Band brings its tour to The Strand in Providence.
Matt Fink remembers vividly the first weeks and months after the death of musical icon Prince, who assembled the pop rock band The Revolution, for which Fink plays keyboard.
It was a time of mourning for the band members, with stray conversations of regrouping and moving on musically.
Fink, also known as Dr. Fink, says it took a year after Prince’s 2016 death to officially get a Revolution tour underway, but the musicians haven’t stopped looking forward to the next gig since. They’ll be at The Strand in Providence on Sunday, Oct. 28.
“I would say it was mainly the allure of working together after such a long time,” Fink says in a phone call from Detroit. He refers to the 1986 breakup of The Revolution after Prince announced he wanted to work solo. Members of the band had last appeared on a Prince album in 1987.
At the time of his death, however, the eclectic rocker was beginning to talk to his former backing musicians about a reunion.
“For the first time, he brought the subject up first when I saw him. I didn’t even have to mention it,” Fink chuckles.
In 2017, members of The Revolution organized themselves for a show commemorating the anniversary of Prince’s death and then hit the road. Fink was moderately surprised at the powerful reception they received and said the aging musicians figured they’d “see how long we could take it.”
“We’ve always been good friends and stayed in touch,” he says, referring to bandmates Wendy Melvoin on guitar, Lisa Coleman on keyboard, Brownmark on bass and Bobby Z on drums. “The chemistry we had then was still there.”
Working with Prince influenced every member of The Revolution, and Fink says the lyrics and songs Prince penned were often unpredictable and edgy. But Fink was accustomed to the quirks and admired the brilliant mind of the musician who chose five people from vast auditions in 1978 to back him on an album. At one point, Prince was quoted as saying, “I’ve got the baddest band in the universe.”
“He was relatable,” Fink says, recalling that he went to the auditions with his friend Bobby Z. “I had liked his first album and that’s what attracted me to him.”
Before breaking up, The Revolution released two studio albums, two soundtracks and two videos. “Purple Rain,” released in 1984 with Prince, earned them a slot on the Billboard 200 album chart, as did “Around the World in a Day.” The band also won three Grammy Awards.
With megahits such as “Little Red Corvette,” “1999,” “Let’s Go Crazy” and “Raspberry Beret,” Fink balks when asked to pick a favorite from the Prince and the Revolution days.
“I have too many favorites to pick one,” he begins, adding that even the more avant-garde pieces, such as the 1985 album “Around the World in a Day,” were catchy. “I liked it. It was very different from ‘Purple Rain.'”
The tour, he continues, is a robust run of Prince songs, including album cuts and one previously unreleased track that should capture fans of the late singer. “We play everything very close to the album arrangement so it will be familiar,” Fink says.
— Susan McDonald is a regular contributor to The Providence Journal. She can be reached at Sewsoo1@verizon.net.
If you go …
What: The Revolution
Where: The Strand, 79 Washington St., Providence
When: 9 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28
Information: (401) 331-5876, thestrandri.com
Published at Thu, 25 Oct 2018 02:30:00 +0000