Prince Rogers Nelson was found dead yesterday at his home in Minneapolis, MN. It sounded like he had been fighting the flu for a while, but the autopsy isn’t done so there’s no official cause of death.
He was amazing. An incredible musician who was probably able to play any instrument that people even thought about in their dreams, a composer who wrote for a LOT of other artists, a producer and engineer (mostly on his own albums, but for a few others), and somebody who seemed uncommonly gracious in presenting new artists. And a queer black man. Somebody who embraced androgyny with both hands and was always himself, no matter what.
Lots of people are writing tributes to him, and will be over the next weeks. I’ve only got one or two stories that I’m willing to share, so here goes…
Purple Rain premiered when I was living in NYC, and I went to see it. I think I went by myself, or only with one or two people from the audio place. The movie was something else. Mostly a concert movie with some other bits in between the songs (or maybe that’s all I was paying attention to at the time), it had all the fun of being at a show. I left with the songs running through my head and a huge crush on Lisa and Wendy (the guitarist and one of the keyboard players in the Revolution).
Normally I would put up some videos or audio clips. Sadly, Prince moved the vast majority of his videos and all of his audio files to the Tidal music service. As a musician who likes receiving paychecks, I can certainly understand why. I did find something this morning on YouTube – a clip from “Purple Rain” of my favorite Prince song. Enjoy before it’s taken down. This is certainly music to spin by. I shouldn’t have to say it, but it’s a bit NSFW so put your headphones on already.
I don’t know if anybody else cross-stitches, but Julie Jackson of Subversive Cross Stitch has come up with a good way for some of us – okay, me – to work through our feelings. (Link goes to the page where you can buy the PDF)
Edited to add: I’m embarrassed to say I forgot all about this. Thank you Liza for reminding me. I even listened to it yesterday while on my way to yet another job interview – our local punk/indie station played all Prince on the retro lunch show. Enjoy the Foo Fighters, you guys: