Corey Taylor: Prince Tribute in Minneapolis on Day of Prince’s Death ‘Was Intense’
The tributes have been aplenty since Prince passed away on Thursday (April 21), but one of the first musicians to get a chance to pay their respects musically was Slipknot and Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor. The singer opened his solo show at Minneapolis' First Avenue with his acoustic cover of "Purple Rain."
As seen in the video above, it was a very emotional performance for Taylor who took a breath in front of the crowd before starting in. Speaking with Las Vegas' KOMP 92.3 FM host Carlota the following day, Taylor spoke in depth about his love for Prince and what it meant to him to be able to be in Minneapolis and have the opportunity to pay his respects at the club where Prince had started to make his name.
"It was intense, as is to be expected," Taylor said. "I mean, obviously, waking up, and you get that news, and then it kind of slowly dawns on you that not only are you in his hometown, but you're playing the house that he helped build. You're kind of, like, 'Ah, Jesus.' It was one of those things where you can either bow out or you can step it up. And for me, growing up as a massive Prince fan, there was no way that I was not gonna show respect to that man. And it seemed, to me, like the audience enjoyed it, and it seemed like people understood the respect that I was trying to show. I'm just glad I was a part of it. I'm just glad I was a part of history, to be able to show respect to a man that inspired me the way he did."
"I've been very vocal about being a fan of Prince for a very long time, but I think [Thursday night] was the first time I was able to really show my appreciation," added Taylor. "And it was crazy. I'm in First Avenue, on that stage, with all of these fans, who, some may be Prince fans, some may be more heavy metal fans but appreciated Prince because he came from Minneapolis. And, I mean, I don't know if you've seen the video, [but] it was so loud when it gets to the chorus. People were losing their minds, because that was the affection for him and his creativity and the fact that… Even if you were a hardcore metal guy… There's so many people I know out there who were maybe even secretly Prince fans, and [Thursday] was time to just give up the secret and embrace it, and that's what it was all about."
Though it was the first time for Taylor covering "Purple Rain," he has had "Little Red Corvette" as one of his covers in his solo shows for a while now, and he also performed the song during Thursday's set.
Recalling his reaction upon hearing the news that Prince had died, Taylor stated, "I bawled my eyes out. I was crying the entire time watching CNN. I was okay up until the point when they confirmed it. Because there was that split second ... Even after TMZ was reporting it like they do, there was that split second where it hadn't really been confirmed yet on any of the 'reputable' news feeds. And as soon as they confirmed it, I lost it; I really did."
He added, "I think the reason why is because when you're dealing with someone as poignant and as incredible of a talent as Prince, you not only flashback to his music, you flashback to the first time you heard it, you flashback to almost every time a song of his came on and it was like a special moment, you flashback to sometimes like the first time you saw him play live… just all of these things. It was the same thing when [David] Bowie died; I had the same exact reaction. And I remember I was just crushed by all of these memories. Like the first time I held the cassette tape for '1999' in my hand, the first time I watched him perform on a live video, on MTV, for 'Baby I'm A Star' and 'I Would Die 4 U'; I remember that video so vividly. The first time I saw the video for 'Batdance'. Like all of these crazy, crazy memories of this guy who I worshipped, for lack of a better term. You're bombarded with all of those memories, and then you kind of come to the realization that those memories are at a close, and it's a crushing idea. But the one thing that helps you get through it is the fact that you not only have those memories but you have all of these songs that you can use as a touchstone to come back to."
An autopsy has been performed on Prince but the cause of death may not be revealed for some time. The musician was discovered unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate in Minnesota and medics on the scene were unable to revive him. The singer died at the age of 57.
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