I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

R.I.P. Prince

tn_princeCan’t believe I just wrote that subject line. I always thought Prince was an ageless immortal. I don’t know if I’ll end up writing a piece about him or not. You all know how much I love him.

It’s kind of beautiful that he died in the studio, at least. I’m glad it wasn’t in that random hospital when he made the emergency landing recently. And I’m glad I went through the trauma of worrying about him during that or I’d be blindsided today.

That guy had a talent and a drive beyond human comprehension. I don’t know what will happen with his legendary vaults of unreleased music, but even among the official releases there is more than most people can handle. So his life was a gift to us all.

I just put on Lovesexy. It’s weird, but that’s the one that really made me fall in love with Prince’s music. I mean, I enjoyed “Purple Rain” and “When Doves Cry” and “Little Red Corvette” and everything in the ’80s. And I actually I got into Batman and Diamonds and Pearls and even the symbol album, but it was when a friend played me Lovesexy that it went from flirtation to love. These weirdly, uniquely Prince funk sounds that bleed into each other, Sheila E playing some weird super drum set, Prince singing about heaven and hell and sex and weird unexplained characters (Spooky Electric?), background voices and chants fading in and out. “And while you’re at it tell your mom about THIS!

prince

It’s such a good full-album listen that even on the CD Prince wouldn’t allow separate tracks for the songs. Kind of a pain in the ass. But kind of perfect. Like Prince.

And for years I heard about The Black Album that he recorded to be released the same day but then decided it was too dark and negative and pulled it from release. Surely a publicity or artistic stunt to reflect his obsession with duality (which then worked its way into his Gemini character in the “Batdance” video). But still, what a great legend!

Of course, when they finally released the album years later it was no Lovesexy. And maybe it really was too dark. I always think about and quote the last song on Lovesexy, “Positivity,” when it says “Have you had your plus sign today?”

My plus sign today is that I did get to see Prince live one time. It was the Musicology Tour, which he claimed would be the last time he played the hits. I’d always wanted to see him and he hadn’t come through Seattle in a long time and then I thought I couldn’t justify $75 for a concert. (That’s still pricey for me, to be honest.) But my lady surprised me by buying me a ticket for my birthday. And it honestly was one of the best shows I’d ever seen. He had a great band with Maceo Parker and everything, but of course he outplayed all of them. I remember thinking that if he only played guitar he would be one of the best, and that’s so secondary to his singing you don’t always even think about it.

In fact, if you’ve never seen it, here’s a legendary guitar moment at a Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame tribute to George Harrison. They put together this all star band and Harrison’s son, to his surprise, got Prince to join in. He looks like a cool motherfucker in his red hat and cuffs, he’s kind of laying back until his solo starts at about 3:30. He’s on this stage of legends and he just smokes them. And he knows it – watch how he struts off at the end. Beautiful. He is untouchable. A guy that cool can get away with being half Joker half Batman, or singing a great song about being reincarnated as a dolphin.

(I would also like to point you to what I think is an underrated song, “Fury,” from the later 3121 album. That’s a good guitar song I think.)

Did I ever tell you guys about “The Prince Box”? That Musicology show was in the round, a big plus-signed shaped stage on the floor of Key Arena. When the lights went down I noticed some security guys pushing a big wheeled box like a giant speaker under the stage. I don’t think I thought too much of it until the show ended and they pushed the same box back out and through the crowd. And I realized holy shit, they transport Prince in a box! Like that escape pod egg that the president’s in in ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK. I like to picture the Prince Box being like a violin case, lined with foam with a Prince-shaped indentation that he fit right into.

Oh man, those people who got to go to Paisley Park and watch his intimate shows during that snow storm just recently! That is incredible! Did he know he was dying? Or did the universe? A Minneapolis reader named Daniel C. makes me think this was not expected. He says Prince had a “‘Guys, I’m doing just fine’ dance party” a few days ago.

princelovesexyI can’t tell if I’m in denial, or if I’ve just been through so much horrible shit with my family the last couple years that I’m numb to this, but at this moment as I write this I feel surprisingly at peace. When Michael died I remember – this is gonna sound made up – I literally fell to my knees. I tried to turn on the TV to see what they were saying and it took me like two minutes to remember how to switch it to the cable.

