April 24th, 2016
2016 has been a difficult year in terms of the significant number of talented musicians who have left us. I will not list them here for fear of omitting someone, though the passing of David Bowie (still hard to believe) was acknowledged here in the form of a short tribute in January. Now sadly, we are dealing with the loss of Prince Rogers Nelson, known the world over of course as Prince. Just 57, Prince was found unresponsive in his Paisley Park home and studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota on April 21st. Shocking. Tragic. A huge loss. It sounds cliche, but it is hard to process.
We are gathered here today
To get through this thing called life
— “Let’s Go Crazy”, written by Prince
I first became aware of Prince as a kid hearing “1999” in 1982. What a sound. It was bold, it was big. The song just sticks in your head. It was funk, rock, and pop at the same time. That was the start, and I became forever a Prince fan in 1984 when Purple Rain was released. Great music, and Prince was so cool. What I did not appreciate then but thankfully learned later was just how talented Prince was. Genius gets thrown around a lot, but I challenge one to argue that Prince wasn’t a genius. From the start, he wrote his music, produced it, and performed it, being a wonderful singer with great range and also an accomplished piano and guitar player. He also danced. He did it all, brilliantly. Prince was also a pioneer of sorts in the way that he fought for ownership and control of his copyrighted music.
I never meant to cause you any sorrow
I never meant to cause you any pain
I only wanted to one time to see you laughing
I only wanted to see you
Laughing in the purple rain
— “Purple Rain”, written by Prince