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‘Purple Rain’ The First Time Prince Performed It On Stage August 3, 1983



On August 3, 1983 Prince performed in front of a packed First Avenue club in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Prince was trying out some new songs, ‘Purple Rain‘ being one.

The show was a benefit for the Minneapolis Dance Theatre and was perfect for him to debut several new songs from his forthcoming album.  It was also the debut of his new guitarist Wendy Melvoin and the band which Prince labeled ‘The Revolution‘.  They would end up backing Prince for 3 years.

Music producer David Z said, “I thought we were recording a concert, but I wasn’t sure if it was going to be a record too.  I knew they were working on the movie as well.  You just had to go in prepared to record whatever it was going to be as well as you could.”  This stage version of ‘Purple Rain’ included an exceptionally long intro which was edited from the studio version.  There was a third unreleased verse of ‘Purple Rain’ that was only performed once, August 3, 1983.

This was truly musical history caught on film.  Debbie Ray and I shared a portion of this amazing audio on the KTDY morning show.  I promised to put the video on the KTDY website, however, the owner of the video has decided to not share it publicly.  I will continue to try to get approval to share the video.  I am very sorry, it was truly music history.


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