(It didn’t occur to me to turn the TV on until now. MTV is showing “Ridiculousness.”)

But with Michael I was really invested in the idea of him making a comeback, reminding everyone why he was great, making another great album, another great video.

Prince didn’t have anything to prove. He was the biggest rock star in the world for a while and then he went off and did his own thing for many years. He didn’t have ups and downs, he just had phases.

I really thought he would keep going forever, but going this long, at that rate of productivity and quality, was already impossible.

You know it was a great time for me rediscovering PURPLE RAIN for myself when I wrote about it last year. I gotta apologize to outlawvern.com’s #1 Prince fan RRA because I had really wanted to surprise him with a week of reviewing all of the Prince movies, but then I ended up loving PURPLE RAIN so much more than I ever had that I didn’t want to ruin it by watching GRAFFITI BRIDGE. Now I regret that I don’t have reviews of those. But I’ll get to them.

If you are interested in other Prince related reviews here, there is the time I celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Batdance video.

Well, Lovesexy is over, now I’m part way into Sign ☮ the Times, and I accidentally wrote a small piece about Prince that I thought was just gonna be a couple lines acknowledging our loss. Thank you Prince for all the beautiful music and entertainment. You left more than we’ll ever even have time to listen to.

Peace everybody, and hold onto your soul, you got a long way to go.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
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67 Responses to “R.I.P. Prince”

  1. Beautiful words man.

    The light of the world is definitely a bit dimmer today. I’m still quite numb myself and not comfortably so.

  2. This one is way harder than I thought it would be. In many ways more than Bowie’s. I received the notification of his death roughly five minutes after I was talking to co-workers how Prince is one of the few I’d go out of my to see a concert of. Later we were talking about Goldfinger and two minutes later I read that it’s director, Guy Hamilton, died.

    So many greats dropping off this year. Like I said (twice) in the Purple Rain thread, eat a dick 2016.

    Don’t judge me, I’m going to listen to Batman the Album now. Far from his best work but I always have fun listening to it and it’s (sadly) usually what I think of when someone mentions him.

  3. MookieVaporLock

    April 21st, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    This is the best epitaph I’ve read today about this icon today. When I heard the news this morning, I was surprised how much it affected me; I was actually in tears. Even MJ’s passing didn’t hit me this hard. Thank you for the smile.

  4. I saw him on the last stop of his 2013 tour, small venue but the energy was enough for 5-6 stadiums.

    At one point he was jamming on the keyboard and launched into the opening of Darling Nikki, and his backup band along with the entire room dropped their jaws. Then he stopped and said “I’m sorry, I can’t play that song anymore”, but you could tell he really wanted too.

    Later in that same jam he just started repeating “I want to argue with people but I can’t, I’m just too happy”.

    It was the greatest show I have ever seen. Not even close.

  5. Such a shock in part because of how youthful he always seemed. The man honestly barely aged since the early ’90s.

    I keep feeling like a selfish ass because the thought that keeps running through my head is “now I’ll never see Prince live”.

    Lots of Prince will be listened to for a while. I’ll probably finally watch Purple Rain soon too, I’ve waited way too long on that one.

  6. Vern – review the SIGN O THE TIMES concert movie too and we’ll be good, ok? (Bonus reviews: THE UNDERTAKER and 3 CHAINS O’GOLD!)

    geoffreyjar – nevermind that Chyna also died. She wasn’t a great wrestler/worker (she was actually atrocious honestly), but still a memorable personality from the Attitude/Monday Night Wars-Era of pro wrestling.

  7. Nation Too Sad To Fuck Even Though It’s What Prince Would Have Wanted

    CHANHASSEN, MN—After hearing the shocking news of the iconic pop star’s unexpected death, the U.S. populace reported Thursday that it was simply too sad to fuck, even though they knew it was what Prince would have wanted.

  8. Crushinator Jones

    April 21st, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Goddamn first Bowie and now Prince. My gateways to Prog and Funk, respectively. Crushinator’s gonna need to turn off his emotion circuits for the rest of the year. 2016 is really shaping up to be a turd.

