Prince Dead At 57
By Rod Moody
The true geniuses of popular music are few and far between, so when we lose one, it hits especially hard. We've now lost three bonafides this year, and the numb, crushed feeling that many of us have this morning is similar to that morning in January when we awoke to the shocking news that David Bowie was dead. We always thought he would live forever, and Prince Rogers Nelson always seemed immortal as well. To lose him at the age of 57 is unthinkable, but this year has thrown us several curveballs hasn't it? Prince was an unbelievable performer, a prolific and incredibly talented composer of massively funky jams, masterful pop hits and deep, soulful ballads. He was also one of the best guitarists we've seen since Hendrix. I was fortunate to see him three times - when he blew the roof off the Tacoma Dome on his Purple Rain tour, again at the Tacoma Dome in 2011 (a rare short set for him) and a mind-blowing intimate show at the Showbox (!!) in 2013 with his all-female backing band 3rdEyeGirl. Each easily made the top 20 list of shows I've seen in my lifetime (and I've seen a LOT). In recent years, Prince kept releasing albums on a regular schedule, but none really caught fire. Each time a new album was announced, I kept hoping for the next masterpiece, like Sign Of The Times, 1999, or Purple Rain, or even something slightly off the rails, like my personal favorites, Parade and Around The World In A Day; or even a return to the lean, mean funk of Dirty Mind. Still, his most recent releases were full of solid jams that got body and soul pumpin', but I expected more, which is a mistake. Lesson learned: Be grateful for what you do get because it may be your last gift. Rest In Peace, Prince. You'll be missed.