Prince Rogers Nelson will be forever remembered as one of the most charismatic and energetic showmen in musical history. He was brilliant in his performance, flamboyant in his personality and engaging in a way that, despite his need to remain anonymous at times, we all felt connected to him in some way. Prince’s musical life was jam-packed with controversial lyrics, funky beats and his amazing guitar work. Although his big hits seemed to stall out sometime in the mid-90’s, he still reached critical success today with some of his latest works and he never stopped writing and creating music.
I consider myself fortunate to have seen him perform twice. Once in 2004 in Cincinnati at U.S. Bank Arena and then once at a media gathering prior to the 2007 Super Bowl in Miami, FL. Being one of only maybe a couple hundred people to see Prince perform was a highlight in my career. He jammed for maybe 45 minutes and his fingers never seemed to stop moving! He was awe inspiring with his guitar work and some might even consider him to be one of the greatest guitar players ever.
2016 has been a rough year so far for musicians. In less than 5 months, we have lost David Bowie, Natalie Cole, Glenn Frey, Vanity and Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead, not to mention so many other actors, actresses and public figures who I grew up watching and listening too. But of all of them, this one is the toughest. Prince played a HUGE part in my growing up. I remember hearing the taboo lyrics on his album “1999” in the 8th grade. Going to a Catholic school, I hadn’t really heard anything like him before. Then in 1984, with the release of “Purple Rain,” I pretty much wore that soundtrack out without my parents ever hearing “Darling Nikki.” I listened to that album, in its entirety, for over a year. Every song was strong and the highlight is the almost 9-minute long title track. I could listen to that song forever and never get tired of it. “Graffiti Bridge,” “Lovesexy,” “Around The World In A Day,” “Parade,” they ALL are classic Prince albums that can be put on at any time and make you wanna dance in your kitchen. I grew up with each of those releases and to think that now he’s gone makes me want to cry purple tears.
Rest In Peace Prince. We have lost another amazing talent and another piece of my childhood is gone as well. You will be missed forever.
Here are some photos from that media press conference in Miami, FL prior to Super Bowl XLI in 2007.