  9. The first time I heard “Darling Nikki” I was 14 and I was like “Holy shit”.

  10. Here’s a badass cinema related tidbit that I figure you might enjoy, from an interview I did with Prince in 2011 (republished here at the end, after my little tribute in French (the interview is in English): http://extrabeurre.com/post/143174619170/prince-1958-2016):

    “Music revitalizes the mind, body and spirit instantly. We all need music in our lives. Teachers and musicians are some of our favourite people. Laurence Fishburne was at a party we had where Maceo Parker and his band were playing in our living room. Afterwards, Morpheus said, ‘Thanks. My soul needed that’…”

    I always loved how Prince called Laurence fishburne “Morpheus”…

  11. I was channel-surfing earlier this week, and for whatever reason stumbled upon a repeat of NEW GIRL, a TV show I’d never bothered with before… except this particular episode was titled “Prince” and I thought “Dude, no way”. It got my attention.

    So, the characters played by Zooey Deschanel and Jake Johnson luck into an invitation to a party at Paisley Park, and about halfway through the episode they’re at the party, standing outside on a patio and bickering and I’m thinking “Where IS he already?”, and then they hear something behind them, turn around, and BOOM!— there he is, smiling modestly.

    At first no one speaks, and Deschanel and Johnson are both just standing there dumbfounded, with His Purpleness politely waiting. Finally Prince says “OK, you can stop being speechless now because you’re meeting Prince in person”. YYYYYES! I wonder if he ever had occasion to say that to anyone in real life. Probably so. The rest of the episode was Prince playing love doctor to Deschanel, giving her lots of sound advice. How appropriate.

    If there’s a Heaven, I’m quite sure he’s there, and I hope he’s having an all-day guitar jam session with Jimi Hendrix. RIP.

  12. RRA: Woke up to the Chyna news. I was never a wrestling fan but had many friends and family who were so I am at least familiar with her. I feel I’m not a very good authority on her so that’s what I didn’t mention her. Even though I was a non-fan, I still enjoyed the energy and goofy stories they had and yes Chyna was part of the time when I’d watch it with friends/family so it did, shocking to me, make me feel sad to read of her passing. She wasn’t that old either.

    To keep it on topic, I really love Trust from the Batman album. one of my favorites (just rolled on up on the playlist just now). I like this whole goofy album, we need more strange concept albums tied to genre films but I honestly can’t think of any living artist who’d be able to pull it off and make it genuine and not a complete joke.

  13. I’m listening to Batman now after first taking in all of Parade. This is the first time I noticed that there is an ever so short crossfade between Scandalous and Batdance. RIP you magnificent bastard.

  14. Does this at least mean that RRA’s long-held dream of Vern reviewing all the Prince movies could become a reality? Because that’s something good that could come out of this.

  15. My first Prince album was Sign O the Times. I’d enjoyed random songs here and there (“Darling Nikki” was a favorite for the death metal double bass drums at the end) but that was when I first realized, “Damn, this motherfucker can do anything.” You got the title track, “Starfish & Coffee,” “The Cross,” If I Was Your Girlfriend,” “Housequake,” and my personal favorite “I Could Never Take The Place of Your Man,” (Best damn Springsteen song ever) all on the same album. I never really became a Prince superfan despite enjoying a ton of his music over the years but I knew from then on that this was a uniquely unfuckwitable individual. I felt a shiver run down my spine when I heard the news. The world subtly shifted and would never shift back.

    Gonna watch PURPLE RAIN for the first time ever tonight. Seems like the right thing to do.

  16. People could say what they want about the Batman album but Scandalous and Electric Chair are still the business.

  17. SIGN O THE TIMES was always my favorite but most especially cause of Adore. The live version in particular never fails to set the mood whenever I really need it to. It’s one of the all time panty droppers. Wherever you are Prince, Thank You!

  18. Nabroleon Dynamite

    April 21st, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    2016 Is A Fucking Final Destination Movie!!!!!!!

