Portland musician describes Prince's influence - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland musician describes Prince's influence

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Portland musician Blake Sakamoto (KPTV) Portland musician Blake Sakamoto (KPTV)
Music superstar and pioneer Prince died Thursday at his home. He was 57.   (KPTV) Music superstar and pioneer Prince died Thursday at his home. He was 57. (KPTV)

Just as music lovers were starting to recover from David Bowie’s death, another music legend passes away too soon.

Prince was found dead in his Minnesota home Thursday morning and Portland musicians who knew him and played with him are in shock.

In Prince’s near 40-year career, he not only performed in Portland several times, but he collaborated and made connections with local musicians like Blake Sakamoto. Sakamoto played keyboards and sang with The Dan Reed Network for years and toured all over the country.

In 1990, Sakamoto’s band was touring with The Rolling Stones and they played the same night as Prince at Wembley Stadium. The rumor was that Prince was a big fan of The Dan Reed Network and he played their music during breaks at his shows.

So Prince invited the band to his concert and the after party. Sakamoto said seeing Prince perform was a religious experience and he will influence his own music forever.

“All of his records, for the most part, are him playing everything,” Sakamoto said. “So for all of us who listen to music, these records are so complete and full of ideas musically. And the singing, the vocals, the arrangements, the vibe. You can’t recreate any of that stuff. And as much as you might try, he is one of a kind.”

Possibly the best example of how Prince was revered by his musical peers is a quote from Eric Clapton. He was once asked what it feels like to be the world’s great guitarist and he said, “I don’t know, ask Prince.”

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