Last Friday, I was at a bar where it was so loud I could hardly hear the person next to me, much less the music coming from the speakers. Empty beer bottles rattled as they were consolidated from one trash can to another. Then, like magic, three or four chords into the opening of “Purple Rain,” the place went silent and stayed that way throughout the song.
I do not think it was a unique experience. I imagine that across the country, his familiar hits stopped people in their tracks, a little louder than they had been in recent years. Prince had died at his home near Minneapolis just the day prior. Tributes continue to pour in from celebrities, musicians, and from brands.