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Guitarist from Prince's backing band to speak at conference

ORIGINALS: Andre Cymone, Prince and Dez Dickerson

AN ORIGINAL member of Prince's backing band The Revolution, Dez Dickerson, will talk about his time playing with Prince as part of the first ever conference devoted to the music legend.

Buildings across the city will be turned purple to mark the University of Salford’s Purple Reign: An Interdisciplinary Conference on the Life and Legacy of Prince held at The Lowry arts centre and the University’s MediaCityUK campus on May 24-26.

The event, hosted by the University and their US partners Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), will pay tribute to the star who died last April, and is thought to be the first ever conference dedicated solely to the Minneapolis-born funk legend.

Academics from New York University, Harvard University, Stanford University and the prestigious Smithsonian museum complex in the USA, as well as from the University of Amsterdam and from Australia, Canada and New Zealand will come to Salford to discuss the lasting impact Prince had on popular culture.

Speaking about the event, Dr Kirsty Fairclough, Senior Lecturer from the University of Salford’s school of arts and media, said: “Prince’s death was one of 2016’s saddest losses, but this event will give us a wonderful opportunity to celebrate his life and to examine the remarkable impact he had as a musician, a songwriter and a style icon who changed our ideas of celebrity forever."

Prof Mike Alleyne, from the Department of Recording Industry at MTSU, who has written extensively on popular music and acted as consultant to the estate of Marvin Gaye in the Blurred Lines copyright infringement case, said: “After Prince’s sudden demise last year, Kirsty and I began discussing ways to recognise his creative and cultural legacies. Ultimately, we decided an academic conference would be an ideal vehicle.

“In an era of instant and transient celebrity, it’s well worth celebrating someone whose artistic longevity will clearly outlast any fleeting fame, and whose credibility remains intact despite stardom and massive commercial success.”

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