    Sometimes It Snows In April…

  19. Nabroleon Dynamite

    April 21st, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    My plus sign today is that I did get to see Prince live one time. It was the Musicology Tour, which he claimed would be the last time he played the hits. I’d always wanted to see him and he hadn’t come through Seattle in a long time and then I thought I couldn’t justify $75 for a concert. (That’s still pricey for me, to be honest.) But my lady surprised me by buying me a ticket for my birthday.

    ^^VERN.

    I’ve only seen Prince live one time. Musicology Tour (Nashville, Tn). My Girlfriend bought the ticket for my birthday. Amazing!!

  20. I am not a long-time deep Prince head, but I grew up in that peak Prince icon era, so I’ve always known and appreciated his singles, his music videos, and the controversy he courted (the assless yellow suit, the symbol phase, the various backing band change-ups, fucking 1999). Also, didn’t he do that Pray song? Teasing. Anyway, I kid you not, just about two weeks ago I copped a greatest hits album off of Amazon and started playing it and educating my children on what an incredibly versatile, original, visionary, general-purpose badass motherfucker Prince is. So, this comes at a weird time.

    I always kinda viewed him and Michael and Madonna as the Holy Trinity of larger-than-life 80s MTV heyday mega-icons, which is not to say that they’re equally talented or apples-to-apples comparable, but he was that level of icon in addition to being incredibly gifted. Each one so unique, original, cinematic and iconic in their art and public personas. In those days, when one of them had a new album or video or video music awards appearance or whatever, it was such an event. And unlike the other two, Prince never really wigged out or checked out or compromised or lost the plot: he just always kept on doing his thing and plumbing he depths of Princeness. Also, Prince never felt like he was being weird for attention or histrionics or just weirdness, he was just going to do it his way and have fun and be a living embodiment of that artistic free spirit. I have no idea what he was like as a friend or conversationalist or whatever, but as far as his artistry and life’s work, it’s a singular, beautiful example of striving for excellence and following your own creative badass true north–trends, peers, and general public be damned. Just keep doing you.

  21. BATMAN gets a lot of heat (cuz of that stupid gag in Shaun of the Dead?) but “Scandalous” is a top 10 sex jam, “Partyman” and “Trust” work perfectly in the film , and “Batdance” is prob the most avant-garde shit to ever play on MTV or pop radio. Whenever I watch that video it always strikes me how black tee/Danzig-hair Prince would’ve made a really cool alternate reality Bruce Wayne.

  22. Hey Vern. Think you were the second person I thought of when I heard the news. Right after my old university friend who loved Prince more than her own family. I’ve been out having a beer with a friend and I’m not really sad or upset but mind has been racing the whole evening with constant thoughts of Prince.

    I haven’t always shared your emotions about other musicians but Prince is (I don’t want to type the word was) something different, something truly special, someone unique.

    It’s a bit crass but I’m going to copy/paste something I wrote elsewhere. I was lucky enough to see Prince play live twice. The first time was a standard stadium show. If you can call a show with a man playing a guitar solo atop a flying bed fifty feet over the audience’s heads “standard.”

    The second time was an aftershow gig at The Garage in Glasgow. In case anyone here isn’t Scotch, The Garage is the kind of grimy, 500 capacity venue that struggles to make much money these days.

    It cost twenty pounds to get in; I put one pound in the Monopoly quiz machine; security cleared everyone from the bar except me and formed a weird cordon at the head of the stairs, like you’d see in a film; Prince and the band walked right past me; I’ve never had two ten pound jackpots from a single quid before or since; I bought drinks for my friends; he came on and played no recognisable songs, just five or six funky jams; wearing the veil; it was one of the two or three best gigs I’ve ever seen; the moment he walked on stage you could not take your eyes off him; I had never been in the presence of such a ludicrously magnetic personality before; I don’t expect to be again.

    Rest In Purple wee man.

  23. Fuck.

  24. FUCK. This is hard news.

    First ever live performance of the song. His exuberance on the mic at 11 min after martyring himself on lead guitar for 3 solid minutes is just, well, fuck.

    Prince - Purple Rain Live 1983

    This will probably get taken down, but fuck it. RIP PRINCE The version of “Purple Rain” that ended up on Prince’s album of the same name is largely the one h...

