Prince 1958 – 2016

04/21/2016

I had the pleasure of witnessing the genius of Prince for the first time during the 1999 tour in Los Angeles at The Universal Amphitheater in 1983. The scene in LA was ever-changing with New Wave music being the predominate force. Prince meshed new wave and funk to come up with the amazing album “Controversy” which was followed by “1999”. At that time in LA, to be a working musician you had to mold with the changes. I had cut my hair to a style reminiscent of Duran Duran or Flock of Seagulls. When he came out on stage, my mind was blown with the theatrics and his sheer brilliance as a performer. Through the years I always followed him. He crossed all genres with the rock influences of Jimi Hendrix to the dance moves of James Brown. No one could deny he was beyond the average musician. His scope morphed through the years, exploring Jazz and deep sexual overtones of R&B. I have many great memories of seeing Prince during the “Use Your Illusion” tour in 91, where I was able to catch him in Milan, Italy.

Throughout the years an occasional random party he might play late night at a club called Teddy’s on Hollywood Blvd. Always keeping his crew and band on point who were twenty-four hours on call. The consummate professional who ran a boot camp for Musicians. If you were even chosen to play with him, you would need extreme stamina to endure his methodical approach to perfection. Get ready to be schooled in other words. I experienced it first hand when Prince played Coachella. My old monitor man was working with Prince and pulled us into a special area after the stage had been cleared. Prince walked right into the area where I was standing with my wife Ace and summoned the band. Where he basically changed the entire opening on the spot . While watching the musicians faces I realized the master was so brilliant and the respect and dedication to him was why they were chosen. When he took the stage once again he schooled every band and musician that day. His talent was of the rarest kind. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to be on this planet to experience this artist and everything he has left behind for us. The music will always live on as they say, and his catalog and songs will transcend.

#RipPrince

– Matt Sorum

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