Hello NY and everywhere else, I'm Bird and you're at Hockeybird.com
There is no way I can do justice in tribute to Prince. Hell, I never even sat down to write about the loss of David Bowie who has similar traits. However, I feel the need and here we are.
I've not kept secret that I began my career in music playing disco records. I credit the disco DJs of NY who taught me skills I then applied to what is now referred to as New Wave. (God I hate that phrase). I think I picked up on Prince during his second record. 1999 and Pretty Little Red Corvette stayed in my rotation throughout my working days. I remember having conversations with a bar back at Paris NY (Huntington, Long Island Night Club) about Prince. We were both amazed at his talent and were into his lyrics. DJ Slave would go on to become an iconic DJ himself and at the time reinforced my thought that Prince, no matter how controversial should continue to get play at Paris.
Of course it seemed a match made in heaven when MTV came out and Prince released his own movie. Purple Rain stood on it's own as a movie. It was also tailor made for the MTV format. Each song was a video for your ears as well as your eyes. It's safe to say, I played every song on that album at Paris NY. Allow me to stray off topic here.....
I'm often asked what the top ten live shows I ever attended are as are many of you. Most are surprised when the Purple Rain tour appears in my top three. I was lucky enough to see that tour twice, once with the adorable Down Town Julie Brown. It was amazing in so many ways. At the Nassau Coliseum Sheila E opened the show. When she finished the lights came on and the curtain came down. About twenty minutes later some instruments could be heard. The lights never went down and the curtain never went up but we all clearly heard Prince saying, "we're just gonna jam a minute".
The band played 17 Days
17 Days was the B-side to When Doves Cry. I love B-sides, always listened to them all and played quite a few. This one was awesome. If I remember 117 beats per minute and an easy mix, in and out. Powerful bass and drums. Mesmerizing guitar. I played the hell out of it. To hear it live in a sort of live sound check was so cool. The curtain never came up. It ended and then twenty minutes later up comes the curtain and there's Prince doing his best Jimi Hendrix playing Let's Go Crazy! The Purple Rain tour was in fact one of the best live shows I've ever seen any where at any time.
Speaking of Let's Go Crazy, that song was one of the loudest songs ever played at Paris NY, was one of the only songs ever to be played more than once in a night and was the background music to our TV commercial. The place went nuts each night at that point where a song would fade and the organ would begin. Dearly Beloved........we are gathered here today to get to this thing called LIFE! Easily the high point of the night for many many weeks.
I was also lucky enough to see the Raspberry Beret Tour. Yes, I continued to play Prince even though his music didn't always fit the format and he no longer needed my exposure. I tended to avoid very popular artists but Prince, like David Bowie was different. I distinctly remember Slave telling me about the "Black Album" and finally getting to hear it. So, like many of you.......Prince and I are connected. His passing is quite sudden, unexpected and one hell of a shock. I hope this little remembrance gives you the same feeling as it does me. All he ever wanted was for us to feel a little love. I'm feeling it, are you?