    This dude, famous as he is, is the most underrated guitarists of all time. The ferocity of Hendrix, the precision and modular virtuosity of Zappa, and the sexiness of Hazel all rolled into one.

  25. I’ve been wanting to get really like into Prince for years now. I’m ashamed to say that I never bit the bullet and just blindly bought one of his albums, which is always the best way for me to do it. When I heard, I thought, ‘If this is a hoax, I will buy Purple Rain, on Blu-Ray, sight unseen, to honor this incredible man.’ I still might, provided it’s not sold out.

  26. he is an ageless immortal vern

    he just doesn’t need a human form anymore

    his estate has decades worth of unreleased material

    this is not the last we’ll hear of prince

  27. Skani – and both MJ and Prince died in their 50s. Madonna is paranoid as fuck right now.

  28. I DO feel that Holy Trinity of which Skani bespoke. If Madonna ever dies (not ruling out possibility of immortality here guys) I know exactly what I would post in tribute

  29. I´ve never listend to Prince. Not really my cup of tea as the BATMAN soundtrack so vividly expressed.

  30. Prince always seemed otherworldly. It feels less like he perished than he left us behind. Even his detractors would admit he was ferociously talented, and hopefully this burst of attention puts him back in the public consciousness as a visionary, rather than an icon who fell off (in popularity, at least.)

    Tons of memories are being revived today. Way back in 82, learning that my first serious crush was the only other person in town with 1999, and feeling that we were linked but that her coolness made her more unthinkable. The excitement of how unpredictable his new singles always were, immediately catchy despite sounding so distinctive; the fucking definition of striking. Seeing Purple Rain first run in an audience full of VERY responsive girls. The Purple Rain concert actually surpassing the anticipation. The analysis of his albums (and their artwork) as *statements* (which came in shockingly rapid succession.) Getting the first hand-up out of a dark, isolated period by my uncle’s surprise send of a booted cassette of the quickly withdrawn Black Album. The way his diminishing sales made fans who stayed with him feel like the music was for them in a way that the widely-embraced hits couldn’t. And grabbing a great last minute seat to Musicology, excusing the price because I’d just gotten my first job that would let me splurge, and how priceless it was to see the same opening act and headliner as I had years earlier, turning a great show into a vantage point for the previous two decades of life. (Less running knee-slides in the later show, though.)

    Lots of other stuff too arcane to list. I’m sure teens today have musicians that mean as much to them, but I can’t think of any who are ruling and moving the culture the way Prince did in the 80s. I feel very fortunate to have been there when it went down.

  31. On a lighter note:

    Prince Spaghetti Commercial

    Stan Freberg's Prince Spaghetti commercial R.I.P. Stan Freberg R.I.P. Prince

  32. How depressing it is that not even a decade after the 2007 Super Bowl performance Prince would be gone.

  33. Beautiful tribute, Vern. I knew you’d have some choice words, and my own reaction to this news is virtually the same as yours. I also thought this magical motherfucker would defy death, but I also share that strange feeling of peace (or is it just shock?).

    He got a lot of heat for not continuing to put out Purple Rain-calibre records in his latter years, but I think of that more as a victory lap than anything else. What else was there to do? Who else could compete with him? His vast and diverse library of music – an incredibly generous gift to the world – stands as testament to his spectacular, unlikely-to-be-repeated artistic accomplishment. The man was the living embodiment of striving for (and achieving) excellence, and of refusing to compromise or sell out to anyone.

    I also thought of the Vault, and felt a little guilty for doing so. But then I realised that my main wish for that material is that it doesn’t fall into the hands of assholes. I’d rather it stayed locked up.

    I read earlier this year that he was working on his memoirs. For someone who was still relatively young and by no means retired, this did strike me as unusual, and I wonder, like you, whether he knew what was coming round the corner.

    Goddamn it, man.

    Thanks, Renfield, for posting that Purple Rain vid – you saved me the trouble of funding a working link for it. I think it’s the greatest live footage of all time, a precious document of an illuminated genius at the peak of his powers. Man, to have been at First Avenue that night.

