by Dean A. Banks, D.D.

I arrived in L.A. in June of 1977 aspiring to be a successful musician playing with a band and writing songs. I was fortunate to meet some successful Motown artists, including my musical and spiritual mentor, Tony Newton. He opened many doors for me and as a result I started a group with Mark Gaillard called Slim & Trim. He was tall and skinny (Slim) and I was hairy and bearded (Trim). We recorded an album at his brother-in-law’s (Marvin Gaye) studio on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. Soon after, we were in the movie “The Penitentiary” starring Leon Isaac Kennedy as the band in the prison. I became good friends with Marvin’s brother (Frankie) and he became my eldest son’s Godfather while Ann Wright (Gary ‘Dreamweaver” Wright’s mother – whom we knew from church) became his Godmother. It was a great time and I did whatever I could to make a living as a ‘struggling’ musician.

A friend called me one day to be a camera operator on a performance video for a new act that was signed to Warner Brothers Records in 1978. I showed up at the sound stage and got behind the video camera. In the headset I heard the chatter from the crew about how this artist looked lame and boring. He sat on the stage with a brooding temperament that was almost annoying. When the artist started performing the headset chatter stopped dead in its tracks. We witnessed a performance that was mind boggling with steps, moves and musical accuracy like we had never seen before. After the shoot I said to the video director, this guy is going to be big. He has talent, focus and mindfulness. This artist was Prince.

We all know just how much Prince’s music became woven into our social-music fabric of life. Not only was he a multi-instrumentalist but an excellent athlete as well. Not a boozer or a druggie, but a focused artist that did not like what the record companies had done and were doing to recording artists. Prince donated money on many occasions to help inner city children to have the opportunity to move ahead in the world. Due to his Jehovah Witnesses faith he downplayed his charity while not participating in the world of politics whatsoever. He donated to schools to enhance their music programs. He truly cared for other people. He was involved in his community and on many occasions invited locals into his Paisley Park Recording Studio/Home for musical parties. He had his rules; no drugs, no smoking, no alcohol, no cell phones and no profanity. He clearly demonstrated what he believed was necessary for people to truly enjoy music.

The world has responded with such adoration for him that one lady (Juliette‏@ElusiveJ) on Twitter made the following statement: “Thinking about how we mourn artists we've never met. We don't cry because we knew them, we cry because they helped us know ourselves.” Prince helped us know ourselves by the example he set. His music entered our hearts and minds with rhythm and touched our very souls. He said it how it was and we definitely need more of that. In a world of trite and ‘me’ artists with their lame ‘music’ he stood out as an instrumentalist, songwriter and performer. He stood onstage proud of his achievements musically while being humble and helping out his community of souls whenever he could.

There will many things said about him and the conspiracy theories that will come out of his death will go on forever. Was he poisoned because he spoke out about chemtrails and the forced depopulation of our planet by the Illuminati? We might not ever know. The only thing that stands out in my mind is that after his 4 hour autopsy he was cremated the very next day without an independent autopsy being performed to verify the county coroner’s report; which has yet to be released.

The only thing we should know is that his music had a message for those who could truly hear it. Prince was, and always will be, one of the greats in music. After all, as Jimmy Fallon said on the Prince Saturday Night Live retrospective special, “He had is own color!” Godspeed Prince Rogers Nelson. You made an impression on all of us and left a legacy of talent and caring that will lift people up forever. Rest in peace…


HITnRUN Phase Two
HITnRUN Phase Two is the thirty-ninth studio album by American recording artist Prince and the last to be released before his death on April 21, 2016.[1] It was initially released exclusively on the Tidal streaming service on December 11, 2015 for streaming and purchase[2] as a continuation of his previous album, Hit n Run Phase One.

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Currently Bobby Hinkle, Elizabeth May Sutor and Dean A. Banks, D.D. have uploaded podcasts. Robert Yarbrough will be added in March. Just click on the podcasters placards below and click on the Podcast title. Currently there are five podcasts on Bobby Hinkle's page, one on Elizabeth Sutor's page and nine on Dean A. Banks, D.D.'s page. Stay tuned for more! Thank you for choosing us!

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