Bobby Z and Dr. Fink help keep Prince's legacy alive with The Revolution

Bobby Z
Bobby Z (MPR Photo | Nate Ryan)
Interview: Bobby Z and Matt Fink
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Ahead of Celebration 2019 Bobby Z and Matt "Dr." Fink visited Oake and Riley in the morning to look back on what it was like to work with Prince and how The Revolution is working to continue his legacy.

Just two days after Prince's death in 2016, members of the band met at a hotel in downtown Minneapolis. They knew they wanted to continue making music and wanted to find a way to keep his work alive. The Revolution have since spent the past two years touring the country and they recently made their debut back in Europe where, even though audiences don't have the same Minneapolis connection, they still relate to the music.

"It takes the Minneapolis connection to Prince completely out of the equation," Z said. "Like if [Prince] plays in the United States he's still geographically Minneapolis. When you take that whole thing away it's just him and he's spoken to so many people on a level that I think saved a lot of lives. He appealed to the oddball and the underdog because he was an oddball and an underdog. It's just a beautiful thing."

Looking back on their time as members of Prince's band Both Z and Fink remembered how intense working with him could be sometimes. They would often record their rehearsals and shows, looking back at the footage to see what they could improve. But although the videos were helpful, they also saw them as a curse.

"If you start to watch your arms, performance literally becomes visual audio. He just knew that it was a combination experience, like a dance class music rehearsal," Z remembered. "I was kind of like you were watching yourself and he was putting out these moves all day long and watching you sometimes in the back of his head."

The members of The Revolution had to have a lot of discipline to work with Prince. While there was some downtime in between tours, the rehearsals leading up to them were long and intense and the musicians sometimes felt like they had to prove themselves to stay in the group.

"Either you were in with him or you were out. You're in the band, you're in the band. If you're out, you're out," Z said. "You didn't want to be out because you saw when people were out they were just gone. So we, Matt lasted even past Purple Rain. We have a history with him that goes back forty something years. Whether he liked what you were playing or not most days he must have because he kept us around for a long time."

Gearing up for Celebration 2019, Z and Fink acknowledge the importance of keeping Prince's legacy alive, not just through fans that got to see him perform, but also those who didn't get the chance to.

"There's a finite number of people that got to see Prince live and that's over. Now if you never have and just hear all the stories, you kind of take it by a grain but when you see it, this is a musicology show that's cut and he's doing all the hits in full glory and it's dancing and singing. It's just nobody other in history and it's pretty incredible to see him alive on the screen. It's cool."

Celebration 2019 will feature two hour long shows by The Revolution. the band will also host a panel to talk more about what it was like to work with Prince. More information is available on the event's website

Simone Cazares is a student at St. Catherine University. Originally from Miami, Fla., she survives Minnesota's cruel winters by immersing herself in the Twin Cities music scene.

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