Like people all over the world, I was shocked and saddened by the news that recording artist, songwriter and entertainer, Prince died last week. Still so hard to believe. Glad I got to see him perform twice. The first time was the Controversy tour in 1982 here in Cleveland. I was working for RCA Records at the time and was there to support our artists on the bill, Carl Carlton (“Bad Mama Jama”) and Evelyn “Champagne” King. Prince headlined and was pretty wild on stage, mixing orgasmic writhing on the floor for “Do Me Baby” with shouting to us ” Don’t you want to pray?” from the top tier of the stage set. The band was tight and funky!
Second time I saw him was at the Fleet Center in Boston in 2004 on his Musicology tour. That new CD was included in the price of the ticket so when we walked through the gate with our ticket, we were handed our CD. I had never seen that done before and it was tres cool. Prince had started his own label and was one of the first to really work Direct-to-Fan marketing like this.
The show itself was spectacular! Large band with horns, featuring Maceo Parker from James Brown’s band with smooth jazz sax artist Candy Dulfer. Badass female bass player Rhonda Smith grooved hard with Berklee grad, John Blackwell on drums. Prince broke down for a solo/acoustic set to play portions of several of his big hits. We got treated to his take on some cool cover tunes, especially his rocked out guitar on Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love.” He finished with “Purple Rain”…of course, and killed it!
I’m really gonna miss Prince, but I’m glad he left us so much music and great memories. MAYBE, we’ll do a Prince tune this Friday at Happy Dog – Euclid Tavern. Come join us and see 😉