Tony’s Touching Tribute to Prince

After the heartbreaking news of the passing of Prince, Tony and the rest of the world took to social media to express their personal stories and condolences. He shared an incredibly personal and touching tribute and throwback photo of himself outside of First Avenue in Minneapolis and reflected on how he’s leaned on Prince and his music throughout his life, including the passing of John Spence.

That’s a 22 year old me standing outside of the First Avenue club in Minneapolis. We were about to play on the stage that Purple Rain was filmed on. My life was made. I tried to sit down yesterday and put into words how influential and inspiring Prince’s musicianship and artistry have been to me. I couldn’t. The news was too fresh and raw and just unbelievable. And because no words seem to do justice to how important his music has been in my life. I’ve been hooked on him since 1984. And for the past 32 years, rarely did a day go by when his songs weren’t part of my daily soundtrack. There are so many memories. The first time I saw him play live (The Forum in Inglewood on February 23, 1985). The time we all sat around and listened to “Sometimes It Snows In April” when John Spence died because Prince made us feel better. That night in 1997 when he came to check out our show in Minneapolis and then invited us back to Paisley Park afterwards for a tour and jam session. The time we returned to Paisley Park to work on “Waiting Room” with him. And there are so many more. The shows. I was privileged to see so many. Honestly, I couldn’t get enough. He floated. He transcended. He channeled something bigger than all of us. You came away feeling humbled and inspired. And you tried to tell everyone what you witnessed, but once again, words were not worthy. The conversations. There were a few. Most of them awkward because I was usually at a lack of words in his presence. But I did have the chance on a few occasions to tell him how much his music meant to me and I’m really glad I did that. I never thought about Prince not being here. Just seemed like he would outlive us all. His energy and passion onstage was limitless. I’m sad that my girls will never have the chance to see him play live. But I’ll be playing them his music forever and telling them how much it means to me. I cry collective tears with the rest of the world today. Paisley Park is in my heart. Sometimes it snows in April Sometimes I feel so bad, so bad Sometimes I wish life was never ending, And all good things, they say, never last

A photo posted by Tony Kanal (@tonykanal) on

No Doubt notably collaborated with Prince on “Waiting Room” which appears on the Rock Steady album. Gwen also appeared on the track “So Far, So Pleased” from Prince’s Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic earlier in 1999.

15 Replies to “Tony’s Touching Tribute to Prince”

  1. I’m not a fan of Prince, but I respect that he is a musical genius. Tony’s words were beautiful…

  2. No Doubt released a statement. In case anyone forgot, No Doubt includes Gwen… Sorry to disagree, but for me, choosing to be part of a collective band statement, instead going for the publicity of an individual statement, many of which were subsequently quoted in the press, shows she’s the opposite of “self absorbed and narcissistic”. Truth be told, many of these celebrities belatedly crawling out of the woodwork to acknowledge Prince in death probably did not spend much of their days thinking about him while he was alive. There are exceptions of course. Gwen and Gavin supported him by actually showing up the last time he performed at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

    1. I agree Alex. For Tony, Prince was his personal hero, it makes sense for him to come out and as an individual and pay homage to Prince and his legacy. Tom and Adrian also did not send a message on their individual accounts and choose to release a statement as a group, same goes for Gwen.

  3. She spoke of David Bowie’s death. Gwen is an A list celebrity. Of course she is going to be self absorbed and narcissistic. How could she not be? When everything is about her 24/7? 90s Gwen is gone and never coming back.

  4. Was April the “Lets bash Gwen” month? So many negative and rude comments towards her lately. When did it become mandatory to tweet RIP everytime someone famous or big dies?

  5. Well Gwen has changed her twitter photo to one of her with Prince at the Staples centre now, if thats good enough for you. I agree with Cynthia and Charles, No Doubt’s statement reflects all of the bands feelings.. including Gwen’s. Honestly, how insensitive do you have to be to call Gwen out for not grieving the way you want her to?

    1. Very good spot, Leah, thanks for that. I’m sure most of you know that her twitter pic used to be a photo of Blake as a child. So for her to switch that to one of Prince and her performing their song So Far, So Pleased should really tell us something about how she wished to remember him. IMHO, this was a subtle and classy way to celebrate the man without calling too much attention to the gesture. Everyone is different. Some really do prefer to grieve in private, some like Gwen might choose to do so quietly in subtle ways and on the other end of the spectrum there are some who want to make a show of it. You decide, if any, which represents being “narcissistic”. We also do not know how many of his peers chose to do things the old-fashioned way by sending flowers, condolences directly to Paisley Park.

    1. Blake Shelton tweeted about Prince, and he was with Gwen when she received the news. Maybe she couldn’t find the words to post something on twitter. Give her a break.

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