Until the End of Time

On a Lifetime of Adoring Prince

Comments

1
Great article, David. I'm a bit younger than you so, like most of America, it was Purple Rain that first arrested me. I have a friend in from out of town or I'd be at this show.
2
Hey David, didn't realise you were such a big fan. I have a faint recollection of hearing Purple Rain for the first time - I didn't know any better but I still remember thinking how the opening bars sounded so primal and somewhat disturbing (hey, I really young). PS The Per Nielson book "D.M.S.R" is a great accompaniment for the earlier records.
3

Prince was more like Sly Stone than Donna Summer.
4
It's all well and good to appreciate Prince for all the "faggy" dance music he created, but you also have to remember that in recent years Prince has proven himself to be a homophobic Jehovah's Witness. That kinda takes the magic out of it.
5
i worked in a record store in salem oregon when dirty mind came out. out of all the stupid promo posters we received only two were banned from display. dirty mind and grace jones 'nightclubbing'
http://www.mondomix.com/Publish/album/55…
.. quite naturally two of my favorite covers ever
6
I was the only Prince fan amongst my Head friends in New Jersey in the early 80s. (did any other part of the country have the Head/Jock/Nerd catagories? Everyone was either a Head a Jock or a Nerd. I was all three but considered unusual.)

Anyway, I went go see Leon Russell play in the wonderfully dilapidated and totally kick ass Capitol theater in Passaic New Jersey around summer of 1984 or so. Leon Russell's crowd were hardcore Heads (as in pot-heads, dope-heads, maybe dead-heads. whatever. Like drugs? You're a head).

Leon comes out on stage in his trademark getup with the crowd cheering wildly. A working class Jersey Lynyrd Skynyrd Led Zep crowd. And he opens with Purple Rain. The entire crowd was utterly dumbfounded. Near silence. A scattering of boos. But he fucking rocked it. It was, at least as far as I was concerned, the moment that the rockers of New Jersey began to give themselves permission to listen to and like Prince and I became a lifelong Leon Russell fan after that.

I still love Prince, of course.
7
Right on, right on, right on.

The only thing I would take issue with is the emphasis on "musicianship" over the groove. For me Prince lost my attention when he became a full-on Guitar Hero; I can't stand guitar heroes. But "Dirty Mind", "Controversy" and "1999" will always rule. Put on "Head" and I might even dance a little for you.
8
Forget all that -- Howard Stern is 'America's Got Talent's' newest judge!!!!
9
Great live? Hell, I remember being floored by a one-song performance he did on the fucking Letterman show about 15 years ago.
10
Thanks! I'm kind of musically out of it, but I just reserved some Prince from the library based on your article.
11
Fnarf @ 7: I'm not as averse to Prince's guitar extravaganzas as you are, but I agree with you about the primary thing being "the groove," and the privilege of getting to see a killer funk band in action. To me, above-average musicianship is key for being able to make funk/access the groove—like how artists who can draw make better abstract art—but the word 'musicianship' does indeed give off a Neil Peart stink.
12
HEY GUYS I BOUGHT THINGS ON VINYL, JUST THOUGHT I'D MENTION IT, AREN'T I COOL
13
@11, yeah, band musicianship, not solo prowess. Like James Brown, Prince's musicianship is exerted by other people ("Maceo!") For me, though, the lead guitar is just a deal-killer. I have issues. I do respect the alternate point of view. But if I went to this show I'd be looking for the RHYTHM player, not the star. Chook-a-chook-a, diddly-do.

