In a few days I will join my friends at the Prince tribute party at Tivoli, Utrecht. It feels like closure. The last weeks I have been trying to answer the question what it is that is different since Prince is no longer here.
For me, the answer is: Prince’s prolific music creation, during all these years, shaped a large musical universe, that will still be with us, but the innovation suddenly stopped. No more new songs, new arrangements, albums, concerts.
I still vividly remember going to the record store, again and again, to buy the new Prince album or the 12″ of the new single, speed home and plunge into the new musical experience.
Or after a tour, when the recordings came available of the shows in the different cities; what was the setlist and where were the unexpected gems? The after shows were the gems par excellence. As were the recordings of the rehearsals. To understand and to be able to follow the creation process of a song in this way was unprecedented.
YouTube changed dramatically the last weeks. You now see Prince footage never before seen. I like the ‘Summertime’ performance during a soundcheck very much. The sound, the vibe, the relaxed atmosphere. ‘Your daddy’s rich / And your mamma’s good lookin’ / So hush little baby / Don’t you cry’
But all the new available footage will do is create a more complete picture of the Prince universe as we already know it. There’s talk of mixing and releasing the contents of the vault – the unreleased abundance of songs by Prince and his band members. I only hope that this will be done nicely and not only motivated by the profits.
There shall be band reunions. Covers. But it’s just that his presence made both the band and the public rise above themselves.
There are many ‘my time with Prince’ interviews that sometimes do give unexpected views on the life he lead and the things he regarded as important. But that’s not for me, really. I just fell in love Prince music. And there’s the greatest loss.
Picture used: Prince at Coachella. By penner (http://flickr.com/photos/penner/2450784866) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons