Blugold Radio parties it up with Prince tribute

Grand opening of university radio station studio honors the late popstar



Hear some of Prince’s most popular songs played by local artists at Partyup this Friday.

The folks at Blugold Radio are ready to party like it’s 1999 — and every Eau Claire student, facility and community member can join them.

Blugold Radio is hosting Partyup, a Prince tribute concert to coincide with their studio’s grand opening complete with guitar displays and demos.

On Thursday and Friday, Blugold Radio will kick off the grand opening in McIntyre Library in their first floor studio. Two of the late popstar Prince’s guitars will be displayed for free public viewing starting on Thursday.

“Prince’s impact on our music is undeniable,” Blugold Radio employee Lawton Menard said. “Personally, I’ve always held quite a bit of pride that Prince is from Minneapolis.”

The guitars are on a loan to UW-Eau Claire from Jaque Bethke, an owner of an interior design and architecture firm in Minneapolis called PURE Design Environments.

“We had heard that some friends of the university had some of (Prince’s) guitars and that’s kind of where the impetus started,” Menard said.

At noon on Friday, viewers will have a chance to see the guitars strummed by local and student musicians. Dwarfcraft Devices, a local business, will exhibit their guitar pedals.

Menard speaks highly of the student musicians invited to play Prince’s guitars.

“Their enthusiasm for this has been spectacular,” Menard said.

Sage Leary, a first-year business-undecided student, will be playing one of Prince’s guitars. Leary said he is excited to take part.

“I think it’s definitely one of the coolest opportunities that I’ve had yet so far in my musical career,” Leary said. “It’s really a cool privilege to be able to do that.”

For Friday, Leary has been preparing some Prince songs to play on the guitar.

“Learning a couple of his songs, I’ve been able to take a look of what he’s done as a musician …  It’s given me a different perspective (of) Prince,” said Leary.

After the guitar demos at noon, the music of Prince will carry on into the night.

Partyup begins at 7:30 p.m. in Schofield Auditorium. Prince’s most popular pieces, such as “Little Red Corvette,” “Purple Rain” and “When Doves Cry” will be covered by Jenny and the Lost Boys.  Artist Sloslylove will be performing interpretations.

Blugold Radio’s station manager Scott Morfitt says around 100 tickets have been sold so far for Partyup.

Menard says he expects a good turnout for the event.

“I’m super happy that we’re doing a Prince tribute; I think it’s really cool – it’s definitely very Midwest,” Menard said.

Partyup tickets are $5 for students and $10 for the general public before the event. Morfitt said tickets go up to $15 the day of the show. They can be purchased at the UW-Eau Claire Service Center.