I have had the pleasure of seeing James Brown at the Showbox in circa 1981, so I'm familiar with what a funk band should be doing. You can't get any further in the pocket than that, even if you might want a LITTLE more flights of fancy. Al Green's band at the Paramount a few years ago took a while to get warmed up, but when they did they tore the roof etc.
14
Fnarf, I have three words for you: Graham Central Station.
15
@11 .. fnarf i assure you if you saw prince you might be overwhelmed in the best possible sense with his overall prowess..when i saw him last he'd retained maceo. plus sheila e beating on everything around her.. his rhythm section remains the best in the business bar none. he often covers funk and soul classics with accuracy that can be astonishing. he masters every genre he touches. at that last paramount show his version of the delfonics ' la la la la la means i love you' had me standing on top of a chair and screaming like a white woman
(.. that's a little richard quote y'all ) trust me on this.. 'purple rain excepted - because even i find those solos interminably boring- prince can take you 'further in the pocket' than any... no no.. ANY musician alive . still and will definitely gave jb, willie mitchell. and 'nem a run for the money. jb, george clinton and sadly now only prince .. best bands i've ever seen..ever.
16
God, I can't wait for that show next Monday. Why, oh why, didn't I got to see him at Paisley Park when I had the chance? One of life's regrets. Still... I will relish the Tacomadome.
17
Hey David, I was at that 2004 show at the Key Arena (i think there were 2, i was there the first night) Not even a Prince fan but my friend had an extra ticket and i'm a concert-phile so i figured what the heck. We were in the last row at the top of the arena, to where Prince was just a little speck whirling a mile away and i was absolutely blown away. I didnt know half the songs and it was hands down the best show ive ever seen out of literally hundreds!
18
Saw him at Key Arena for his Lovesexy tour. Holy shit, I've never seen anything like it since. Huge production, of course, but his band took a break for a while, leaving him alone on the stage with his piano, and it became an intimate little thing. How Come You Don't Call Me Anymore? Dorothy Parker, Do Me Baby... Hypnotizing.
19
man, this brought me back. i was SO into prince in the early 80's that as a 12 year old white girl in nebraska, my parents recently admitted they were thinking of sending me to a shrink (yes, bigots). i went to paisley park in the mid-90's - they would just announce a free show on the radio in minneapolis - and by the time he got on stage (hours after the announcment, and they took away all our liquor but we got free pepsi and pinball) most people had bailed and it was just 20 of us and he brought the whole show - dancers, horn section, etc. and i was less than 10 feet away! thanks for bringing up that memory - it was AMAZING.
20
Very sweet article, David, and a necessary reminder of His early importance in bonding among fandoms / communities.

I just missed Dirty Mind but got on Controversy and reviewed it in my punk rock fanzine when it came out. (I loved the reviews of Dirty Mind but didn't really have the bravery yet to buy a whole "R&B album" -- young white fan fears of soul filler from LPs inherited from older siblings). Fabulous. And then, when 1999 was released, the non-cult artist loving Heads in my GED class were getting on it, and I knew Price was transcending our little rock critic-endorsed world of "underground" badassery.

No one has ever matched a Prince show live for me, either.
21
oh ya! "now" he is the new M.J. or is he the new little Richard? naw little Richard has more thump in his bump
22
In the late 70's I was visiting friends in Minneapolis - I remember them talking about a local musician they called 'Little Prince'. I caught on with the release of Little Red Corvette. Wish I was in Seattle to see him!
23
I saw him perform live in Victoria BC last Saturday night. He is an amazing performer--not to be missed. You will be on your feet from start to finish--the man knows how to party.
24
I was a Prince fan back in the day, too... then I heard about him going after fansites and threatening to sue them if they didn't take down this or that. Not just that, but as another poster mentioned - Prince turned Jehovah's Witness some years ago, and he's made some really hideous comments more recently about admiring 'orderly' Muslim countries ("It's fun being in Islamic countries, to know there's only one religion. There's order. You wear a burqa. There's no choice,” he told British newspaper, The Guardian, “People are happy with that.”) and quoted as saying some very ignorant and homophobic things.

It's a shame - especially considering I (at least partially) learned how to be a freak by being a fan of his - to see him ultimately siding with the vanilla squares. Not to mention disappointing.
25
I was a Prince fan back in the day, too... then I heard about him going after fansites and threatening to sue them if they didn't take down this or that. Not just that, but as another poster mentioned - Prince turned Jehovah's Witness some years ago, and he's made some really hideous comments more recently about admiring 'orderly' Muslim countries ("It's fun being in Islamic countries, to know there's only one religion. There's order. You wear a burqa. There's no choice,” he told British newspaper, The Guardian, “People are happy with that.”) and quoted as saying some very ignorant and homophobic things.

It's a shame - especially considering I (at least partially) learned how to be a freak by being a fan of his - to see him ultimately siding with the vanilla squares. Not to mention disappointing.

So yeah, by all means - listen to his older stuff and love it, if you can still do so when faced with what he's become in more recent years: an self-important, delusional (though still no less talented) gasbag. Back in the day, old!Prince would have laughed his ass off at somebody like new!Prince - and would have shaken his head and seen him for the sad, straining phony he is.
26
Prince is good, no doubt about that, but in my opinion very overrated. There are a lot of other bands/artists in R&B(funk),pop,jazz,metal that I dig much more and which deserve far more credit and praise than Prince.
27
Thank you David for writing from the heart like you did. I loved to travel with you on your journey of prince magic while you were finding yourself.

J
28
@26 Jack, you may think that but he's blown you away in the funk/fusion jam scene.
29
So what did you guys think? Was Prince just not feeling it? The playlist was pretty mundane considering the previous shows (I liked that they did Forever In My Life). Personally, just not a fan of the medley stuff or him going solo on his sampler thing. Apparently, the afterparty at Republiq was great.