Image courtesy of PeterTea's Flickr page - Prince NSJ: https://www.flickr.com/photos/petertea/5933216662/in/photolist-a3ihB1-fqLc1j-a3ibZ5-a3fk1X-a3ifTC-a3fpai-a3fpDa-a3ihZf-a3icqE-a3fnWp-a3fmcZ-a3ig3C-qXRcHh-a3fj4x-a3fpWB-a3ihNu-a3icks-a3fnDa-a3fq28-gYb65B-a3idys-a3ifyq-a3fkbZ-a3ibiS-a3icAW-a3iaM7-a3fk7r-axgus3-a3igWj-a3igRQ-a3fodZ-a3ifp3-a3fjNg-a3ibds-a3ibpb-a3fpyz-4fCeD8-a3fkua-a3ieMA-a3fpoX-a3ieTU-a3fiBK-no4N4J-a3fo2H-a3fq6M-d5zBRU-a3ie9o-a3icGb-a3fqfV-a3ibx5
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Yesterday, I marked the passing of a true music legend by doing one of those RIP entries.
However, I was not particularly thrilled with the results. After all, having just learned about his rather sudden and shocking death, it seemed surreal, and details appeared far from forthcoming. Also, I was on my way out the door, and just took a few minutes to cover what was a fairly major news story.
Now, with more time to work with, and a greater ability to write about him, it seems fitting to focus on this great musician once more, and in much greater detail.
You see, on some level, the Charbor Chronicles owes Prince a debt of gratitude, because the very first blog entry was a review of a concert of his that I attended with my then girlfriend, who actually was the one who urged me to begin a blog. That review was...well, sub-par. It felt awkward, and I felt a bit on the spot. I did not know what the tone was supposed to be, did not want to sound like a phony, and wanted to sound casual. So, the result was a concert review of one of his shows that was intensely mediocre and uninteresting, and certainly undeserving to be a review of what was actually a pretty great show. Here's a link to that first ever blog entry, although again, please do not expect too much, as I did not know what I was doing:
First Blog (Friday, December 10, 2010):
So anyway, that was the second time that I had seen Prince. The first time was in 2004, in Boston, when he was on tour for Musicology. Copies of that album were given away during the show, for which I remain grateful. During both shows, I was amazed at the sheer energy that he had, and his great musical gifts that were on display on a stage in the shape of the symbol that he became so well known for.
In both cases, I was rather amazed at his capabilities as just such a great musician. My brother and I must have been listening to Q104.3 (the local classic rock station)at the same time, because we both heard Ken Dashow talking about how he felt embarrassed to admit that, some years earlier, when his wife insisted that they go see Prince in concert, he was dismissive, and assumed that Prince was the MTV guy, that he was more style than substance. He was the guy who wore purple, the guy on the motorcycle, and he wrongly assumed that the show would be centered more on gimmicks than on music.
When he actually attended the show, however, he was amazed by the sheer talent on the stage, the unbelievable musicianship. This guy could just shred guitar solos! Dashow concluded his story by saying that it was one of the best rock shows that he had ever seen, hands down. He also mentioned some unbelievable Prince moments that no music fan should ever forget, including his unbelievable Super Bowl XLI halftime show, as well as that moment when he not only shared the stage with some rock legends like Tom Petty and Stevie Winwood during a Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame performance, but he absolutely stole the show! Anyone who can put musicians of that caliber in the shadows just has to be one of the greatest musicians out there.
Just in case anyone wants to really get a feel for how talented this man was, I added some video of those two performances, specifically, for the listener to appreciate.
Another story that Dashow shared was how Eric Clapton was once asked by a reporter what it felt like to be the greatest guitarist in the world.
"I don't know,"Clapton answered, "Ask Prince."
Yes, he really was that good.
He was one of those rare music stars that you do not hear anything really bad about. No major issues with drugs, no violent altercations with women or reporters. No major delays at his shows, and no dissing of other, rival musicians. Always, the focus seemed to be on his music, on his ever expanding body of work, and that is as it should be. Yesterday, we lost a class act, on top of a great musician.
And the tragedy of it is that it really seemed to come from out of nowhere. He got sick not long ago and cancelled the last two dates of his tour. On his way home, his plane made an emergency landing for medical reasons for him.
Yet, he wrote online that he was still psyched from the previous night's show, that he felt a spirit of purple. He also tweeted something that will probably remain a mystery for quite some time, given that his death followed so shortly afterwards. This is what he tweeted:
"Wait a few days before you waste any prayers."
Prince was also working on his memories recently, before his shocking death yesterday.
RIP, Prince...you will be missed.