Remembering Prince

I can’t say I was ever a huge Prince fan. I was never music literate enough, I didn’t experience his evolution/revolution the way people in Minnesota did, and I’m not of the right generation, even though somewhere in the boxes of old vinyl albums, there’s a Purple Rain album I listened to once or twice.

But when I watched the Super Bowl halftime show in 2007, I “got it.” For one fleeting moment, I got it.

Nobody ever looked so cool in the rain. And I kept waiting for him to be electrocuted.


It was a crying shame that a football game had to interrupt things.

Share your memories below.

  • joetron2030

    Way too soon. So young…

    • Gary F


  • Saw him a few times at First Avenue back in the day. He was a musical genius and we will never see the likes of him again…

    2016 has completely sucked thus far…first Bowie, now Prince…

  • crystals

    Purple Rain was the soundtrack to my youth.

    And I loved that cool people in other parts of the country, upon learning I was from Minnesota, ask if I ever purified myself in Lake Minnetonka. (Obviously.)

    Totally gutted. It’s the first time I’ve ever felt this way upon a musician’s death. I get it now.

  • Dan

    He really did nail that Super Bowl performance. He gets overlooked as one of the great guitar players.
    Hard to think of a better show closer than Purple Rain.

  • Jim in RF

    I suddenly feel very old.

  • Dan

    Good video, mentions the Foo Fighter cover Prince played at the Super Bowl show. Talks about Prince being an amazing bass player (because of course he is)

    [Note for the workplace: Obscenities abound]

  • Tyler

    Like all people, he wasn’t always a saint. A friend tells the story how he wanted to attend a Minnesota Music Academy event, and stopped by the soundboard while a band was performing. The sound tech (foolishly) let Prince step up to the mixer, and Prince proceeded to tweak the mix. When he was done, Prince turned around, gave the tech a dirty look, and said “Don’t quit your f***** day job.”

  • PaulJ

    He sure knew what he was doing and I hope the Jesus stuff pays off.

  • Jill

    I was sad when MCA died. I was heartbroken when Bowie died. I am not sure I have a word for what I am today.

  • Wayne

    The first time that I realized he was a crazy good guitar player was when he played the solo on My Guitar Gently Weeps at the George Harrison tribute.
    He is effortless in his showmanship.

    • Greg W

      I was going to post that video here. It’s amazing. He must have been a real pain just because he was better at every instrument than anyone else in the room (90% of the time, at least).

    • Oh man, I almost forgot about this. He just SHREDS….

      • Wayne

        Yeah, he’s amazing. I think he’s one of those rare guitar players that is both n great technician and a great artist.

        My favorite parts of that performance are when he plays with negative space and just stops for a second here and there to let it all sink in before he starts right back up again.

        • inthenorth

          I can’t say I loved all of his music, some I did. But, being a musician myself, I recognize and respect the absolutely monster talent he had. He’s without peers. At the time, some of the controversial lyrics took attention away from his across-the-board instrumental and production genius.

    • Matt

      Same here. I saw this performance for the first time a couple years ago when City Pages did a listicle of the top 10 most underrated guitarists. Prince was #1.

  • Gary F

    Never saw him perform live, I did see him drive down France Avenue by Southdale in the mid 80’s on the purple motorcycle wearing a white muscle shirt, jeans, and boots.

    Back in the 80’s my old boss was friends with the people that were trying to get Prince’s sister Tyka Nelson, a recording contract. He had cassettes right off the sound board from lots of local surprise gigs at joints like the Riverview Supper Club and others. There was one that was just instrumental, no vocals all night, he just played a combination of a funk/jazz/rock guitar that would just blow you away.

  • Al

    I was in THE LAST row at the X for his Musicology tour. Didn’t matter. Amazing show. Amazing performer. This kills me.

  • Angry Jonny

    Sang like Marvin, danced like James, played like Jimi.

  • Angry Jonny

    Purple Rain was the soundtrack to realizing that the pretty girls in 8th grade would never have a thing to do with a glasses wearing computer nerd who though Prince was just as cool as they did.

  • ChrisF

    One would imagine the marketing department at Dr. Pepper is in a bit of a conundrum today.

  • Jeff C.

    I was in high school outside of Boston when Purple Rain came out. I liked the music, but didn’t get into it like others did. In the 90s I was now in MN, heard that Prince was going to play a concert at at Paisley Park and decided to go since it seemed that I should see this guy now that I lived here. I wasn’t familiar with anything that he did since Purple Rain. I was totally blown away by his show! He was an amazing performer as well as an amazing musician. I’m thankful that I was able to experience his genius in person.

  • Mike Worcester

    When Prince was in his “Symbol Not A Name” phase, Steve Sack over at the Strib penned one his all time classic cartoons about what it would be like for Prince’s mother to call for him….I bet it’s out there somewhere.

  • T.a. Butcher

    Back in 2010, I was at the Varsity Theater for Janelle Monae. The audience numbers were minimal. A friend that works for The Current sends me a txt saying she heard Prince was there too. Sure enough, The Kid was in the balcony with a single body guard and his cane. Even when walking down stairs, he always did it with his walk that no one can imitate.

    • My wife and I saw Janelle Monae at the Skyway Theatre in 2013. Prince attended that show as well. Janelle had the courage to cover Let’s Go Crazy with him watching and she absolutely killed it.

      • Al

        He was a fantastic advocate for Janelle. “Givin’ Em What They Love” is one of the best tracks of the past few years.

  • lindblomeagles

    Not to worry Bob. Prince was of my generation, the 1980s, and I wasn’t a big fan either. That said, Prince, Madonna, and Michael Jackson, together ABSOLUTELY ruled the 80s, and all three continued to record and perform more than 2 decades later. These three don’t get nearly enough credit that they deserve for elevating Pop Music past Rock and Roll, Rhythym and Blues, and Disco. Everybody knows their songs wherever and whenever they are played, and everybody LOVED their concerts. All three were strange ducks, and made no bones about being strange. It’s just a shame that two of the three have passed away, leaving only Madonna left to be with us.

  • Abby

    Seeing Prince’s Musicology tour in 2004 marks the very first time teenage me went to a “real” concert. Drove down from northern MN just for the show. I was never the same. Simply incredible. My lifelong love of live music was founded then. What a sad, sad day.

  • Postal Customer

    In Miles Davis’s biography, he mentions the times when he used to call up Prince and they’d just eat while on the phone. Not talk, just eat.

  • Ellsworth

    Lucia and Wheat were really on it today, just spot on.

  • Jay T. Berken

    The first time I noticed Prince was on Friday Night Videos which played ‘When Doves Cry’ and Prince was coming out of the bathtub. I was thinking this ‘lady’ has no shirt on! finding out Prince was a guy as he came out of the tub. I was 9.

    I didn’t come to Minnesota because of Prince, but when growing up in Green Bay, he gave Minneapolis an allure that made the city seem really cool. I guess Prince kind of drew me to Minneapolis though.

  • Carlton Schaps

    The reason Minnesotans liked Prince is he came from here, made it big, and came back. Other artists and actors like Bob Dylan, Charles Schultz, Scott Fitzgerald, Dan Wilson (from Semisonic), and Sean William Scott made it big and never came back. Prince did.

  • ChasUGC1

    Prince was the Amadeus Mozart of my generation. When I was writing songs myself, singing, playing guitar and piano, I heard Batdance. I was sure that I heard Prince teasing me with his Genius on that Song when he says, what sounds like my name, “Charles”. Nobody does it better. To this day, that is one of my favorite albums. Such excellence and genius. A one of a kind talent, who will be sorely missed. R.I.P. Daddy Pop.