A little over one year ago the unthinkable happened when Prince Rogers Nelson unexpectedly passed away amid mysterious circumstances. The superstar musician who was always everywhere had just given a concert six days before he was suddenly gone. Fans had to digest the previously unknown facts about his battle with pain killers that led to an accidental overdose. By the time these things became public knowledge fans were only concerned with the shock and pain of his loss. Thirty-eight years of seeing Prince’s purple funk onstage came to a sudden stop and family, fans and those who knew him are still trying to heal from his passing.
The Revolution was the band that became legendary for making music with Prince during his prime until his 1987 Sign o’ The Times period when he put together a new lineup of musicians. All of Prince’s various periods have their specific merits but there was always something romantic about The Revolution. They were introduced to the world in Purple Rain within a highly fictitious storyline about Prince being a musical autocrat. But Brown Mark, Bobby Z, Wendy, Lisa and Dr. Fink gave their own creative impulses to Prince in rare moments of collaboration. The years of their absence never stopped the fans from wanting a proper reunion. This year The Revolution toured the United States to share in the mourning process with the fans and each show made the acceptance of Prince’s death a little easier. Brown Mark talked to Kick Mag not long after The Revolution’s tour stop in Detroit and he talked about Prince, The Revolution, Detroit, his days with Mazarati and his next creative destination.
“But who broke Prince I would have to say I would have to give it to Detroit”
How has the tour been?
It’s been awesome, it’s been a real healing not just for us but for the fans we really didn’t realize how many lives we had touched throughout the years but it’s becoming more and more evident People are very very happy that we’re out here doing this it’s a good feeling.
How was Detroit?
Detroit is always like a second home to Minneapolis. They accepted us with open arms. The lines were around the block and it was just crazy they were the loudest crowd we’ve had so far.
How did Prince and all of you develop such a close relationship with Detroit? I remember as a kid listening to The Electrifying Mojo and I would hear him interviewing Prince from the limo and of course all of his music. Is it safe to say that Detroit embraced Prince on a national level before Minneapolis?
Yes, that’s him. I would say in the Black community yes, most definitely. As a musician as the development of that Minneapolis sound no. Minneapolis, the atmosphere developed Prince but who broke Prince I would have to say I would have to give it to Detroit. Detroit really set the stage for him to really do what he does and be accepted throughout the nation. Detroit was home for him. I remember when I first joined the band during Controversy, and he was like “Wait till we get to Detroit” and I was like “What’s going on in Detroit, “ And when we got to Detroit it was like holy crap, I see what’s going on.
How much had you all played together before Prince’s passing?
We did three shows together three or four. He had asked us to stop bevause he wanted to reunite and if we were out there doing it, it wouldn’t be anything new he wanted us to wait for him. So we kind of put it on hold and we stopped playing together just for that purpose.
So there plans in the long run for you all to reunite? Were there plans also to maybe record a new album?
No, it was strictly just to go out. We bugged him especially me. He had me to fly out to Paisley and do a lot of projects with him and other groups that he was trying to put together because he would always form a different combination of people to take out on the road. So I had been out there three different times and I was like ‘Why don’t you put The Revolution back together?’ He says “Why would I want to do that?” and I told him “Because the fans want you to.”
He was like “Maybe at some time we’ll be able to do that.” So I was always pushing the issue and I know he had talked to Bobby and Matt on a few different occasions about what they thought about going back out on the road with him. So it was being talked about and I’m almost confident we would’ve gotten back together had he not passed.
How did you know the fans wanted you back together?
Just by the conversations. It wasn’t just me. I talked to Matt I talked to Bobby at different intervals and time periods about it. Really he had been out of touch with the group. He had been in touch with me throughout the years but like the girls and I think like Bobby they were out of touch for several years so he wanted to know how they felt. I know he talked to Bobby and Matt about putting the band back together. We basically were back together we just didn’t play, kind of just waiting for him.