Downtown Louisville restaurants prepare to capitalize on Prince, Maroon 5

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The death of Pop icon Prince sent shock waves through the music community Thursday.

“I’m here with you on a very momentous day,” said ‘After Dark’ host Meg Samples on WFPK radio. “What a heartbreaking day for all music lovers, for all fans of art and all things wonderful. We’ve lost Prince today.”

WFPK played only Prince songs during the afternoon rush hour on Thursday.

Prince was found dead in his studio inside his Paisley Park compound near Minneapolis on Thursday. He had been battling the flu, but performed just last week in Atlanta. For fans, the news came as a huge shock.

“I’ve cried many times at Prince concerts, tears would roll down my cheeks,” said Prince fan Gary Hirsch. "But today was very, very difficult."

Hirsch says he’s been to 104 concerts over the years.

“I just started to go and see him, and see him and see him,” he said. “Tickets were $7.75 back then.”

At one point, Hirsch says he became a pseudo member of Prince’s inner group.

“When he came to Louisville for an impromptu concert I went to the club and ran into Mike Scott the lead guitar player,” Hirsch said.

Then, many years later, a dream came true for Hirsch.

“He came to Louisville last march and did four shows at the Palace and the last show, he pulled me up on stage,” he recalled.

Now, fans are left with a void in their music world. One that may never be filled.

“Deep breaths, we’re going to get through it,” Samples reassured her listeners before playing Prince’s classic ‘Let’s Go Crazy,’ “But it’s going to be tough. The only thing I feel like I can play is Prince and the blues.”

Prince was 57.

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