The Night It Rained Purple in Nashville

22 Apr

This afternoon, I walked into class to hear my students talking about the death of Prince. I had already heard the news but what somewhat surprised that they were talking about it. As the years have passed, I have realized that my popular culture history is getting older and older, and the popular culture of my students is getting newer and newer.

They wanted to know if I was a fan of Prince, and I told them that his music was a big part of my high school years. I also told them that I had seen him in concert and that it was one of the all time great shows. I cannot remember the year, but I can remember the night. I can also remember that it was the Musicology Tour.Musicology

The stage sat in the middle of the arena, and we had great seats. There was several of us, but we were able to get seats together. The entire show was awesome, but the ending was the most memorable.

Prince left the stage, and the lights went out. Everyone knew there was going to be an encore because there was one song still left to be played. That is when the spotlight shone from the ceiling. The light was purple, and it lit up the guitar from the movie Purple Rain. Water was streaming down. It was literally purple rain.

Then, Prince rose from the floor; took the guitar; and jumped into one of the greatest songs ever recorded.

It was a moment that I will never forget, but Prince was not finished. For the next encore he brought out a special guest, George Clinton. Yep, the Funkadelic one was in the building. Two legends on stage at the same time. The concert could not have ended in a better way.

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11 Responses to “The Night It Rained Purple in Nashville”

  1. Marilyn Armstrong April 22, 2016 at 03:19 #

    Of course I know who Prince is (was) … but it’s another one of those things that happened in the 1980s while I was living elsewhere. I have this decade sized hole in my cultural continuity. On days like this, I feel a bit like aliens must feel, coming here from other countries.

    • Rick April 22, 2016 at 03:35 #

      I guess we all have holes in time. I feel bad for those who are too young to remember the good stuff.

  2. Bantering Ram April 22, 2016 at 04:13 #

    The first thing I read in the papers this morning was news of his passing. Strangely, I was at a Prince tribute gig just last Sunday.

    • Rick April 22, 2016 at 17:50 #

      That is strange. How was the show?

      • Bantering Ram April 23, 2016 at 02:09 #

        Mostly good. Some of the best independent bands in Bangalore, many of which do not normally play covers.

  3. Andrew Petcher April 22, 2016 at 15:28 #

    I never understood the Prince thing I confess!

    • Rick April 22, 2016 at 17:51 #

      As my grandfather used to say about ice cream, that’s why they make chocolate and vanilla. People have different tastes.

  4. Lunar Euphoria April 23, 2016 at 12:47 #

    You are so lucky to have seen him in concert.

    • Rick April 23, 2016 at 21:40 #

      I realized I was lucky as it was happening.

  5. jcalberta April 25, 2016 at 06:50 #

    I’m just finding the God worship that is being thrown on this guy is WAY over the top. He was indeed a brilliant guitarist. But the reality is that mostly nobody you bump into can name one hit he had other than Purple Rain. That doesn’t launch him into Legendary in my studio.

    • Rick April 26, 2016 at 14:04 #

      In the days of social media, events like this are always taken to the extreme.

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