    My own little tribute will be to post the full lyrics of track one on his debut album – his first message to the world, delivered acapella:

    All of this and more
    Is for U
    With love, sincerity and deepest care
    My life with U I share

    I think this was the code he lived his life by.

    RIP, Prince.

    (I also saw the Prince Box, by the way! Amazing.)

  34. Actually, renfield, I just checked and that Purple Rain clip is down already.

    Here’s a working version:

    Prince: Purple Rain, 1983 (Video)

    In 1983, Prince took to First Avenue to unveil his new band, The Revolution. Watch this stunning video of the very first public performance of Purple Rain. #prince

  35. The vault jumped into my mind as well, plus: Maybe now the original WB albums will get remastered.

  36. Inspector Li,
    “I’m sure teens today have musicians that mean as much to them, but I can’t think of any who are ruling and moving the culture the way Prince did in the 80s.”

    I think young people, and older people who still keep up with music, definitely have artists that move them, but the days of the culture-defining megastar that you can rally behind are over. Or rather those megastars have embraced their status as brands rather than artists, and it seems increasingly unlikely that we’ll get the complete package.

    I don’t think it’s because the pool of artists is worse, but people’s tastes have become far too indulgent and niche-driven. There are people very passionate about fringe-projects like Death Grips or Earth, but you would never expect these artists to really break out of their associated subculture.

    And this is all, as far as I can tell, for the better. I am more than happy to trade the superstar age for the bandcamp era, and so are most artists.

    Steve Albini on the surprisingly sturdy state of the music industry – in full

    The music producer, Shellac frontman and author of seminal 1993 essay The Problem with Music has turned his frown upside down – read his Face the Music speech in full

  37. Thank you for this. I’ve posted all kinds of stuff on Facebook, including Hall of Fame, and 3rdEYEGIRL playing on Arsenio (incredible), Prince on the Muppets in the late 90s…
    In recent years I’ve re-evaluated his music in Batman (1989). For years I hated the corporate synergy aspect of it, but then suddenly in the last few years it started to make sense and your post here about Batdance sealed the deal. Napier – artist, Joker mad artist, purple… Prince. It makes perfect sense. Plus, the songs are entirely diegetic. The filmmakers didn’t have to do that. The little touches like that are why I’ve come to really like that movie.

  38. Stood in line for 4 hours in the rain at Paisley Park for one if his impromptu shows a couple of years ago when he was releasing “Breakfast Can Wait”. Such a unique concert experience.

    My sister was a teenager in the early 80s and Prince was her favorite, so I grew up listening to his Top 40 era and the way he could seamlessly come in and out of music styles so naturally made him his own genre. I was 13 in 1989 and I was a straight up rocker with black t-shirt, mullet, and everything. I fucking LOVED Batdance and the whole Batman album.

    I must go jump in the healing waters of Lake Minnetonka now.

  39. To relate back to movies, new Prince albums were always like new Tarantino movies for me. I have a lot of artists/musicians I love, but a new Prince album was always an event for me. A “buy it the day it came out and block off a few hours to listen” kind of thing. I fell off the band wagon in later years, but still have 178 Prince songs on my IPod (yes I am the only person I think who still pays for music and has an IPod).

  40. I really loved the fact that Prince was always a midwestern artist. He could have decamped at any time to New York or LA, but he steadfastly remained in Minnesota until the very end. If Purple Rain were made today, the studio would have made sure it took place in New York, but clearly Prince felt the midwestern setting was important for the story he wanted to tell.

    He was also apparently influenced and was influenced by Minnesota’s funk scene of the 70s and 80s. I don’t think most people Prince’s unfiltered hedonism with the Midwest, but I think that’s a limited view of the region. And I don’t think he would have been as weird and unique if he had come from a city on the coast.

