Just as I was getting into my day, finishing a batch of photos to share, and then the news that Prince died…reflections of course, memories, and wondering why so many musical artists of my generation are dying. My friend Anil Dash shared this Soundcloud
I’m so sad that Prince is gone. I think everybody who knows me knows he was my favorite artist, but it might not have been obvious that I didn’t just appreciate his music and his artistic work, but also what a pioneer and innovator he was creatively and in business and in culture.
I just wanted to share this song from 2 months ago, when Prince played “Purple Rain” in a new way, just on piano, like he was writing it for the first time. He never really sings a full verse, he never plays the guitar solo, he never fully gives the audience the cue to sing along with him. He was still just mourning the passing of Denise Matthews (Vanity), and this was a song he’d played for 33 years but it still sounded new. Prince dedicated this tour to his father, but I felt this performance of Purple Rain may have been just as dedicated to the son he lost 20 years ago. It haunts me.
Goodbye Prince, and thanks for so many wonderful memories.
Back in the blogging days I’d meet Anil at various conferences. It was his #prince stories I looked forward to the most. One time he shared with me a bootleg of Prince playing a face-melting version of a Whole Lotta Love. It’s on rotation now with this most haunting version of Purple Rain.