[VINTAGE VISION] 30 Years Post-‘Purple Rain,’ Prince Upholds the Funk by Michael A. Gonzales [EBONY MAGAZINE REPOST]

prince-on-the-arsenio-[VINTAGE VISION] 30 Years Post-‘Purple Rain,’ Prince Upholds the Funk by Michael A. Gonzales [EBONY MAGAZINE REPOST] @gonzomike @ebonymag @3rdeyegirlhall-show
Everyone we know is still recouping from Prince’s takeover of the Arsenio Hall show this past Wednesday.  What may have gone unnoticed was the pending 30th anniversary (July 27, 2014) of his landmark movie and soundtrack for Purple Rain.   In his amazing article 30 Years Post-‘Purple Rain’, Ebony Magazine’s Michael Gonzales breaks down the impact of Prince on his personal life and popular culture.  We were pleased that soulhead.com founder Ron Worthy was brought in to offer his perspective as well.  Enjoy!

30 Years Post-‘Purple Rain,’ Prince Upholds the Funk
by Michael Gonzales

Michael A. Gonzales showers kudos on His Purple Majesty and his musical gifts that keep on giving 35 years after his debut

When Prince announced he would appear on The Arsenio Hall Show with his all-fem (all White) band 3rdEyeGirl, Black folks got excited. Not since election night 2008 had so many folks of color been gathered around their TV sets, noisily awaiting a media event would that would (hopefully) rock their world. Promoting his upcoming album Plectrum Electrum, the 55-year-old genius, who still looks like he’s in his 30s, played powerfully, fielded audience questions, and brushed off the host’s gushing awe with a wave of his hand.

“Prince’s work has had a strong impact on many of us” – soulhead.com Founder Ron Worthy

In between, he introduced a new song called “Funknroll,” played a cover of “Mutiny” (a song he wrote for The Family back in 1985) and partied like it was… well, you know. “Put your phone down and get your party on,” he demanded. It was the best hour of television I’d seen the Six Feet Under finale. The show turned out to be a brilliantly bizarre hour of television that reminded me of the Merv Griffin days when Sly Stone would be on for a week and play drums with Richard Pryor.

In between, he introduced a new song called “Funknroll,” played a cover of “Mutiny” (a song he wrote for The Family back in 1985) and partied like it was… well, you know. “Put your phone down and get your party on,” he demanded. It was the best hour of television I’d seen the Six Feet Under finale. The show turned out to be a brilliantly bizarre hour of television that reminded me of the Merv Griffin days when Sly Stone would be on for a week and play drums with Richard Pryor.

While I’ve been an enthusiast since first playing my cousin’s Prince album back in 1979 and falling in lust with the electric ecstasy of “Bambi,” I’d moved on from the maestro’s music since the start of the millennium. As though foretold in the song “1999,” it was year that I interviewed him at Paisley Park and heard tracks for his then upcoming project, Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic.

Soon after, my interests began to wane as my tastes began to shift away from his newer music. But like many fans who’d grown up under the purple thumb of Prince’s ’80s influence on pop culture, from the afrofuturistic Minneapolis sound where synthesizers and LinnDrums ruled the soundscape, there was no escaping his musical brilliance. It could pull me back at any time.

Whether hearing the opening sermon of “Let’s Go Crazy” on the radio, dancing drunkenly at a wedding as the DJ blasted “Kiss,” or catching Purple Rain on HBO (recently I discovered, after seeing the flick for perhaps the 100th time, that I knew every word of dialogue), Prince’s songs has become a part of my own soul, of my rhythmic DNA, and each note of his music conjures yesteryear memories when life could be so nice.

With a silken falsetto difficult not to adore, Prince straddled the fence that divided gritty blues boys from glam rockers. Embracing Santana’s guitar fury with the same furor as Curtis Mayfield’s falsetto and Stevie’s synthesizer magic, Prince created brilliant sonic cathedrals that influenced more than a few emerging musicians.
READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

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