Make us your home page
Instagram

Prince tribute Purple Xperience honors Purple One's memory around Tampa Bay this week

The Purple Xperience features Marshall Charloff as Prince and Matt “Doctor” Fink, Prince’s keyboardist in the Revolution (wearing surgical scrubs). 
KMA Management

The Purple Xperience features Marshall Charloff as Prince and Matt “Doctor” Fink, Prince’s keyboardist in the Revolution (wearing surgical scrubs). KMA Management

The first time Marshall Charloff met Prince, the singer had a question.

"Do you lie?"

"I'm sorry," Charloff responded, "say that again?"

"Do you lie?"

"Well, I try not to lie. I try to be a good person and be as truthful as I can."

"That's good. I'm glad. You should never lie."

Charloff didn't know it, but Prince was sort of teasing him. At the time, he was working on a song called Do U Lie? for his 1986 album Parade.

"He had a couple of French girls with him, and they were giggling when he asked me that," Charloff said in a recent phone interview, recounting the moment for, he said, the first time. "I'm assuming they were recording that song that would come out two albums later."

Back then, Charloff was just a teenager who happened to be in a band with Prince's cousin. More than 30 years later, he performs as Prince in the Purple Xperience, a tribute act led by Matt "Doctor" Fink, Prince's scrubs-wearing keyboardist in the Revolution. The group hits Tampa Bay for shows this week, starting Thursday at the Tampa Theatre.

Fink has led the Purple Xperience since 2011, touring sporadically, but interest in the band has exploded since Prince's sudden death on April 21. At first, Charloff thought performing would be "inappropriate" — Prince died on a Thursday, and the Purple Xperience was booked for a concert the next night — but Fink insisted the show go on.

"We hit the stage, and all I can tell you is it was one of those moments where it felt right," he said. "If it didn't feel right, I wouldn't be doing this. It felt right, it felt cathartic, it felt purposeful — more so than it did the previous four and a half years, where we were just having fun. It felt like a calling."

Charloff, who grew up in Minnesota, had played in bands for decades before officially embodying Prince in the Purple Xperience — though as he said, doing so wasn't much of a stretch.

"I'm his stature; there's nothing I can do about that," he laughed. "I have his falsetto, and I have a natural affinity for his vocal styling. … I don't have to try that hard to personify him. Even in the way I play, I'm a multi-instrumentalist, and I get to be myself, which is a thrill for me."

In true Prince fashion, Charloff was a little cagey about a few topics related to the Purple One. For example, what did Prince think of the Purple Xperience?

"I better leave that one alone," he said. "Of course he (knew) what we were doing and who we were and all of that, but I've got to leave it there."

What about Fink's future with Purple Xperience, after the keyboardist rejoined the rest of the Revolution for a few reunion shows at Minneapolis' First Avenue earlier this month?

"Can't really tell you with 100 percent certainty what that looks like," he said. "I can tell you that wherever Matt is called, of course, we're all behind him."

But he does say the Purple Xperience is all about honoring Prince's legacy, and that's what fans these days embrace.

"Children are starting to come to the show because parents want to expose their children to what they grew up on, and the legacy that Prince left behind," Charloff said. "They're still trying to heal, and we're offering a little bit of healing at the same time."

Contact Jay Cridlin at cridlin@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8336. Follow @JayCridlin.

. if you go

The Purple Xperience

The band has two shows this week in Tampa Bay. Organizers on Tuesday canceled a third concert scheduled for Saturday at the Polk Theatre in Lakeland. Tickets will be automatically refunded. For info on them all, see

chilloungenight.com.

• 8 p.m. Thursday at the Tampa Theatre, 711 N Franklin St., Clearwater. $32 and up. (813) 274-8286.

• 8 p.m. Friday at the Coliseum, 535 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. $25 and up. (727) 892-5202.

Prince tribute Purple Xperience honors Purple One's memory around Tampa Bay this week 09/20/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 20, 2016 12:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Here's what you need to know before you buy that Groupon vacation deal

    Travel

    There are times in life that call for caution, for using that chunk of money in savings to renovate the bathroom because the bathroom is from 1974, and not in a cool way.

    ALI DOUGLASS   |   Special to the Times
  2. Brad Culpepper makes it to final 3 on Survivor, but jury picks Sarah

    The Feed

    UPDATE, WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Tampa's Brad Culpepper make it to the final 3 on Survivor, but jurors chose Sarah as the winner of the $1 million.

    Original report follows:

    "The Tables Have Turned" - Brad Culpepper, Tai Trang and Hali Ford on the fourth episode of SURVIVOR: Game Changers on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Jeffrey Neira/CBS Entertainment
  3. Pasco Events for May 26-June 1

    Events

    26 Friday

    Line dancing: 10 to 11 a.m. $3. CARES Rao Musunuru M.D. Enrichment Center, 12417 Clock Tower Parkway, Hudson. (727) 863-6868. caresfl.org.

  4. Our 'Burning Love' for Kelly Preston couldn't save this 1987 movie

    Blogs

    The success of parody movies really took off in the '80s with classics like Airplane, Spaceballs and the Naked Gun series. With so many spoofs, many flew under the radar like Love At Stake, starring (growling noises) a young Kelly Preston. For Kelly and maybe even Doctor and the Medics we …

  5. Graco recalls car seats; webbing may not hold child in crash

    Public Safety

    Graco Children's Products is recalling more than 25,000 car seats because the harness webbing can break in a crash and may not keep children restrained.

    Graco has recalled eight different car seat models.