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For those of you who didn’t get to see him in concert.


A guitar solo from a George Harrison tribute:

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  • howard

    what a monster talent: he had everything – great songwriter, guitarist, leader, singer, dancer, fashion sense – the entire rock and roll package.

    this one is hard to believe….

    • Denverite

      Especially because 57 doesn’t seem as far away as it once might have.

      • Honoré De Ballsack

        Sad news—but didn’t he belong to some religious sect (Christian Scientist/7th Day Adventist/Jehovah’s Witness) that eschewed medical treatment? That sort of thing can certainly shorten one’s life.

        • Nobdy

          The rumor, and of course it IS just a rumor, is that he was HIV positive and went off his meds after religious advisors convinced him God had cured him.

        • Warren Terra

          He was, I believe, a devout Jehovah’s Witness. I believe members of that religion eschew blood transfusions, but I don’t know how strenuously, nor what other rules they might have.

          • That’s it as far as medical treatment goes– no blood or blood products.

          • postmodulator

            Very strenuously. My wife treated a member of that faith, and he had his pastor bedside with a list of medical products derived from human blood, and he quizzed the nurses on everything they administered.

          • Halloween Jack

            what other rules they might have.

            Toilet seat stays down.

        • leftwingfox

          I’d rather wait for the coroner’s report. I remember hearing the same thing when Jim Henson died of “The flu”, which turned out to be streptococcal toxic shock syndrome from pneumonia.

        • ThrottleJockey

          Let’s let the man’s body chill a bit before we start critiquing his religious beliefs. If he was happy with them who are we to judge?

      • rea

        57 doesn’t seem as far away as it once might have.

        Sigh. Every year it gets farther away for me.

        This is very sad. One of his songs was THE song for us, the one playing when we met . . . Such an omnitalent.

        • rea

          Oh, hell. There’s a bad respiratory ‘flu going around the mid-West–I’ve been sick for 3 weeks–and it sounds very much like it got him.

          • ThrottleJockey

            Yeah it’s going around. I woke up with it this morning.

            • rea

              –Symptoms persist for as much as a month or more.
              –Opens door to pneumonia, sinus infections, other bad things.

          • John Revolta

            Gawd. I got it back in February; lasted 5 or 6 weeks. Got to coughing so bad I messed up the muscles in my chest and back and they’re still not right.

          • Rob in CT

            It’s a seriously nasty bug. My daughters both had it. My elder daughter got it, had it for a week+, seemed to have beaten it, and then the bastard came back (like, had a fever, fever broke, and then after coughing for another week but being otherwise okish she got the fever back).

            My mother got it and was in the hospital for a few days with bronchitis.

            That thing is serious shit.

      • slothrop

        Ugh. No doubt.

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      howard, were you ever able to see him play? I was just last week reading a review of one of his recent shows and thinking, “I need to see him someday”

      • advocatethis

        Me too. He passed through the Bay Area not too long ago, but only gave about 48 hours notice of the concert. I was thinking, “some day, I gotta make this happen.”

        • wjts

          One of my Record Store Day friends* mentioned last week that he had a chance to see Prince play at a small venue in DC a little while ago but couldn’t make it down. He called it one of the biggest regrets of his life.

          *The five or six guys I see once a year milling around the record store’s front door starting around 5:00 in the morning.

          • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

            I’ll always regret not seeing him with Larry Graham and Chaka Khan a few years back.

        • The Temporary Name

          I saw him, he was great. The tour was for Alphabet City, when he was still happy enough with major-label silliness, so there was all the staging money could buy. Non-stop fun.

      • howard

        three times: twice in smaller (1200-1500) clubs in the early ’80s and then once in ’87 or ’88 in an arena rock show.

        and they were all killer shows, just mammoth, in a way i’m just repeating myself but such an enormous talent.

        and the clip that paul posted is an example of just how amazing he was.

      • Cheap Wino

        The only show I saw of his was back in the day, St. Louis, I’m guessing not more than a year or so after Purple Rain. Frankly, it was a terrible show. The audience was all pre-tennyboppers (seriously, a very young audience. And I was in my 20’s at the time) and he played it for them directly. Which, I guess, more power to him.

        I’m still a big fan, listened to 1999 (my personal favorite) within the last year and had one of those, “I forgot how awesome this was” moments. Thank you, Prince. You were awesome.

