This morning, I learned both Chyna and Guy Hamilton had died. These weren’t exactly unexpected deaths. Chyna, the former wrestler and porn star, had struggled with substance abuse issues for many years. Hamilton, director of such James Bond films as GOLDFINGER, LIVE AND LET DIE, and THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN, was age 93.
But Prince? That caught me completely off guard.
The iconic rocker was 57, and had just recently performed in Atlanta. He burst on the scene with a hybrid of psychedelic funk rock that was uniquely Prince. Hit albums like DIRTY MIND, CONTROVERSY, 1999, AROUND THE WORLD IN A DAY, and SIGN “O” THE TIMES became classics as Prince crossed musical, racial, and gender borders to create his own distinct artistic vision. He was one of the first black artist to be featured in heavy rotation on MTV, back when they actually were about music, and his visual style helped bring a wider audience to his music. He starred in the mega-hit film PURPLE RAIN, followed by UNDER THE CHERRY MOON and GRAFFITI BRIDGE.
Musicians like Sheila E, Morris Day, Vanity 6, and Apollonia got their starts with Prince. His songs were covered by everyone from Sinead O’Connor to Tom Jones:
He was a maverick in the music business who once changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol. He battled with record companies, determined to hold the rights to his music, even pulling his videos from YouTube. The best I could find is this live rendition of the classic PURPLE RAIN:
RIP, Prince Rogers Nelson. The doves are crying tonight.
4 Replies to “When Doves Cry: RIP Prince”
Reblogged this on Through the Shattered Lens.
Learning that Prince passed away is a real crusher. To say that he was unique and very gifted is obvious to anyone who enjoyed his talent and persona. His intelligence and his willingness to take a stand for all artists, even at the expense of his own gains, will be missed as much as his performances.
One of his first major appearances was as one of the opening acts for a Rolling Stones concert at the LA Coliseum. As most know, the Stones are very careful when choosing opening acts. They always picked very talented acts that they liked themselves, so this was obviously Prince’s major shot. Unfortunately, the crowd mistook Prince’s performance for some sort of weird Jagger semi-impersonation, and literally booed him off the stage, cutting his act short. Afterwards, Prince was sitting with his girlfriend, completely devastated and confused, not quite in tears, but close. Fortunately for all of us, he stuck with it and we all know the rest of that story.
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