When this was announced, my natural excitement was tempered by more than a degree of trepidation and cynicism about what this exhibition would be and how Prince would be represented...
Since April 21st 2016, I have often felt the need to write something about his death, and what it meant for the many hardcore fans around the world. But very soon I realised it was very sensitive material to me: the superstar, the music genius living in an ivory tower for decades… was actually someone I felt very, very close to me.
10 years ago I was a happy camper in a legendary forum for Prince fans, Housequake.com. I remember the excitation surrounding the release of the new album Prince was going to release in 2006, entitled 3121. In that occasion, all the expectations were fulfilled (at least for me), and after spending a few days listening attentively to 3121, I wrote a review.
The late careers of many music superstars share certain features: compilations of hits (sometimes in new versions); albums in collaboration with other musicians, often selected from younger generations; tours every few years where they play pretty much the same old hits all nights; and releases of remastered albums from their heyday, including outtakes, to please old fans and re-sell old material.
In the early 2010s, Prince had spent a fairly long time performing live with a band composed of a series of musicians which were well known, both for him and for his public. The inner core included Morris Hayes on keyboards, Cora Coleman & Josh Dunham on drums and bass, with Cassandra O’Neil on keyboards, and the voices of Shelby J, Liv Warfield and Elisa Dease.