    • ThrottleJockey

      I only had the privilege of seeing him once. But, magically, it was in Minneapolis. Phenomenal performance. I’ve never seen anyone with so much stage presence. He wrapped us around his little finger and played us like a funky piano.

      Him, MJ, and Madonna defined ’80s pop. I feel like part of me just died.

      • The Temporary Name

        My listening was college white kid listening, so Minneapolis was this magical place that spawned Hüsker Dü, Soul Asylum, The Replacements, and Prince. What the hell was going on there? Later got to play at the 7th Street Entry and felt just a little bit Princy, except he was a fucking genius and none of us were.

        • Paul Chillman

          It made a big difference that he wasn’t “from” Minneapolis the way Madonna was from Detroit or the Jacksons were from Gary. He basically acted as though Minneapolis was the coolest city in the world, and strove to build the music scene here in his own image. He certainly blew up the image of the place the domain of cold, stolid Scandinavian.s

          • Thirtyish

            I always gave the place coolness brownie points simply by proxy of having birthed Bob Dylan.

            • Denverite


              • howard

                Born in Duluth, but grew up on the iron range, in glorious hibbing, also hometown of Kevin McHale.

                • gusmpls

                  And me. :) Seriously, as Dylan has said, a good place to be from (and grow up), but not really so glorious. :)

                • howard

                  i did some work in the iron range about 30 years ago, and i met a dylan high school classmate who was there the famous time that dylan played little richard on the school piano and broke it!

                • Denverite

                  You turn right at Duluth, not left, but the North Shore part of Minnesota is one of my favorite places on earth. We spent Christmas and New Years 2004 in a cabin right on Lake Superior outside of Lutsen. The first night we were there, it was so cold the heater cut off because the steam coming out of the exhaust vent froze. So we made a huge fire in the fireplace and slept on the bearskin rug right in front of it. My spouse will still tell you it’s the only time I’ve been romantic in the 15+ years we’ve been together.

                  Then in the days, we’d go cross country skiing on the miles and miles of trails, or downhill at the Lutsen hill. Lots of fun.

        • MAJeff

          Don’t forget The Time!

          And, around that time, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis were two of the dominant producers in the industry.

          There was something in The Cities during that era.

          • The Temporary Name

            The Time was Prince! Morris Day was allowed to do exactly what Prince told him, and Prince did almost everything else. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis later took Prince production into non-Prince territory.

  • He will be missed.

  • Troll comment deleted

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    • John Revolta

      Tipper freaked out when she found her little daughter listening/singing along to the bit about “masturbating with a magazine”. Keep fucking that chicken, though.

      • Troll comment deleted

        Troll comment deleted

        • Robert M.

          Can’t tell if you’re trolling or just dense.

          (snip) Trolling, sez the mods. Fair enough!

      • Johnny Sack

        Yeah so you have a talk with your child. If they’re that young, you take the CD away. She overreacted, to say the least. But I don’t think it makes her a monster, just a bit of a pearl clutcher.

    • Owlbear1

      Actually, liberals wanted singers to be able to sing, “I want to fuck you like an animal, I want to feel you from the inside!” but knew conservatives would NEVER stand for that.

      So, Tipper took a bullet for the team. Being Al Gore’s wife gave her certain powers over conservatives and she used them to great effect.

      • ThrottleJockey

        Maxwell did a rendition of that song over a gospel tract and I loved it. Never realized what the lyrics were until years later when a new girlfriend who happened to be at Nine Inch Nails fan pointed it out.

        Kinda ruined it for me.

  • advocatethis

    At least once a month I bring up that video or the music track on my phone. I love the guitar toss at the end.

    • howard

      i do too! such a “i’ve said it all, my work here is done” gesture.

      • John Revolta

        Years ago, at competitions, a bagpiper might sometimes toss his pipes in the air over his shoulder at the end of his piece. The inference was, “It’s not about the instrument…
        the music comes out of me.

      • Crusty

        Its like a mic drop, but better.

  • Bootsie

    I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.

    Game, blouses. RIP

    • JohnPDarling

      Why don’t you go purify yourselves in the waters of Lake Minnetonka?

      Gonna watch that when I get home.

      Shoot the jay!!!! Shoot it!!!!

  • kped

    I’d say you should post a video of a Prince song instead…but he didn’t seem to approve of his videos on youtube, so it’s tough to find a good one.

  • Linnaeus

    Saw him at the Tacoma Dome about 4 years ago. Fantastic show.

