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Remembering: Prince and Purple Rain

TDR-Remembers: PRINCE and PURPLE RAIN. It was April 20th, 2016 and I was sitting in Gene Simmons' and Paul Stanley's Rock Themed restaurant called, "Rock and Brews" at LAX waiting for a plane. I'd just attended a Reunion of Record Business Guys who had been on the streets back in the Golden Days of R&R, and this seemed like an appropriate place to have a sandwich. The food wasn't great, but the atmosphere pretty cool with huge screens around the walls showing Rock Videos, and the help was really nice and friendly, not always the case in airport restaurants.

 

But then the young lady who was serving me came over with my order and tears running down her cheeks. I asked her what was wrong, and she said, "Prince just died." I looked up and those big screens were purple and full of Prince, a hush had fallen over the room, passengers passing by stopped to watch, it was almost impossible, the guy was only 57 and in a very creative phase. I thought about when I became aware of the man and his incredible talent.

 

I'd been away from the Music Business for quite a while when I started hearing about this kid from Minneapolis who managed to mix a plethora of musical styles: Funk, Soul, Gospel, Rock, Jazz, Hip-Hop and Psychedelia, into a delicious musical soup...he was a bona fide genius. When his movie "Purple Rain" was released I went to see it and realized everything I'd heard was true...not only was Prince a great songwriter, but also a multi-instrumentalist and an electric performer...the whole magilla. Pretty amazing stuff.

 

Over the years he'd jump into my consciousness every once in a while: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, Sensational Grammy performance with the beautiful young Beyonce, writing SLAVE on his face when he had a feud with his Record Company, Blockbuster Super Bowl Half Time Show, becoming The "Love Symbol," and on and on.

 

Of course, he was also selling a ton of records, and it began with "Purple Rain" when he had the No 1 album, Film and Single in the US all at the same time. Prince had one of the most successful recording careers since The Beatles and Elvis, but then it came to an early end to an outcry of sorrow from fans world-wide.

 

Only those close to Prince Rogers Nelson were aware of his moodiness and sadness, hidden mostly by his prodigious work schedule. He was writing and recording constantly at his Paisley Studios in his home town when not on tour. We'll get deeper into his work on a future post, but being reminded of his death on this day and my memories from that moment at "Rock and Brews" motivated me to write this thumbnail sketch today.

 

May the Rock Gods bless Prince's evolved soul, and he rest in the Cosmic Peace. For the TDR Prince Tribute video we found a clip from the movie, he's finishing a scene at the opening when he breaks into Purple Rain. This being a clip from a 35mm Color film, both the picture and sound are HQ perfect. @therealdonrocks

 

A version of this post originally appeared on The Don Rocks Facebook page. For more stories like these every day, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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