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Posted: April 19, 2017

1 year after Prince's death, another turn for The Revolution

Bassist BrownMark, left, answers a question as the original members of Prince's 1980's band, The Revolution, from second left, guitarist Wendy Melvoin, keyboarders Matt Fink and Lisa Coleman and drummer Bobby Z, look on during an interview, Wednesday, April 19, 2017, in Minneapolis. The group is preparing to kick off a spring U.S. tour with a performance Friday, the first anniversary of the Prince's death from an accidental overdose. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Bassist BrownMark, left, answers a question as the original members of Prince's 1980's band, The Revolution, from second left, guitarist Wendy Melvoin, keyboarders Matt Fink and Lisa Coleman and drummer Bobby Z, look on during an interview, Wednesday, April 19, 2017, in Minneapolis. The group is preparing to kick off a spring U.S. tour with a performance Friday, the first anniversary of the Prince's death from an accidental overdose. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

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            1 year after Prince's death, another turn for The Revolution
Keyboarder Matt Fink, right, and bassist BrownMark prepare for rehearsal after the original members of Prince's 1980's band, The Revolution, were interviewed Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at a studio in Minneapolis. The group is back, preparing to kick off a spring U.S. tour with a performance Friday, the first anniversary of the Prince's death from an accidental painkiller overdose.

            1 year after Prince's death, another turn for The Revolution
FILE - In this Jan. 28, 1985 file photo, pop vocalist Prince holds up a hand as he and his band The Revolution accept the American Music Award for best single 'When Doves Cry' in Los Angeles. The Revolution is preparing to kick off a spring U.S. tour with a performance Friday, April 21, 2017, at Paisley Park in the Minneapolis suburb of Chanhassen, on the first anniversary of the Prince's death from an accidental painkiller overdose.

            1 year after Prince's death, another turn for The Revolution
Bassist BrownMark, left, jokes around with guitarist Wendy Melvoin as the original members of Prince's 1980's band, The Revolution, prepared for an interview Wednesday, April 19, 2017, in Minneapolis. The group is preparing to kick off a spring U.S. tour with a performance Friday, the first anniversary of the Prince's death from an accidental painkiller overdose.

            1 year after Prince's death, another turn for The Revolution
Guitarist Wendy Melvoin, second from left, answers a question as the original members of Prince's 1980's band, The Revolution, are interviewed Wednesday, April 19, 2017, at a studio in Minneapolis. The group, from left: bassist BrownMark, Melvoin, keyboarders Matt Fink and Lisa Coleman, is back, preparing to kick off a spring U.S. tour with a performance Friday, April 21, 2017, the first anniversary of the Prince's death from an accidental painkiller overdose.

            1 year after Prince's death, another turn for The Revolution
Four original members of Prince's 1980's band, The Revolution, appear before an interview Wednesday, April 19, 2017, in Minneapolis. The group, from left: bassist BrownMark, Guitarist Wendy Melvoin, keyboarders Lisa Coleman and Matt Fink, is preparing to kick off a spring U.S. tour with a performance Friday, the first anniversary of the Prince's death from an accidental painkiller overdose.

            1 year after Prince's death, another turn for The Revolution
Guitarist Wendy Melvoin, center, answers a question as the original members of Prince's 1980's band, The Revolution, are interviewed Wednesday, April 19, 2017, at a studio in Minneapolis. The group, from left: bassist BrownMark, Melvoin, keyboarder Matt Fink and drummer Bobby Z. is back, preparing to kick off a spring U.S. tour with a performance Friday, the first anniversary of the Prince's death from an accidental overdose.

            1 year after Prince's death, another turn for The Revolution
FILE - In this 1985 file photo, singer Prince performs in concert. As the one-year anniversary of Prince’s death approaches, his 1980s band The Revolution is back together and kicking off a three-month tour Friday, April 21, 2017, by performing at Paisley Park. Guitarist Wendy Melvoin says the group is “taking it to the people who are grieving like we are, and letting them have a little bit of relief.”

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS —

For members of Prince's 1980s backing band The Revolution, reuniting and hitting the road for a spring U.S. tour is how they are coping with the "Purple Rain" pop superstar's unexpected death a year ago.

"We're taking it to the people who are grieving like we are, and letting them have a little bit of relief," guitarist Wendy Melvoin, sitting on a couch with other members of the band during a break at their Minneapolis rehearsal space, said Wednesday.

When Prince died of an accidental painkiller overdose, members of The Revolution were mourning at a Minneapolis hotel and made an impromptu video, promising to reunite for shows honoring their one-time flamboyant front man. After three sold-out shows at the fabled First Avenue nightclub (the setting of Prince's hit 1984 movie "Purple Rain") in September, The Revolution is back, preparing to kick off a tour Friday at Paisley Park in the Minneapolis suburb of Chanhassen on the anniversary of Prince's death.

The tour includes stops in Chicago, Washington, D.C., New York, Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles and San Francisco before ending in Seattle on July 15.

Melvoin is joined by bassist BrownMark, keyboardists Matt Fink and Lisa Coleman, and drummer Bobby Z. The reunited Revolution plans to play Prince's synthesizer-heavy 1980s music through his lauded 1987 double album "Sign o' the Times."

"We have the ability now to give people a glimpse of what we experienced with him," BrownMark said. "And I think that's a powerful thing. I know it helped me heal."

While Prince had a reputation as a perfectionist, members of The Revolution remember the good times goofing in the studio.

"We had fun. We had a lot of fun. Sometimes we would be rehearsing and we'd crack up, we'd just laugh for an hour, cracking jokes," BrownMark recalls.

"We'd go play softball," keyboardist Fink said. "'OK, we're not going to rehearse today, let's go play softball.'"

After years of recording and touring with The Revolution, Prince "did what any boss would do and just put it (the band) to bed," Bobby Z. said.

"That intense run we had, all those years, it was starting to come apart at the seams, with personalities and under that kind of pressure, just like human beings do, and he just kind of made a decision," the drummer said. "And he wanted to move on as basically a solo artist with a backing band, no disrespect. But this was a band he was a very critical member of."

Whether The Revolution will continue beyond this tour is an open question.

"We'd love to be able to see if there are some legs with this," Melvoin said.

___

Follow Jeff Baenen on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jeffbaenen .


Copyright The Associated Press

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