It’s been a month yet it’s still very much in the forefront of my mind. Although he was not an actual friend, he was a very dear companion to me through his music, as he was to millions. My last entry on him was merely a mention of his latest release “Hit-N-Run: Phase 2.”
I practically put no effort in to it, I just wanted a blog to reflect the project’s release, a stamp in time for my musical hero. I had no idea that the next time I said something about him, he’d be gone, another legend departed. When I first heard about his passing I was traveling. It wasn’t real to me. Then while sitting in the airport amidst the layover when I got the news — there it was — on the news. The reports of feuding and those staking claim to his estate and fortune, is very unfortunate, and I hope it’s resolved quickly – but it could take years.
His majesty’s funeral services took place the day after he died with family in Minneapolis. Friends and “Hollywood” types had a private gathering for him in L-A. Another private memorial service for Prince Rogers Nelson took place in his home town. The tribute was closed to media from a Jehovah’s Witness Hall this past Sunday. Hundreds attended, including his friend Sheila E and members of his band, 3rdEyeGirl. Prince’s family are said to be planning a public memorial in August.
In one respect I’m at a loss for words, at the same time, I could write a book on how he was an inspiration to me in so many ways. He told me it was ok to question authority and to think without restrictions. Initially struck by his candid expression about sex, listening to his words regarding society, politics and humanity, gave me a license to not be ashamed of certain thoughts. He opened my mind about other aspects of life. As does the music of James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Michael & Janet Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Madonna, David Bowie, Public Enemy and N.W.A., among others — #Bowie&Princeinthesameyear
As the reality of him being gone continues to set in, I find myself thinking of the times I’ve seen him perform, while others I speak to never got the chance to see him at all. There were oh so many times I wanted to see him but found out about the show too late to get tickets. I was never at one of those spots where he popped up and played impromptu (Damn!), but I have seen him do private sets. Once was for the release of his CD “Diamonds & Pearls” in Atlanta during a music convention. The legendary Hank Span was the head of the R&B division at Warner Brothers at the time. I was about 10 feet from the stage and at one point actually got hit with a bead of sweat. The second closed set was in New York for the release of his CD “Rave in2 the Joy Fantastic” through Arista. Clive Davis introduced him to the stage, but not before telling us the journey of how the deal came to be, and the guests featured on the record. Quest Love from The Roots played drums in his highness’ band that evening, where several “tastemakers” and music execs, jammed to his music.
To the best of my memory, I’ve seen his shows at least 10 times (4X @ MSG; Nassau Coliseum; Radio City Music Hall; Irving Plaza) – I truly feel blessed — as there were also times, I was just in his presence. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152743016809612&set=a.10150100976959612.308631.718934611&type=3&theater
A show that really stands out was at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans. There were threats of thunder storms the night he was scheduled to perform. The day he flew in, I could see the clouds of the storm from my hotel window, they were purple — I kid you not. Below my window was highway that had steadily moving traffic. “The sky was all purple there were people running everywhere,” went off in my head. He did 3 sets at Essence — THREE. The first set only half of the audience realized it was him, as he was in disguise ala wig, lamb chop side-burns and on roller skates. It was him opening for himself with a very ‘Rainbow Children’ type of set, he headlined the night where The Time also performed, then did another set for the encore.
From the L.A. Times on the status of his estate… http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/la-et-ms-prince-estate-genetic-testing-20160506-snap-story.html
An article form his hometown newspaper… http://www.startribune.com/prince-the-comprehensive-link-list-to-star-tribune-coverage/376649771/
From Billboard… http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/7341522/prince-dead
From Rolling Stone… http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/inside-princes-final-days-20160513
The New York Times… http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/22/arts/music/prince-dead.html?_r=0
for the Love of Prince
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