Oh, my God. So shocking. So sad. I knew he'd had the flu. Such a great, talented star. He was 57. What a terrible loss.
I'd embed something, but I know he didn't like people putting his things up on YouTube.
ADDED: John collects some video and quotes Rolling Stone:
He played arguably the greatest power-ballad guitar solo in history ("Purple Rain"), and his solo on an all-star performance of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" during George Harrison's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2004 had jaws on the floor. But he can also bring the nasty funk like Jimmy Nolen and Nile Rodgers (listen to the groove magic of "Kiss") or shred like the fiercest metalhead ("When Doves Cry").... Prince gets a lot of Hendrix comparisons, but he sees it differently: "If they really listened to my stuff, they'd hear more of a Santana influence than Jimi Hendrix," he once told Rolling Stone. "Hendrix played more blues, Santana played prettier." To Miles Davis, who collaborated with the Purple One toward the end of his life, Prince was a combination of "James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Marvin Gaye... and Charlie Chaplin. How can you miss with that?"AND: Just last month — when we heard Prince had signed a deal to write his memoirs — Meade and I were discussing the meaning of "Just look for the purple banana 'til they put us in the truck":
I say it was what was a typical Prince message: Live it up because you're going to die. The banana is obviously the man's penis and the truck is the hearse that takes you away. Meade says the truck is the vagina. He agreed about the banana.The song was "Let's Go Crazy" — the one that begins like a funeral:
Dearly belovedPrince sang about "the after world/A world of never ending happiness/You can always see the sun, day or night." And "instead of asking... how much of your time is left," you should ask "how much of your mind" you've got left. That's the song where he said "if the elevator tries to bring you down/Go crazy, punch a higher floor."
We are gathered here today
To get through this thing called life
He punched a higher floor.
AND: I wrote that before seeing that Prince was found dead in at his home in the elevator.
PLUS: I blogged about the elevator lyric and the afterlife back in 2011, in a post titled "'And if the elevator tries to bring you down/Go crazy (Punch a higher floor!)'":
Prince lyric, which just occurred to me in the context of the feminist-in-the-elevator-at-the-atheist-convention incident. Prince was telling us to live now, because we're all going to die, which he sometimes said clearly — "You better live now/Before the grim reaper come knocking on your door" — and sometimes said absurdly — "Let's look for the purple banana/Until they put us in the truck." He also expressed a clear belief in the afterlife. ("In this life/Things are much harder than in the afterworld/In this life/You're on your own.") He's no atheist. How he behaves in an actual in-this-life elevator, as opposed to a metaphorical elevator, I have no idea. I bet he silently occupies his corner and avoids eye contact, in classic elevator etiquette, and waits for his floor.