Archive for April, 2016

Prince’s Passing

April 24, 2016

So, sitting around with a few “non-industry” friends last night and of course, the main subject of the conversation was the passing of Prince. All of us had fond memories of the man, his music and seeing him perform. Some had seen him early in his career – I was the only one to have seen him perform at Flippers Skating Rink in LA – some mid-career or on his 2004 arena tour, some at the Essence Festival in New Orleans and many at the Forum a few years ago. Out of the 10 of us, only one guy hadn’t seen Prince live.

And, of course, the inevitable comparisons between the Purple One and the Gloved One came up and were “discussed” with some vigor. There was Team Michael over here and Team Prince over here with a couple of fence straddlers. But here’s why I’m writing this – one guy said, “You know, there seems to be a grace and dignity in Prince’s passing that just wasn’t there when MJ died.” And oh boy did that set off Team Michael!

TM argued about how MJ was the bigger global star who shut down TV for the weekend, whose funeral was so big it had to be held at Staples Center, etc, etc. But this guy, and I must admit to agreeing with him, made the point that while MJ died unexpectedly under the care of a quack doctor, at least for now, there seems to be valid medical reasons for Prince’s sudden death. He went on to say that yeah, we might find out some stuff when the full autopsy results are released but for now, Prince died a much more dignified death.

We also talked about the severe contrast in the days immediately following their deaths. Hayvenhurst was a scene for days while the crowds outside Paisley Park were quiet and respectful in their mourning. MJ’s “funeral” was a mass media production while Prince’s family, friends and close associates held a private service at PP after his cremation. And then there’s been the reaction/responses from Prince’s musical peers and industry admirers.

From the Broadway show casts of Hamilton and The Color Purple singing choruses of his songs to Bruce Springsteen opening his Brooklyn show with Purple Rain and the SNL special (how is it that MJ never appeared on that show?) last night, the outpouring of respect for Prince has been broad in scope and focused mainly on his musical gifts. And unfortunately, because of the tawdriness of his last decade or so, so much of the MJ death coverage focused on that.

This was the last thing my friend said – “Prince died at home, in the place he’d built and owned for over 25 years. MJ died in a rental house at the hands of a quack doctor which is a fucking disgrace.”