The Revolution confirm Prince tribute shows in September
Purple Rain-era lineup of the backing band will play at First Avenue in Minneapolis, the club featured in the movie’s concert sequences
Prince’s legendary backing band the Revolution are to reunite for two shows in memory of their former leader. The band will play at the Minneapolis club First Avenue – as featured in the concert sequences of Purple Rain – on 2 and 3 September.
The group went through 15 members during its initial lifespan of 1979-1986, but the reunited lineup will feature guitarist Wendy Melvoin, keyboard player Lisa Coleman, bassist BrownMark, keyboard player Doctor Fink and drummer Bobby Z. All those members were with Prince in 1984, at the time of Purple Rain. Guitarist Dez Dickerson and bassist André Cymone will make guest appearances.
“With profound loss and apocalyptic grief, we, along with the world, mourned Prince upon the news of his passing,” the band said. “After seeing the response outside of First Avenue and around the rest of the world’s monuments, we, as the Revolution – Wendy, Lisa, BrownMark, Dr Fink, and Bobby Z – have decided to pay tribute to Prince at home in the city of Minneapolis.”
The band had said in April, following Prince’s death, that they intended to play shows, but it has taken until now to schedule them.
Though the band backed Prince from 1979, they did not officially become the Revolution until the release of Purple Rain. With or without the name, the Revolution played on the classic 80s run of Prince albums – 1999, Purple Rain, Around the World in a Day and Parade.
The Revolution broke up in 1986, following the Parade tour. Wendy Melvoin had been unhappy about Prince hiring her twin sister, Susannah Melvoin. Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman were fired in October 1986. Prince replaced Bobby Z with Sheila E. BrownMark left the band, though he was asked to say. Dr Fink played with Prince until 1991.
Meanwhile, John Blackwell, Prince’s drummer for 12 years from 2000, is undergoing hospital treatment in Japan. Blackwell was on tour in the country when he lost function in his left arm and leg. He posted on Facebook: “As many of you may be aware, I am in the process of getting tested for what the doctors think may be tumours in my brain. They are doing more testing and I have not been diagnosed with brain cancer as some may have been lead to believe. I do not want family and friends to be frightened by any rumours, but I will not be able to talk with everyone, nor will I be able to communicate daily through social media … I thank all of you for your love, support and prayers and will be up and funking in the very near future!”