Purple Church drummer Prince (second from left) found dead — cause unknown at press time.
“Purple Church is on a bit of a hiatus. The band is by no means obsolete.”
That’s how the band described its status on a recent Facebook posting. Borrowing the nickname of a local strip club, the three-year-old Oceanside-based “sleaze metal” band is inspired by the look, sound, and attitude of the hair-metal bands of the ’80s Sunset Strip scene that produced W.A.S.P. and L.A. Guns.
“We want to bring Mötley Crüe back,” said drummer Michael Prince in a 2011 interview.
Prince, 25, was born after that glam era had come and gone. He was found dead on Monday, July 29.
A source close to the deceased’s family said Prince had met a girl at a local bar on Sunday night and that his body was discovered at another person’s home on Monday morning.
Oceanside’s TriCity Medical Center would release no information about Prince. The medical examiner’s office said unless foul play was suspected, they would probably not be in the loop and offered no information. A lieutenant Cosby with the Oceanside police said he knew nothing about the deceased.
In my interview with Prince from two years ago, the drummer said the biggest problem facing Purple Church wasn’t getting people to come to their shows but finding compatible bands to share a bill with.
“There are no bands around here who are doing what we’re doing. There’s nothing like us even in L.A.
“When I go to a show, I’m trying to listen to music and scam on chicks and not get hit in the nose,” said Prince.
In April this year, Purple Church opened for Gypsyhawk at the Griffin in Bay Park. A bar employee mistakenly gave Purple Church the $300 cash that was intended for Gypsyhawk. Purple Church eventually gave the headliner its pay.
“Michael was the one guy who helped clear up that mess,” says Gypsyhawk guitarist Erik Kluiber. “I just sent him an email telling him thank you for clearing it up.... This is a tragedy.”
“It’s tough to see anyone that young and talented go like that,” says Doug Walker, drummer for fellow Oceanside band the Embalmers. “It just proves you need to appreciate everyone while they’re here. You never know when they’re going to be gone.”