I grew up about two hours south of Minneapolis, where he lived until the end. You couldn’t ignore his regional influence – he was the local who made it big and never left (aside from a short stint in Los Angeles for a while). But he stuck it through the winters and stayed despite his fame.
I’ve tried to put together all the times I’ve seen Prince or his affiliates live, I think it started with the Lovesexy tour in 1988 in Minneapolis, then me and a high school friend went to the world premiere of the sequel to Purple Rain (Grafitti Bridge) in Minneapolis. We tried to sneak into his club Glam Slam but it was closed (and we were underage). Long break as I was poor, in college or in Peace Corps. Then when I moved to DC I saw him at the Capitol Ballroom with George Clinton and Larry Graham – Shaka Kahn was supposed to be there too but she was held up at the airport. That show was followed by a late-night after-party show at the 930 Club. Then I think I saw a show at an arena in Virginia somewhere and the acoustics were bad. One live show in Portland with his band 3rdEyeGirl. Meshell Ndegeocello’s stunning covers of his B-sides and wierdo tracks. I flew to Minneapolis to see the reunion of the Revolution at First Avenue with Sean, and then its follow up show a year later featuring Princess, Questlove and Andre Cymone. And also Sheila E, The Time, and The Family (fDeluxe) at several shows at the Howard Theatre a few blocks from my house.
Yesterday I counted at least 40 Prince tracks on my iPod, and I listen to at least one of them once a day. I still pop in the cassettes that are still viable into my boombox.