BY JACKIE KEOGH
A SKIBBEREEN man, living in Minnesota, has paid tribute to the ‘dearly beloved’ rock legend Prince on behalf of his friends back home in West Cork.
Darren O’Dwyer, better known as DD, pinned a bouquet of flowers on the chain-link fence at the singer’s Paisley Park home and studios in Minnesota on Sunday, which stated: ‘Prince, from the Bests, Bridge Street, Skibbereen, Ireland. Thanks for the memories. Rock on.’
‘I grew up with Adrian and Christian Best from Skibbereen and their mother Mona was like a second mother to me. They were always big fans of Prince. There was always Prince blaring out over the stereo at Bridge House,’ said DD.
Christian Best told The Southern Star how touched he and his family are that their long-time friend had arranged the floral tribute following the passing of the music legend last Thursday.
‘It means a great deal to all of us,’ he said, ‘because as children we used to listen to Prince pretty much every day – all the time in fact – so it’s nice to know that some small tribute was paid to someone who brought such good memories to our home.’
DD said that his first thought in going to Paisley Park on Sunday was to bring his nine-month old son, Emmett. ‘I wanted to be able to tell him, in time, that I brought him out to pay respect to one of the greatest musicians of all time.
‘My wife Kate and I bought some purple tulips and brought them out to Paisley Park,’ said DD. ‘It was big out there. Surreal. There were crowds of people everywhere – balloons, flowers, people from all walks of life.
‘Ever since Thursday the place has been in mourning. The whole city has turned purple. Purple Rain has been running at the cinema ever since. And First Avenue – the club where the movie was filmed – was the scene of a non-stop party with everyone dancing to Prince music,’ DD added.
‘It’s sad to see such a great force leaving. Someone like Prince would not have wanted to die so early. I read that he worked the last six days of his life without sleeping. I don’t know how true that is, but it’s clear he had no intention of passing, so that’s sad,’ said Christian.
Christian confirmed that in the Best household his eldest brother, Adrian, is, without doubt, the ‘No 1’ Prince fan.
Adrian has a dedicated Prince tribute band called Sign o’ the Times, which played a few gigs around Dublin either side of Prince’s last concert in Malahide in 2011. He even had a replica Purple Rain guitar – called the ‘Prince Cloud Guitar’ – commissioned specially for himself several years ago.
Adrian took his sister Simone to see Prince years ago at Spirit nightclub in Dublin, and after the show she mobbed Prince, practically sweeping him off his feet, before his security ‘peeled her’ off him. Mona has hung purple balloons outside Bridge House B&B in Skibbereen this week as a mark of respect.