April 23, 2016
Remembering the artist known as Prince 1958-2016
Everyone is saying it, “2016 sucks. Please stop taking our musical heroes.” Ain’t that the truth! It’s April 21 and we lost yet another one-of-a-kind, too-good-to-be-true musical geniuses. A REAL genius.
Musicians lost at the end of 2015 and in 2016: Stone Temple Pilots‘ Scott Weiland, Motorhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister, David Bowie, George Martin “the fifth Beatle,” Maurice White co-founded of Earth Wind and Fire, Paul Kanter of Jefferson Airplane, Glenn Frey, and several others.
Where I was when I learned Prince Died
It was just before lunch and I left my desk to use the restroom which was outside and down the open air hall. I pulled out my aging iPhone 4s and launched the Facebook app then waited for it to load.
At the urinal, I set it on top and did my business. halfway through Facebook loaded and there is was in. “R.I.P. Prince.” What the frick? I finished up and washed my hands. Scrolling, post after post from my friends mourning. I didn’t believe it. I checked Snopes and then the news. It was true.
Prince had just played in Oakland, California. Nearby. He was just here. How is it possible he is dead!? Walking slowly back to my desk I posted my first thoughts,
” Wow. Now Prince dies. One of my fondest memories was the summer of high school when everyday consisted of football practice, second football practice, the pool, dinner at my friend’s house, then a double feature of Purple Rain and Desperately Seeking Susan. …Every Day.
Prince’s music for me was both new and familiar because of his great talent to incorporate rock, r&b and funk into new mind blowing compositions. His ability to play all the instruments was inspiring.”
My first exposure to Prince was “I wanna be your lover” from his album 1979 self tiled album Prince. Other song favorites of mine were, “1999,” “Little Red Corvette,” and “Controversy”. Prince blew up with the album 1999, but he went supernova with Purple Rain. Paired with dramatic movie. Prince became a fixture of American pop culture music history.
Friends replied to my Facebook post, “I had the cassette for Purple Rain and played it until the tape wore out. Hey, look me over.. tell me do you like what you see? Hey I ain’t got no money, but honey I’m rich in personality….. I danced A LOT to his stuff. He will be missed. Heaven just keeps getting more and more musical.”
And, “Loved the Musicology album. Cindy Lauper even did one of his songs! He wrote for a lot of artists. Even Stevie Nicks! At least we still have the music.”
For next couple days my Facebook wall consisted of videos of Prince interviews, performances, other celebrities mourning his passing, and just about every music video he ever made. The internet was painted purple.
In tribute to Prince landmarks and buildings from all over the world were lit with purple lights: I-35W Bridge in Minnesota, Target Field in Minneapolis, Clarksville, Boston, New Orleans Superdome, Paris’ Eiffel Tower, Baltimore, San Francisco City Hall, Los Angeles City Hall, the High Roller at The LINQ Promenade on the Las Vegas Strip, Niagara Falls, The Capital Wheel at National Harbor in Maryland, The Forum at Inglewood in California, Baltimore City Hall, Terminal Tower in Cleveland, The Orlando Eye, and many more.
Some of the artist Prince wrote and cowrote songs
- Stevie Nicks “Stand Back”
- Chaka Khan “I Feel For You”
- Sheila E. “The Glamorous life”
- The Time “The Bird”
- Sheena Easton “Sugar walls”
- Bangles “Manic Monday”
- Sheila E. “A Love Bizarre”
- Art Of Noise featuring Tom Jones “Kiss”
- Sinead O’Connor “Nothing Compares 2 U“
- Apollonia 6 “Sex Shooter” #19
- “Vanity 6 “Nasty Girl”
Prince gave back to the community, as well. His friend Van Jones breaks his silence after Prince’s death, revealing that Prince often played concerts to fund charites in such cities as Chicago, New Orleans, Baltimore and Oakland.
Prince Played All the Instruments on Most of His Albums
Watch Prince in all his glory play guitar on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” during the 2004 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductions.
View the full song here.