The world is mourning the loss of a true legend today, following the tragic passing of Prince, who died aged 57 at Paisley Park on Thursday 21 April 2016.
Our thoughts go out to Prince’s family and friends.
Here, Ticketmaster Chairman Chris Edmonds pays tribute to one of his all-time favourite artists.
Genius and unique are overly used terms these days, however with the passing of Prince, I do feel that we have just lost an artiste truly worthy of that description.
David Bowie was very much the soundtrack to my formative years, but for my wife it was always Prince, so our home is in a state of shock right now.
I always had a few Prince 12″‘s in my record collection, when he first burst onto the music scene in the early 1980’s. However it was when I met my wife, who has always been a massive Prince fan that I first began to appreciate what a prolific and incredible talent he really was.
I was dragged along to many Prince concerts in the 1990’s, but bizarrely it was after his extraordinary twenty-one nights at the O2, London in 2007, that my appreciation of Prince the artiste was truly assured.
I was fortunate enough to see him play several times during that series of concerts and incredibly no two concerts were ever the same. He played a few hits, but not many, however he kept his adoring fans entertained night after night with his endless catalogue of brilliant material.
I still remember one of the highlights of those gigs for me was when he thumped out Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love on his guitar. It was an extraordinary performance and a moment that I will never forget. I came away convinced that he was a true genius. An incredible musician, songwriter and a uniquely charismatic performer. I was in no doubt that I had been watching one of the best live performers…ever.
We last saw him play live a couple of years ago at The Roundhouse. I don’t think I’d ever been to a gig there with such a sense of anticipation and excitement. Prince did not disappoint. He was as brilliant and energetic as ever, supported by the amazing 3rdeyegirl. It was an incredible concert. Shamefully we had to leave at about one in the morning, but whilst we shuffled away into the damp Camden night, Prince was still in full flow, playing classic track after track.
I respected him even more after that night for the fact that he wanted his fans to experience his performance not through the screen of their i-phones but through their primary senses. He was right. He didn’t want to be remembered or defined by any transcient digital photos or videos. Prince was passionate about his music and the live performance and that is the unique gift which he has left with us as his legacy.
I’ve just heard on the radio his extraordinary ballad ‘Sometimes it Snows in April’ from his classic album Parade. Wow! I haven’t played that track for years and it took my breath away. So apt for this sad April day. I know which vinyl we will be searching out and playing for the next few weeks in our house.
Words: Chris Edmonds