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Prince fans pay tribute at Subculture at Suite 1828 in Merrick


Long Island Prince fans gathered to remember the late artist at a tribute dance party Friday, April 22, at Subculture in Merrick.By David J. Criblez

Prince fans gathered on the dance floor Friday night to remember the late Rock & Roll Hall of Fame artist’s near-four decades of music at Subculture, a new wave dance club at Suite 1828 in Merrick.

“Prince was ahead of everybody,” said Tim Langion, 54, of Babylon, who wore a purple bandanna on his head and Prince’s “Slave” logo emblazoned on his right cheek, emulating the singer circa the mid-1990s. “You couldn’t put him in a mold. He combined pop, funk, folk, soul, rock, jazz and R&B. Nobody has seen anything like him.”

DJ Tim Cody of Alternative Sounds spun blocks of Prince tunes ranging from “7” to “I Wanna Be Your Lover” to “When Doves Cry” to “Sexy MF.”

“His music has a certain rhythm that people respond to,” Cody said, looking out onto the crowd. “It has a great vibe, and when you hear a Prince song come on you know it instantly.”

Sonia Gil, 47, and Robert Picariello, 48, of Hempstead, wore matching purple shirts and grooved to Prince’s hit “Kiss” and sang along.

“His lyrics are sexy,” said Gil, of Colombia, who said she learned English by listening to his songs when she came to the United States in 1983. “When he sang, he could make you feel like you were the only woman on Earth. Music won’t be the same without him.”

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Musician John “Soda” Clements of West Babylon, who is in his early 30s, brought a bouquet of purple flowers that he distributed to other fans who were grieving.

“I feel like I lost a distant family member,” he said, wearing a T-shirt from Prince’s 2004 Musicology tour. “When I heard his music, a switch flipped in my life. His genius spoke to me as a performer.”

Anna Iacoviello, 46, of West Hempstead, said she was blown away not only by Prince’s musicianship, but also by his sense of style.

“Prince was out of the box,” she said. “He was the only man I knew who could wear women’s clothing and totally rock it — high-heels and all!”

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