s hoping this time around - I can somehow return his phone call to me and speak to him and through the music and deliver a very solid, exciting, heartfelt performance to the town that launched us all.
Stay Up, Stay Strong. Jesse J.