Local guitarist Dez Dickerson once shared the stage with Prince. His addition to the band came by way of an ad he answered in the Twin Cities Reader and he became Prince’s first guitarist for The Revolution.
His 15 minute audition took place in an abandoned tire store where Prince was rehearsing. Dickerson became wildly popular for his guitar playing as well as his famous rising sun headband.
Dickerson was responsible for contributing to songs for Prince’s side projects, writing “He’s So Dull” for Vanity 6, and co-writing “Wild And Loose”, “After Hi School”, and “Cool” for The Time. Dickerson contributed vocals to “Little Red Corvette” and “1999” on the 1999 album, as well as the guitar solo for “Little Red Corvette” that ranked #64 on Guitar World’s list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Solos. His addition to the band came by way of an ad he answered in the Twin Cities Reader.
Dickerson left The Revolution band after the 1999 tour. He told CBS about a food fight they had after the 1999 World Tour wrapped, one that would cost $20,000.
“I remember seeing the glee on his [Prince’s] face — that sort of ‘Dennis the Menace’-like glee — running around throwing water balloons filled with syrup. Dickerson also made an appearance in the “Purple Rain” movie.p on people,” he said.
Relocating to Nashville in 1987, Dickerson has kept busy in the music industry by touring, at one point he was Vice President of A&R for CCM label Starsong. Most recently, Dickerson released a book My Time with Prince-Confessions of a Former Revolutionary, which tells of his time with Prince and the Revolution from his first audition in 1978 until his departure in 1983. Many fans agree that Dickerson never got the music industry break that he deserved as a black rock artist in the 80s.
Dickerson told CBS that he spoke to Prince two times after leaving the band in 1983. Once in 2004 when Prince performed in Nashville, and again just three weeks ago.
“Sometimes you don’t recognize the value of something until that thing is gone,” he said. “In this case, it’s not a thing, it’s a person, but I think it’s something that will unfold over time.”
Dickerson currently owns a business in Franklin, Pavilion Synergies, where he is President and CEO. The Pavilion Group is a social marketing and music entertainment company engaged in the development, promotion and proliferation of brands, products and content. Learn more about Pavilion Synergies on their website.
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