Maine fans of the iconic and enigmatic musician Prince have been sharing their thoughts and memories about the man as news spreads that he was found dead in his Minnesota home.
But notably absent from the recollections I’ve seen circulating on social media have been mentions of seeing Prince perform here in Maine.
Over nearly 1,100 tour dates and another 700 or so one-off non-tour concerts throughout his four-decade-long career, none have ever been listed in Maine.
That drought was supposed to have come to an end during the summer of 2001, when Prince was scheduled to make his long-awaited Maine debut with a show at what was then (and for most of its history) called the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland.
The concert was slated to take place on July 11. It was the 14th show on the tour calendar, but it never took place.
As MTV and Billboard would go on to report, Prince scrapped that entire tour after just six dates. No reason was given for the cancellations, and the Internet trail runs dry after a brief spurt of media coverage over the decision.
Billboard described the artist’s announcement of the move as “typically veiled,” a nod to his fiercely private and protective demeanor.
Fans are used to getting some explanation for decisions like these from their favorite bands and musicians — health problems or equipment breakdowns are some typical reasons for concert cancellations, for instance. But Prince was not forthcoming.
He returned to the road again nine months later for 2002’s “One Night Alone…” tour, but never rescheduled his only Maine date.