T Nation

Prince Has Died


#1

A living legend, best musician alive, is no longer alive. I have seen him live several times and was always blown away. His talent was unfathomable. Probably the most talented overall musician since Mozart. That’s talking plain talent, not whether or not you like his music.
Anyway, RIP Prince. Your mark on music will live on.


#2

Great interview:


#3

Sad, he always seemed like he was in really good shape to me. Kinda surprising.

Okay, this is going to sound a little offensive, but what made him such a great musician? To qualify this, I’ve never really listened to his stuff other than songs that I happen to hear on the radio. I don’t mean to imply that he isn’t awesome, but I’ve just never really gotten what it is that makes him great. What should I listen to or listen for to hear his great musical ability? I’ll probably run a prince Pandora station working out later.


#4

That’s hard to answer. His music is so diverse. Stick to the pre 90’s stuff. Controversy (song) is great and Sign Of The Times (album)
Sad news.


#5

Yeah love his stuff. Was itching to see him if he did one last stadium tour. Just weird him dropping off like that


#6

Always hits me hard when a celebrity I remember from my childhood dies. It’s like you just expect them to always be there doing their thing.

Amazing catalog of music.

S


#7

This has been a fucking terrible year for cool people dying


#8

Seriously. Just one after another.


#9

As for talent he was one of those guys that that could play just about any instrument he picked up. I remember having a conversation about him with some friends at uni c1990. One was a talented member of a youth philharmonic orchestra, she was disparaging about his talent until another guy told her about his prowess with multiple instruments. She still mightn’t have liked Prince’s music as a personal taste but I saw her expression change to having a respect for his musical talent.


#10

I heard he’s the same way with basketball. And pancakes.


#11

Admired his guitar playing since day one. Truly a renaissance artist.


#12

I got a text from Prince’s assistant. That’s how things go in the Prince universe: You get a pre‑message saying that a phone message is coming later. But this time, the message said something different. It said that there was going to be a roller‑skating party that night, for Valentine’s Day, and that I should bring some cool people.

I was puzzled. What did Prince mean by “cool,” exactly? I wasn’t sure if he was trusting me with the word or with the concept. I texted back: “Cool?” It turned out they meant the people who were already with me: Mos, Talib, Jill, Erykah, Common. I started to line people up in my mind and called them to give them the news. I thought they would do backflips: a party with Prince? To my amazement, most of them weren’t up for it. Jill came backstage and told me that she was tired. Talib said that he needed to be in bed before midnight. I ran into Alan Leeds, who led me to Raphael’s dressing room, where Chris Rock and Eddie Murphy were sitting and talking. I went to my same pitch:

“Hey, guys, want to go roller‑skating with Prince?”

“Right,” Alan said. “I’ll be in the grave before I’m in skates.”

“Right,” Chris said. “Like I’m skating with these knees.”

“Right,” Raphael said. “I’m too old for that shit.”

I was confused and a little depressed. How good were these peo­ple’s lives that they could pass on Prince’s roller‑skating party? Only one man was brave enough—visionary enough—to see what lay before us, and that was Eddie Murphy. “This is historical,” he said. “For starters, I need to see if Prince can roller‑skate. I’m a comedian, and honestly, what’s funnier than that?”

Prince’s assistant texted me directions to a rink in Glenside, way out in the middle of nowhere. It was around one in the morning by the time we drove out there, and the place was empty, a bare rink, and I started to worry that I had the wrong place, or that I had been punked. Maybe Alan and Chris were in on the joke. Maybe they were all somewhere laughing. Then I saw DJ Rashida and some of her friends skating. “Hey,” I said.

“Hey there,” she said. They were so happy to see us that I started to feel bad that I hadn’t brought more people. “No,” she said. “Don’t worry about it. Prince likes to keep things intimate. A dozen people is a big crowd to him.” That may have been true, but it was crazy for her to say, as a DJ, and just as crazy for me, as a DJ, to hear. Do you know how hard it is to entertain a crowd that small?

The rink staff was professional, if a little nonplussed. “He’s pay­ing for us to stay open,” one guy told me. “Let’s make the best of it. What’s your shoe size?”

My girlfriend and I skated for about an hour. No Prince, no noth­ing, and the longer we went, the stranger it seemed. Was he com­ing? Was he up in the rafters, laughing? It was a strange setup, to say the least. Someone was putting down cash to keep the kid behind the snack bar there, watching the pizza bake under the heat lamp. He should have been home studying for his spelling test.

Around two in the morning we were ready to go. Still no Prince, and the anthropological benefit of watching this strange half‑attended all‑skate was wearing off. Suddenly, Eddie came in.

They were clear skates that lit up, and the wheels sent a multicolored spark trail into your path.

“Hey,” he said. “I have an idea. Maybe don’t take those skates off just yet.”

And there he came, Prince, followed by a Princely entourage: his wife, Manuela; Larry Graham; some kids. I didn’t recognize the kids but they were a familiar type—show‑biz small‑fry, like I was all those years ago, when my father took me down to the green room to meet KISS.

Prince was carrying a big briefcase in his hand, and he was acting all mysterious, like it contained the glowing substance from Pulp Fic­tion or something. He made like he was going to open it, then stopped, then started again. Then he walked toward me.

“Where’s your phone?”

“What?” I said.

“Yeah, right, what?” he said. “I know you have it, Ahmir. Where is it?”

I thought maybe he wanted to make a phone call. I admit now that’s not a plausible reading of the situation, but it was all so surreal. “It’s here,” I said.

He took it from me and turned it over in his hand. “Your coat is in coat check?”

“Yeah.”

“Put this with it.”

“Why? You think I’m going to record something?”

“Check the phone.”

“What about him?” I pointed at Eddie. “You’re not going to take his phone? He’ll tell everyone.”

Eddie put up his hands. “Hey, man, I don’t know what you’re talk­ing about. My phone’s in the car.”

I put the phone in coat check. Prince was asking me. I was being asked by Prince. It was Prince who was asking me. And fine, maybe I didn’t understand any part of what was happening, but sometimes you just have to launch yourself out into the river of an evening.

When I got back, Prince had the briefcase out on the floor. He clicked the lock and opened it, and took out the strangest, most singu­lar pair of roller skates I had ever seen. They were clear skates that lit up, and the wheels sent a multicolored spark trail into your path.

He took them out and did a big lap around the rink. Man. He could skate like he could sing. I watched him go, so transfixed that I didn’t even notice Eddie Murphy appearing at my arm. “I’m going to go get your phone for you,” he said.


#13

Eugh, now looks drug related, apparently his plane rerouting for ‘bad flu’ last week was an overdose. Really strange didint seem like his thing.


#14

It’ll be prescription drugs. That’s what seems to kill celebrities these days.

No one wants to take heroin anymore.


#15

I tend to doubt that. He’s been pretty anti-drug most of his life that I know of, even early on. Sex was his thing. The TMZ report is just a rumor of course when a celebrity dies everybody thinks drugs first. The reports of him recently, not playing the guitar or dancing and putting on a show indicates to me that something was wrong with him. There’s no telling with Prince, the one thing he was good at is keeping his private life private. I admire that. He made a spectacle of himself when he performed and disappeared out of existence when he was not performing.

I reckon the paparazzi could not handle the winters in Minnesota. That’s a good way to keep them off your ass; go some where brutally cold.


#16

Yeah I agree with you.

Now seems like it was Percocet for his messed up hips and nothing to do with party drugs or any of that jackassery.