Remembering Prince

Remembering Prince

Photo: By Nicolas Genin from Paris, France [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

I was only fortunate to see Prince perform live one time. It was during the 1988 Lovesexy Tour. I would have loved to have seen the Purple Rain Tour, but was unable to get tickets for any of those shows. The Lovesexy tour was performed in the round. The size of the stage was so huge that it covered almost the entire floor of the arena. That in essence created a front row that stretched in a circle all around the arena. Prince had a much larger band on the Lovesexy tour than the small group he had used during the Purple Rain Tour with Wendy and Lisa. There were great musicians performing in the Lovesexy tour band. Prince seemed very proud of those players. Prince was so confident in his abilities that he never seemed intimated by anyone on stage. He seemed to take great joy in listening to the musicians on stage. For so many years he worked hard at developing talent. You could hear Prince’s fingerprints all over those artists. On so many of those records from artists like Vanity, Vanity 6 Appolina, Carmen Electra, Sheila E, Brenda K Starr, and so on, Prince never even took credit on the albums in his own name

There is so much to write about Prince. But for the moment, this very sad moment, all I can think about is a moment I witnessed during that Lovesexy concert. Prince was singing “Purple Rain.” He was circling the stage as the band played the song’s legendary chorus.  I had went to the ticket booth the day of the concert and was unbelievably lucky to score two front row tickets that had just been released hours before the show. I sat in those magical seats watching Prince sing “Purple Rain”. As he paraded around the stage he stopped right in front of me. As that crowd sang the words “Purple Rain,” Prince looked up towards the rafters. There was a smile that came across his face. It was not just a happy smile but rather an expression of extreme pride in hearing twenty thousand people singing those wonderful words to “Purple Rain.” Prince had so much success with “Purple Rain,” that one may think hearing a huge crowd sing that song would have just seemed routine to him. But that smile that I saw defined clearly just how dear his music was, and how much it meant to him that all those people were singing those words. It was a smile so genuine and beautiful, just like the artist he was.

Photo by Scott Penner (Flickr: Prince) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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