another giant gone….Prince is dead

Good-night, sweet prince;
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest. 

William Shakespeare, Hamlet



When doves cry.


It’s 1984, I’m riding the Toronto subway, and the headphones of my cool new Sony Walkman are over my ears. I remember the moment as if it were yesterday. I’ve got the volume cranked up high coz the cassette that’s playing in my Sony Walkman is Prince’s Purple Rain, newly released.  I’m listening, over and over, to the track When Doves Cry. It’s phenomenal.  I want to shrug off my big-shouldered coat and dance in the aisle of the subway car. This is, after all, the mid-1980s and dance music ruled.

  • Eurythmics
  • George Michael
  • David Bowie’s Let’s Dance
    Pet Shop Boys
    Pump Up The Jam
    Michael Jackson’s Beat It and Billie Jean
    Madonna’s Like A Virgin, Holiday and Into the Groove
    Cyndi Lauper
    Whitney Houston
    and Queen…

to name just a few.

We lapped it up like the cult followers we were.  

I just want to say that I feel SO LUCKY to have lived – live, direct and totally engaged – THE BEST decades of rock, and I’m talking about the 1970s and 80s.  That includes, of course, the genius music of Prince.

I feel honored and privileged. 

As I said re David Bowie’s passing only 3 months ago…Thanks for all that you gave us.  Thanks, Prince, for being you.

“He had the guitar swagger of Jimi Hendrix, the funky eccentricity of Sly Stone, the raw-throated electricity of Little Richard, the sexy intimacy of Al Green, the deep grooves and nimble moves of James Brown. He was the ultimate rock star.”

“Absolutely devastated. Prince was my first big musical influence, he made the mid 80’s seem like a time of musical innovation. He was a genius, introverted in private extrovert on stage. I went to see him play at Maine Road and security were turning people away with valid tickets because they weren’t wearing purple. Nobody complained, it was his show, his rules. A lot of bartering went on outside to get some purple on.”

See Prince’s masterful guitar solo, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, at the 2004 Hall of Fame Inductions.  You need to fast forward to 3:25 because it’s so frigging boring it nearly puts you to sleep, until Prince comes on and completely electrifies the audience.

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