A day later and it’s still impossible to believe that Prince is gone.
From Rolling Stone: Paul Westerberg Remembers Prince: ‘I Can’t Think of Anyone Better’
People like to paint him as a reclusive this or that; I think he was genuinely truly, truly shy. But one thing says a lot about him: I was there (Paisley Park) making a solo record a few years later, and I got a message that said that my friend had just died. I was truly rattled, and the next time I went back into the studio, he had filled it up with balloons. Now I’m gonna cry.
I’ve spent more time with Bob Dylan, and I’ve got to say that I was more in awe of Prince. I can’t think of anyone better – an all-around composer, musician, guitarist, star, showman, the whole package, anyone better. If Elvis wrote all of his songs and played guitar, it still wouldn’t quite be there. He’d play Jimi Hendrix-style, between his legs and behind his back. And then he’d do the splits. He could put the guitar down, and Jimi would become James Brown. He could hold the crowd like Mick Jagger, but could Mick Jagger play the piano like that? And then, lyrically, there’s something like, “When Doves Cry.” There’s obviously more going on there than meets the booty.
When I got word today, I was trying to write a song. I put it down. I found myself walking up to the store, and I bought myself a handful of colorful clothes. I was just drawn to do something that he would have done.
Paul was also interviewed by MNN’s Scott Peterson.
Obituary: Prince was a diminutive giant who revolutionized pop
By Chris Riemenschneider and Jon Bream
Prince not only filmed “Purple Rain” at First Avenue, he recorded songs for the soundtrack in concert and often hung out there. His last time at the club was in February for a performance by locally rooted women’s R&B trio King.
“There’s not a day that goes by where we don’t hear a band playing one of his songs during sound check or someone asks for a tour because of Prince, or wants to come take a picture with his star on the wall,” said First Avenue General Manager Nate Kranz. “We cannot overstate what he means to this club.”
Fellow Minneapolis music vet Paul Westerberg of the Replacements told the Minnesota News Network that Prince “was a ray of light in a sometimes dour and cloudy place.” Compared to other local musicians, he said, “We were playing with toy trucks, and he was like Mario Andretti.”