Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland Remembers Prince
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is reacting to the news that R&B legend Prince died today at his home in Minneapolis.
The museum is preparing a display of Prince artifacts for its Memorial Hall, which was recently moved and expanded.
Vice-President of Education Jason Hanley says Prince was an innovator who married music and film.
“As part of that MTV Generation, we felt like he was in our house. I know I did. Certainly a film like ‘Purple Rain’ – the Beatles, of course, you have ‘Help!’ ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ – but "Purple Rain' will be the film that everyone remembers from the ‘80s.”
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Hanley adds that Prince shaped music through his singing, musicianship and songwriting, as well as mentoring other artists.
“Sort of a Svengali figure in many ways: He found a way to bring all these other people together.
"In fact, the sound of ‘80s R&B would not be what it was without Prince. I think he single-handedly pushed that sound forward. Performers like Sheila E. and Sheena Easton that he took under his wing, he performed with them, but then he helped them get their sound.”
Hanley says Prince was also influential through music videos, fashion and even his business acumen. In the early 1990s, he changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol in protest of his record contract.
Prince was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, his first year of eligibility. Also inducted that year, posthumously, was George Harrison, and Hanley cites Prince’s performance of The Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” as one of his finest guitar solos.
“It literally will bring tears to your eyes. It is such an emotional, incredible guitar solo.”
Backed by an all-star band featuring Tom Petty and Steve Winwood, a video of that performance has gone viral. And it will be released on vinyl for the first time later this month on a limited-edition LP titled “The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Live, Volume 1.”
The Cedar Lee Theater will be showing “Purple Rain” in tribute to Prince next Thursday night at 7:30.