  • Nobdy

    This one tore me up pretty bad. I was literally just listening to Raspberry Beret on the way to work.

    Like Bowie Prince seemed like an immortal force of nature. Unlike Bowie who always seems like he would ascend back to his starship Prince was vital, alive, and still shredding.

    His wonderful cameo on New Girl made it seem like he had adjusted well to middle age.

    The rumors of how he died are particularly tragic. As a lifelong atheist they just make me feel even more that religion can be (but isn’t always) a truly twisted evil thing.

    • Johnny Sack

      And the guy could fuckin shred with the best of them.

      • Yeah. He was so good at so many other things that his guitar chops get overlooked.

  • John Revolta

    Fuck. What the fuck?


  • Johnny Sack

    Fuck this. I’ve been a diehard Prince fan since before I can remember. And then I get a dozen people texting me the news. Wtf. Fuck this year so much. RIP.

  • Karen24

    It’s been a terrible year for celebrities.

    And yet Adam Sandler still lives and makes movies.

    • brewmn

      To be fair, Sandler’s movies are now being released straight to streaming video these days. So while the arc of the moral universe is long, it does bend and all that.

      • kped

        But..more people can see them via streaming…so maybe his tentacles are spreading, damaging more minds, forcing Rob Schneider on innocent civilians.

      • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

        Shouldn’t that be steaming video?

        • kped

          It’s a steaming something all right…

    • osceola

      In an unjust world, Ted Nugent is still here.

      • Robert M.

        So is Chuck Norris.

  • Fighting Words

    Holy Sh!t, this has been a bad year for musicians…

    Terrible, terrible news.

  • JB2

    Saw him a few times – first, and most memorably, in ’81 at a free concert that was part of a voting registration rally. He had his ladies underwear on and everything. Weird little dude, but ungodly Mozart-level talent.

  • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

    This is his mind blowing cover of “Creep” from Coachella a few years ago. It became pretty legendary, then he in one of his bouts of “fuck the music industry” took it completely off all Internet sites. It was impossible to find for a few years. Radiohead was pleading with him to put it back up, and finally it’s been restored:


    The greatest guitarist and showman of my lifetime, bar none. RIP, YRB.

    • Kurzleg

      Awesome – thanks for posting this!

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      oh wow. thanks, Dr

    • howard

      this is fantastic, thanks.

    • ThrottleJockey

      Even the Mans shitty songs were phenomenal. Erotic City was a fucking B-side!

      Hopefully him and Vanity are up in heaven making up right now.

  • CD

    Shit! This one hit in a way the others this year didn’t, with all respect to them.

    • ThrottleJockey

      Yeah one of the things I liked about Prince I’m like MJ or Madonna is that he aged perfectly gracefully. No drama no fuss. I never felt like he was some cocaine addled old rocker desperately trying to stay relevant.

    • wjts

      Yeah, that’s how I felt about Bowie vs. the other victims of the Great 2016 Musician Die-Off.

      • For me, it’s Merle

        • Nobdy

          At least Merle made it to 79. For me it is very different when someone dies in their late 70s than when someone dies in their 50s.

          Both are tragic losses but one feels much more unfair to me.

          • Certainly Prince is more surprising.

            • osceola

              Holy shit, Prince is just a year older than me!

              • Joseph Slater

                Me too. Saw him in the 90s in DC, excellent show.

      • Barry Freed

        This is hitting me almost as hard as Bowie. What an unbelievable loss.

    • Thirtyish

      Bowie was the hardest-hitting one for me, but this one seems really out-of-the-blue. RIP.

  • sibusisodan

    2016 sucks so far. RIP.

  • nosmo king

    Before I had kids, I went to Coachella two years running, 2008 and 2009. The headmost headliners those years were Prince in 2008 and Paul McCartney in 2009. Prince always reminded me of McCartney in that they both were/are almost too talented for their own good– killer multi-instrumentalists, genius songwriters, great singers. Who could tell them when they went off the rails? (the answers being being nobody, and John Lennon, respectively). But Prince did not go off the rails that night– he was astounding, fully in command, and as the LA Times said, “did everything for the audience but make it breakfast in the morning.” He was a force of nature, a guy who lived up to and beyond being given the name “Prince”. This near-lifelong atheist is tearily spinning “The Cross” in his honor. RIP and thanks.

  • tsam

    1: Best Super Bowl half time show of all of them.

    2: Enormous talent–on par with Michael Jackson (maybe more, even).

