On Fridays, longtime L.A. Weekly writer Lina Lecaro revisits significant events and topics covered for this publication from the past two decades, particularly those that remain relevant today. Behind-the-scenes insight and reflection — culled from now-gone, nightlife-driven columns including “Nightranger,” “Slush” and “Lina in L.A.,” as well as slideshows, the Weekly's first lifestyle blog, The Style Council, music blog West Coast Sound and right here on Public Spectacle — will provide an irreverent yet adulatory take on L.A.'s creative communities, music, art, events and the evolving cultural landscape.
Last week marked two years since Prince’s death, and the void he left is still felt. Luckily for fans, the Purple One’s spirit remains: An album of previously unreleased material was just announced, slated for September, and a new book, Famous People Who’ve Met Me — A Memoir by the Man Who Discovered Prince, provides new insight into his early career. The author, Owen Husney, recently had his booksigning event at Mr. Musichead Gallery in Hollywood. The book is available there and everywhere.
Prince's estate just released a new video of the departed star rehearsing, accompanied by a never-before-heard recording of “Nothing Compares 2 U” that proves Sinead O’Connor’s version wasn’t all that much better than the original (see it here). The estate also unveiled a new website called Prince2me, where fans can interact and “celebrate his groundbreaking cultural impact.”
For this flashback, recalling Prince coverage over the years feels right. Social media has its faults, and it took Prince himself a while to warm up to it, but the ability to celebrate the legends who touch (and touched) our lives makes it all worth it. I'm not the only fan who can't resist doing so.
For a comprehensive tribute, read: R.I.P. Prince: Parties Weren't Meant to Last, in which I reflect on my personal Prince encounters in Los Angeles, including meeting him at his old Glam Slam club in downtown L.A., a brief brush with his sweet aura at Outkast's Grammy party during the “Hey Ya!” era, and one of the highlights of my entire life — getting to dance with the icon onstage at Avalon at his post-Oscars bash as he played “Hollywood Swingin’” and “Glamorous Life.” More like surreal life! Read: Prince Getts Off at Avalon Post-Oscars Party, Covers the Cars, Rolling Stones and Jimmy Eat World. (The “Getts” is a Prince song reference.)
Reviewing an incredible talent like Prince isn't easy. It was never about whether he was good, because he was always great, even when he was in a weird mood or feeling self-indulgent, which was often. His three-disc album release back in 2009 was uneven, and I said so, which got me some serious ire on Prince message boards. Looking back, that kind of slagging was simply preparatory for my steps toward becoming a full-fledged music critic. You must be able to take criticism if you are to critique, of course, especially from fans. Read: Last Night: Exclusive Press Preview of Prince's 3 New Albums, Plus Info on His 3 shows in 1 Night at L.A. LIVE.
And finally, I think all of us in L.A. should look back and marvel at how lucky we were to have Prince play so often here. Paisley Park was his home and Minneapolis his love, but L.A. was in many ways his passion, and where he liked to party. His presence here, highlighted by an unprecedented string of shows at the Forum in 2011, proved it. Read my review of his show there exactly seven (a significant number to Prince!) years ago this week: Prince at the Forum Friday.