  41. Huge Prince fan so I’m a little speechless. Here is a clip of Prince, James Brown and Michael Jackson on stage. It’s not a great clip but it’s great to know it happened:

  42. And here is a picture of me with one of his guitars (this is real), assuming I copied/pasted correctly

  43. Eh. Nope. Did that wrong. Damn. Wish I could delete that comment then.

  44. Sat and watched yesterday, among other Prince-related things, about an hour of CNN’s coverage. At one point they had on an attorney who was both a friend and former business associate of the Artist. The guy went on tell a story about the time he (the attorney) was approached by some ultra-rich CEO who told him (the attorney) he was willing to pay Prince 10 million to play for his daughter’s bat mitzvah. When the attorney relaid the offer to Prince his response was, “Nah, that’s not cool.” The other thing that really struck me during CNN’s coverage was the live footage they kept cutting to of the mourners at Paisley Park and how so many of them (some who could barely speak through their genuine, body-heaving sobs) were these past-middle-age Minneapolis natives. Not the mental image that automatically springs to mind when you think “Prince fan” but the man just transcended those stereotypes.

  45. “Anna Stesia” isn’t just the best track from LOVESEXY, its alternated at different times for me as my favorite of his period. “Epic” is a term thrown around casually, but here it’s warranted.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MK_LOeAgUVQ

  46. Renfield, I agree. Now that culture has splintered, there’s probably a better chance that someone can find a musician who they bond with. Other side of the coin though is that there was a thrill of seeing a weird genius somehow become ubiquitous, and I’m not sure that could happen today.

  47. Vern – also that time Prince got his own comic book, written by the late Dwayne McDuffie. Highlight is when he beats the villain (his evil twin) in a battle of the guitarists concert and thwarts his mind control spell over the crowd by being FUCKING AWESOME.

    Prince "Alter Ego" Scans

    The opening page. Prince is back in Minneapolis! Alert the citizenry! Prince rides a purple motorcycle, which later gets blown up after a dramatic motorcycle chase sequence with Gemini.

  48. I just dug that out of my closet today to scan for my Twitter profile. I didn’t realize that some of the Prince stuff I have is pretty rare. I have Crystal Ball and One Nite Alone Live which, it turns out, go for hundreds on ebay. Sadly even The Rainbow Children is going for like fifty bucks. That shouldn’t be out of print!

  49. George Sanderson

    April 23rd, 2016 at 7:36 am

    My childhood home was always filled with music. Beatles, Stones, and Zeppelin from my Dad and Bowie and Prince from my Mum. His music from the 80s is firmly etched in most of my memories of growing up. The weirdest thing was when the reported him dead at the age of 57. I was thinking that 57 is too young, but I was also thinking that it was crazy that Prince was 57. He seemed ageless.

  50. Vern – what I never understood was why Prince, who owned all his post-WB music, didn’t just upload all that stuff for sale digitally when he briefly was dabbling in that stuff with the EyeTunes (get it?) website.

    Meanwhile of all the musical tributes done in concert, the Boss doing his own tribute is great.

  51. Well for some reason it won’t let me post Springsteen’s “Purple Rain” cover he did in concert. Oh well. It’s up on YouTube.

  52. Damn ballsy of Bruce to OPEN with that song.

    Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band "Purple Rain" Prince Tribute

    Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY April 23rd 2016

    Hans Zimmer Tribute to Prince - Purple Rain LIVE

    Hans Zimmer live - Germany / Oberhausen 04/22/16 First Time Tribute to Prince 22.04.2016

  53. Dammit, now it’s happening to me too. Just type UcDHXoQmxu0 after http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=

  54. I hate to say this but a great thing about his passing is that the entire Prince catalogue from singles to deep cuts to unreleased stuff has overwhelmed YouTube like a tsunami, so yeah I can post on Facebook about the funktastic “319” or his Madhouse albums especially, with “10” just gangbusters jazz.

    (type in “MADHOUSE10 / PRINCE JAZZ” on YouTube and you’ll find it.)