    2.5: Scary good guitar player.

    3: Merle, Bowie, and now Prince? WTF, LIFE?

  • Darkrose

    2016 is so fucking fired.

  • brugroffil

    Goodnight, sweet Prince

  • SamInMpls

    I’m sure that people can imagine the impact that this is having here. This isn’t a big city and he was the biggest celebrity to stay and not move away.

    Years ago I was eating lunch at work and asked a coworker who was new to the state if he had seen the Super Bowl the previous evening. He said no and I told him that was too bad because Prince had played the best halftime show ever. He then told me he hadn’t watched the game but he did watch Prince and then said he was surprised that I was a Prince fan. I explained that every kid who grew up in the Twin Cities in the 80s listened to Prince.

    • MAJeff

      I explained that every kid who grew up in the Twin Cities in the 80s listened to Prince.

      Every kid who grew up in Minnesota in the 80s listened to Prince.

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        it went across the state line too

        one of my favorite bits was when he said in an interview he could play U2’s kind of music- and had in the bars of La Crosse WI- but that (and I can almost see the sly smile) he wasn’t sure they could do what he did

        • MAJeff

          I’ve been sitting here crying all morning, and this just threw me into fits of laughter. Thank you for that!

  • dr. hilarius

    Jesus Christ he’s the same age as my father. I think I’m going to give him a call.

    Man, Prince really was something else. Just relistened to a lot of his work last summer, even the “old” stuff holds up brilliantly.

    And he seemed…eccentric, but not in a bad way. Unlike a lot of “eccentrics” it didn’t seem like an affectation with him.

  • The Temporary Name

    Gee I wanna hear Pop Life.

  • Dennis Orphen

    I saw Parliament-Funkadelic WITHOUT Gary Shider and Belita Woods for the first time last Friday. It took them coming to Grass Valley, CA within two days of my 50th birthday to get me to get over it and go. And you never know when it will be the last time.

  • AMK

    Somebody is killing the music greats. We need to get Pete Townshend to a secure location.

    • Daltrey would probably go on as The Who 2 nights after he died, like they did with Entwistle.

      • Crusty

        I call it the Who Revue Show.

        • Thom

          I call it Two of the Who. As Erik suggests, it could easily become One of the Who.

          • Crusty

            Who are all those musicians on the stage that I’ve never seen before?

      • AMK

        Hahahaha. Well Don Henley announced a solo tour last week, but I guess it’s not quite the same thing.

  • kped

    It’s amazing, with Prince and Bowie this year. So many artists have a corollary. I can see Micheal Jackson in Justin Timberlake or Usher. I can see the Beatles in countless rock bands. But no one is Prince but Prince. No one is Bowie but Bowie. From the music to the showmanship, it’s just not done.

    They really were two of the most unique artists around. Even if you weren’t a fan of their music, you could respect the artistry and talent and originality there. Sad year for music.

  • q-tip

    I realized today that I had thought he was immortal at a gut/lizard-brain level. When I heard the news, it was like a flat-earther seeing that Earthrise picture for the first time. NO NO NO NO NO…

    I hope it’s okay to share my “I saw Prince one time” story here. Anyway, here it is:

    I got to see a Prince show in 1998 (? pretty sure) in Philly. I was in a band, and the lead guy surprised us all with tickets. (A cynic would say he hoped we’d learn something, which we really didn’t. But I believe he just wanted us to experience the awesomeness.)

    Prince was … inhuman. A monster. A demigod.

    Insanely professional, but totally human at the same time. I was shocked by how small he was in person, but also so perfectly proportioned, and (don’t laugh) how amazing his butt looked in the pants he was wearing.

    He was rock/pop/music/performance, incarnate.

    I don’t remember which song they were doing, but at some point he started a guitar solo and it was like everyone in his band went out for a coffee break. HIs solo seemed like it lasted forever – probably under 10 minutes, but still. He climbed and leaped all over the amps while he played, flawlessly, without pause.

    Also: during another song, he pulled a young woman from the crowd up on stage to dance. An anointing of one of the faithful by the god himself.

    She gave it her all, and ended with a sort of proto-twerking move, turning away from the audience and jiggling her butt – and flipping up her skirt so we could all see her thong underwear.

    Prince erupted in a friendly, bubbling, admiring, but ever-so-gently chastising laughter. He said something like “You go girl!”

    And as he helped her climb back down into the crowd, he added: “Now go home and put on some draw’s!”

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