Prince Rogers Nelson, born in Minneapolis on June 7, 1958, was found dead today at his home and recording studio, Paisley Park, in Chanhassen, Minnesota. This is according to numerous reports, including one by the Associated Press, which seem to be true.
I’m posting this because it is hitting me just as hard, and maybe harder, than the deaths of Lemmy and Bowie. I’d be giving away more about my age than I want to give away if I went into too much detail, but let’s just say that I was an ardent fan of his music in the early years and it was a point of connection between me and my then wife-to-be.
I’m not capable of trying to explain what it was like when he burst upon the music scene, and there will be obituaries and retrospectives galore in the coming days written by people much more eloquent than me. But although I won’t try to write it, I can show you.
This is a bootleg video of Prince performing “Purple Rain” with The Revolution at a benefit concert for the Minnesota Dance Theatre at the First Avenue nightclub in Minneapolis on August 3, 1983. It’s a 13-minute version of the song, with an additional third verse — the first time it was performed in public. The recording of this performance became the track that actually appeared on the Purple Rain album (edited to remove that third verse and one solo, and overdubbed in places).
I saw this video early last fall when it briefly surfaced on YouTube before being yanked. I wrote a post about it for this site — and then the video disappeared before I could put it up here. But I found this embed on some Japanese site today. It’s amazing.
Apologies if it begins playing automatically — and although it won’t play very well on some mobile devices, it does work if you watch on a laptop or desktop.
P.S. Thanks to Max in the comments, I’m also now adding a YouTube clip of the video, for as long as it lasts.