  55. Great words on Prince Vern. I’m a big Prince fan who pretty much grew up with him. My best friends mom had the 1999 and Controversy albums and also The Time and What Time is It which are actually secret Prince albums that he wrote and played every instrument for and in The Time new actually sing those songs and dubbed Morris voice over his own. I was already feeling hits music at age of 10 when I saw the Little Red Corvette video and became a full fledged fan. It was the part of the video where he steps away and does a dance breakdown that made think this man is amazing. After Purple Rain it was through the roof for me. I saw the Sign O The Times concert movie in the theater and I was able to saw him in concert during that period at the Rosemont Horizon right outside of Chicago. The last time I saw him live was the Musicology tour and it was a different experience from when he was younger but I remember thinking this guy is the greatest musician of my generation. The acoustic set he did during that concert was beautiful. Still to this day I have never stopped playing Prince and never will. I love his dirty era of songs like Uptown, Controversy, Erotic City, Soft and Wet but I also love the unsung stuff like Starfish and Coffe or The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker( Sign O The Times is his greatest album to me). I don’t get too emotional over the passing of any celebrities but this one actually touched me because this man was the soundtrack ofmy life.

  56. I should have read over that first before posting. My phone got me on the spellcheck a few times but I’m sure anyone reading gets what I meant

  57. I think a post about Prince is the perfect time to let a few misspellings slip by.

    The Prince memorial tour is still going strong for me. I’m listening to old favorites and discovering new ones. (Why didn’t anybody tell me CHAOS AND DISORDER is so awesome?) I’ve been wearing something purple every day since I heard the news. Turns out I own a lot of purple clothing for a non-Prince type individual.

    This is definitely a tough loss for Team Mankind but I’ve honestly felt pretty good this past week. All the Prince music certainly helps, but it’s not just that. A death always makes you reflect upon the life it followed, and it’s just a miracle that this shitty world allowed such a weird, idiosyncratic, and uncompromising life to occur. It’s fuckin’ inspirational is what that shit is.

  58. Majestyk – I think you are repping your “Be more positive in 2016” initiative just fine admirably as good as that one, my friend.

    I got beat up pretty bad in primary school when I first moved from the UK to Australia when I was 8 (and plenty of other times too) and my parents (who I do not have a good relationship with) picked me up after the first ass kicking to take me home and my mum surprised me with the BATMAN soundtrack on vinyl to make me feel better I guess. I’ve never forgotten that car ride home in the backseat just turning the gatefold over and being so distracted by wanting to get home and play it that I forgot about how shitty that day had been / how shitty many other days had and would be in the future. Not any kind of great story I guess but for me Prince just seemed to unify our family through a collective respect for him as an artist and how much we, for all our dysfunction, had enormous admiration for his incredible accomplishments and how his achievements broke down certain areas of prejudice and bigotry that my father and brother at that stage would continue to espouse.

    When PRINCE: THE HITS dropped I was all about POPE. Couldn’t get enough of that song. Also my mum schooling me on why IF I WAS YOUR GIRLFRIEND was some next level shit was, for a boy of 10 years old, mind expanding to say the least.

    His music, message and fearlessness had a huge impact of my formative years and I’m sad to say that I didn’t really appreciate just how influential he was on a personal level to me and my family until his recent passing.

  59. Majestyk – pretty sure there should have been at least one extra noun included in my comment to you.

  60. Majestyk – And by “noun” I mean “Anything that would make that sentence make any fuckin’ sense”. Was just trying to throw some love behind your More Positive 2016 initiative but drunken posting muddied the waters. Sorry about that.

  61. Thanks for the support, man. It’s a real battle. I have a natural instinct for negativity so it’s good to hear that some days I manage to feed the right wolf.

  62. “(Why didn’t anybody tell me CHAOS AND DISORDER is so awesome?)”

    Mr. Majestyk – “Dinner with Delores” for the win. Its funny but for a guy that was trying to run out his WB contract, he gave them an album he allegedly recorded in short time and that sort of letting his hair down and not care attitude maybe helped him on that record. Its not great, but it shouldn’t be out of print.

    THE GOLD EXPERIENCE being out of print? Now that’s a double damn shame.

  63. His vault of unreleased music has reportedly been opened. No word as of yet whether or not “Ode to Joy” came blasting out of the speakers as it happened yet.

  64. Prince let me sing the song “17 Days” with him onstage at his Los Angeles club Glam Slam in 1993.

    As soon as it was over he made that mock pissed-off face and said “Now go sit yo ass down!” and grinned.

    He was the fucking man.

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