FROM BRAD CARLIN IN MINNESOTA:
So since Gordon Minehart may be busy, I just have 3 things I want to say about Prince (and the outpouring of love for him depicted in this picture of the street between Target Center and First Ave last night; thanks Heather Britt for the photo). And they all start with M:
1) Musicianship. Prince was an amazing performer; his live shows, even the one just a week before his death, were legendary. He was best known for his lead guitar work, but he could play your instrument better than you could, no matter who you were or what instrument you played. He released 39 full-length studio albums in 38 years (with more almost certain to come), an astonishing rate of productivity. Elvis, Michael, and bands like the Beatles and CCR were this productive, but for far shorter periods of time. And this doesn't even count all the songs he wrote for others; he gave the Bangles their biggest hit ("Manic Monday"), etc, etc.
2) Mercurial. Prince did his own thing no matter what. He told his record company to take a hike after 18 years; then joined them again 18 years later. He embraced the internet, then totally broke from it (meaning all of these FB tributes to him do not include YouTube videos of him playing one of his songs; he prevented that). He repeatedly broke Chrissie Hynde's rule about not sleeping with people inside the band, and got away with it. But he also went door to door as a Jehovah's Witness in Eden Prairie.
3) Minneapolis. He never moved away, but kept both his business and recording bases here his whole life. Last fall he attended the Lynx' WNBA-clinching victory, then invited the team back to his place and played for them. He threw another party at his house last Saturday, where he didn't perform but came out to assure his friends he was all right (one of the few things he got wrong in his life). He visited legendary music store the Electic Fetus earlier that day (on "Record Store Day"). He loved this community and boy oh boy did it love him back.
My band Homeward Bound will be playing the Hearts and Hammers fundraiser at Surly tomorrow night, and naturally we will now be performing a Prince song as part of that show. (You'll have to come to find out which one; I only had about a thousand to pick from.) He was the greatest musician to ever come out of the Twin Cities, and even broadening to Minnesota more generally, only Bob Dylan and maybe Judy Garland would be in his league. Gone far too soon, the outpouring of grief and respect for him will continue here all weekend, and probably long after that.
Goodbye sir -- please give my best to David Bowie and all the other greats we have lost in the last 12 months when you see them
Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016) was an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and actor. Prince was renowned as an innovator and was widely known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence and vocal range. He is regarded as the pioneer of Minneapolis sound; his music integrates a wide variety of styles, including funk, rock, R&B, soul, psychedelia and pop.
Prince was born in Minneapolis and developed an interest in music as a young child, writing his first song when he was seven years old. After recording songs with his cousin's band 94 East, 19-year-old Prince recorded several unsuccessfuldemo tapes before releasing his debut album For You in 1978, under the guidance of manager Owen Husney. His 1979 album Prince went platinum due to the success of the singles "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?" and "I Wanna Be Your Lover". His next three records—Dirty Mind (1980), Controversy (1981), and 1999 (1982)—continued his success, showcasing Prince's trademark of prominently sexual lyrics and incorporation of elements of funk, dance, and rock music. In 1984, he began referring to his backup band as The Revolution and released Purple Rain, which served as the soundtrack to his film debut of the same name. A prolific songwriter, Prince in the 1980s wrote songs for and produced work by many other acts, often under pseudonyms.
After releasing the albums Around the World in a Day (1985) and Parade (1986), The Revolution disbanded and Prince released the double album Sign o' the Times (1987) as a solo artist. He released three more solo albums before debutingThe New Power Generation band in 1991. He changed his stage name in 1993 to an unpronounceable symbol , also known as the "Love Symbol". He then began releasing new albums at a faster pace to remove himself from contractual obligations to Warner Bros.; he released five records between 1994 and 1996 before signing with Arista Records in 1998. In 2000, he began referring to himself as "Prince" again. He released 15 albums after that; his final album, HITnRUN Phase Two, was first released exclusively on the Tidal streaming service on December 11, 2015. On April 15, 2016, while he was on tour, Prince's private plane made an emergency landing in Illinois and he was admitted to a hospital withflu-like symptoms. On April 21, 2016, he died at his Paisley Park recording studio and home in Chanhassen, Minnesota.
Prince sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. He won sevenGrammy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, the first year of his eligibility. Rolling Stone ranked Prince at number 27 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.