July 05, 2017

R.I.P. John Blackwell, Jr.

Yesterday the world lost another wonderful musician when former Prince & the New Power Generation drummer John Blackwell passed away after a battle with brain tumors.  I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Blackwell during the Musicology tour in 2004 in Nashville.  I was sitting on the front row since I was a member of the NPG Music Club and during Renato's solo, John and the rest of the band (sans Prince of course) walked of stage.  He came over to me, held out a drum stick and asked, "Want one?" I couldn't grab it fast enough!!! He then asked how I liked the show so far and we talked for a minute or two. Then he introduced me to Maceo Parker and Candy Dulfer.  They were all so down to earth.  Then he shook my hand, gave me a little wink and a laugh, then said, "Gotta go!" and pointed over his shoulder and he was right back up on stage behind his drum kit, banging out the beats for Prince.  I'd like to think that's what happened yesterday.  He had to go because Prince needed him to play the drum intro to Shhhh! one more time! Rest in Peace, John! You will be missed by us all!

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