I'm not going to get over this loss very easily. On Thursday, I was walking from meeting to meeting wondering how everyone was just going about their business when Prince had just died. I could think of little else. I still can't. After years on the top of my bucket list, I finally got to see him play live, at Mohegan Sun, in December 2014. I had an extra ticket, which I offered, on the night of the show, to my then acquaintance, and now friend, Nick, a great musician in his own right. Over the course of the long ride to the show, the long ride back, and the 3 hours of joyous, raucous, ebullient, funky, funky, funky music, we cemented a friendship that has culminated in a musical project of our own. As Vonnegut wrote: Peculiar travel suggestions are just dancing lessons from God. Say what you want about Elvis, or MJ, or Lennon, or Cobain, or Hendrix, or Allman, or Bowie, or the impending demise of Wonder, Clapton, Springsteen, the Stones, or even McCartney; the loss of Prince is a bigger hole in the cosmic musical spectrum electrum than any of the others. Don't get me wrong, all are huge losses, and I'll be inconsolable when McCartney finally turns off the mic. But only Prince played *all* the instruments - and played the holy hell out of them, while also writing all the songs - alone, produced all of them - alone, and then performed the holy hell out of them while dancing like some mix of James Brown and Michael Jackson, and keeping it fresh through 38 albums (that we know about). Losing the ability to see all that talent and improvisation live is like Jordan retiring; sure, he's still alive and the replay tapes are out there, but you'll never watch someone go up over Sam Perkins with the ball in his right hand, and switch it to his left hand for the score, live, ever again. That temporal genius is gone, forever, and we are the poorer for it. Prince's eccentricities, springing from his legendary shyness, childhood abandonment, loss of a child, and hermetic tendencies, made him even more compelling, if not exactly sympathetic. You just had to watch, and listen. Only Prince could show up on Jimmy Fallon, in 2013, playing Bambi, a 30 year old deep track from 'Prince', with his all-girl backing band, absolutely KILL the performance, and then make news by tossing, and breaking, the vintage guitar he had borrowed from Captain Kirk of the Roots, and refusing to sign it for him because he 'doesn't do autographs.' That's Prince in a nutshell. His songs still don't sound dated, his performances stayed fresh, and the whole package was mesmerizing in unspeakable, and sometimes contradictory, ways. It's that sort of remove that enables a performer to step out into a driving rainstorm and deliver, hands down, the greatest Superbowl halftime show ever. Or drag a dressed-down Janelle Monet onto the stage at Mohegan Sun, after the lights were turned on and half the crowd had left, for a surprise encore jam. Or stand in front of Dhani Harrison at the RRHoF "While my guitar gently weeps" jam, step into the "Clapton is God" solo, and just destroy it to the point that Dhani was reduced to a gawking, grinning, idiot mess - Dhani's face is my favorite part of that clip. Who could share a stage with him? Who was even close? I love going to shows, but often I am there just to hear songs. Dylan often reinvents and reinterprets his catalog live, but Prince did it minute by minute, on stage, on the fly, on multiple instruments, while doing the splits at age 57. Prince was adamant about turning off cell phones at his concerts. Maybe that had something to do with his legendary stranglehold on his online presence, but he would *beg* people to turn them off and be *in the moment* with him, in the room, with each other. His shows were for the people in the room, for the 'now', for the temporary community that came together for that one night. And if you had any doubt about his sincerity, his performance shut it off entirely. He *never* phoned it in. And there is nothing better to see in a live concert than an artist feeling the same ecstasy you feel when you put on a song you may have played, and they may have performed, a thousand times, and feeling it more than you do. His music will live on, and the musicians he inspired will carry on the creative torch, to say nothing of the probably endless trove of unreleased music in his Paisley Park Vault. But we won't get to see him pull out all the stops, dance on the speakers, and preside over the communal joy that was "Purple Rain" live.