UPDATE: Since my original post on 4/22/2016, Prince’s estate has gone around desperately trying to remove any trace of Prince from the Internet. And I’ve had to go back and remove several songs that both and I commenters posted. If one more comes down, I delete this post forever. Not playing their game.
Well, I’m attempting to post no more frequently than every couple of days. But as a blogger, not responding to Prince’s sudden, unexpected death would be like not responding to Bowie’s. As I see it, they are peers in greatness. So for me to not post today would be almost a dereliction of duty.
Mick Jagger’s tribute said it well:
“I am so saddened to hear of Prince’s passing. Prince was a revolutionary artist, a wonderful musician and composer. He was an original lyricist and a startling guitar player. His talent was limitless. He was one of the most unique and exciting artists of the last 30 years.”
I had been planning a post on Prince but not yet, in part because the Purple One had, for the most part, pulled his songs from YouTube. So I was thinking about it and figured, well, I’ll try to find a few representative tunes, likely mostly either music videos or even fan videos. But I figured it would take a while to find those so I held off.
Shortly after Prince appeared on the scene, a guy I used to work with turned me on to him. Prince was a unique individual in the music business – writer, producer, singer, songwriter, musician – GREAT guitarist. He.could do it all. In fact, do you know he is listed as playing some 27.instruments on his first album? In an interview he said that Stevie Wonder was a big inspiration to him.
We saw him back in the late ’90’s at a time when it wasn’t really his heyday. But he was great, the show was fun and he was the real deal. I remember him telling parents to send any kids out of the room before he sang “Sexy MF.” So a dirty mind and a conscience. 😀
It turns out that a little diligent searching will turn up a song or two. Here’s “Let’s Go Crazy,” a perfect example of his talent and a great fun song. This is from the Billboard awards. He manages to through in a little bit of the old Edgar Winter tune, “Frankenstein.”
I’m gonna say the first song I remember hearing by Prince was “Controversy.” Here’s a clip from him playing it in NJ in 1982. It says “Official,” but I dunno, camerawork isn’t the best. Nevertheless, a tight funky song.
As to his guitar playing, I’ll here quote from one of my earlier Beatles posts: If you get a chance, check out Tom Petty and others at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. (The George lookalike over Tom Petty’s left shoulder is George’s son, Dhani). Prince comes on halfway through, kills the solo then throws the guitar straight up in the air and strolls off the stage, cool as a block of purple ice. The guitar never comes back down.
As to his death, just the other day his plane was forced to land, ostensibly because he had the flu. That seemed like a pretty severe reaction but I figured, well, flu can be serious.
But I said to my wife, hmm, “flu,” and especially “exhaustion” are typically show biz euphemisms. Sure enough it now turns out that emergency landing was for an overdose. They gave him something called a “save shot.” So, hopefully not another victim of the scourge of working musicians everywhere.
So, Prince Rogers Nelson – composer, singer, musician, here’s your legacy (Wikipedia):
Prince has sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. He won seven Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, and an Academy Award. (Best original song score for Purple Rain).
He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, the first year of his eligibility. Rolling Stone has ranked Prince at number 27 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
21 thoughts on “Prince”
I was stunned by the news – I kept waiting for it to turn out to be a bad-taste hoax. I’m still waiting…
Aside from Prince’s tearing the arse off the guitar part the best thing about the My Guitar… clip is the little smile and nod Dhani gives him before he steps forward… he knows what’s coming.
Yeah, so do the other guys. They look frightened. 😀 The little purple guy was bad-ass all the way.
I noticed on the top 100 guitarists list, Rolling Stone said this: Prince gets a lot of Hendrix comparisons, but he sees it differently: “If they really listened to my stuff, they’d hear more of a Santana influence than Jimi Hendrix,” he once told Rolling Stone. “Hendrix played more blues, Santana played prettier.
I was astonished to here of Prince’s death. I was not aware of any problems prior to his death including his aborted plane ride. Although, I have not been a follower of Prince’s music, you cannot escape his creative presence in music.
I like to go to BBC online to get international news. I found an article about the amount of deaths that have happened in 2016 so far. The whole article is here:
I found the article to be interesting because, it seems so many people I grew up with were dying. Basically the writers are saying, we should expect more similar deaths like Bowie and Prince in the coming years.
Some points made were people, who started becoming famous in the 1960s, are now entering their 70s and are starting to die. There are also more famous people than there used to be. In past generations, the only famous people really were from cinema – there was no television. Television has made many, many people famous. Over the past 10 years, social media has, also, played a big part.
Many of those now dying belonged to the so-called baby-boom generation, born between 1946 and 1964, that saw a huge growth in population. With more babies born into the baby-boom generation, it meant more went on to eventually become famous. Now, those famous former babies, aged between 70 and 52, are dying.
Among the major deaths this year, many – including Prince (57), Alan Rickman (69), David Bowie (69) and Victoria Wood (62) (great British comedian) – were baby-boomers.
I was glad the article was written because I kept saying, “When is this going to end?” Well, it appears it won’t.
Funny you should say that. With the spate of deaths, a few months ago I started thinking exactly the same thing. And I got to wondering if these entertainers – especially rockers – were dying as per life expectancy. So I checked out the life expectancy charts for the US for 1946 (first year of boomers). Since Western life expectancies are pretty similar, I figured the US would be a fair measure.
And so it turns out that the expectancy for men born in 1946 was 64.4 years, men 69.4 years. And so a guy like Bowie (born in 1947) beat the odds a little bit by living to 69. Glenn Frey of Eagles made it to 67. So yeah, this is what’s starting to happen. Frankly, given the drug culture and hard on-the-read lifestyle of rockers, one would expect them to die younger. So some of them beat the odds. But then, unfortunately, there’s always the “didn’t-make-it-to-30” club. And Pete Townshend, who famously hoped he died before he got old, is 70 and still going strong.
These guys need to live more like the Queen. She just turned 90. At this rate, Charles will wind up becoming king for a week before he too (born 1948) shuffles off this mortal coil. 😀
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Guess what? Soul singer Percy Sledge dies aged 74. He died on Tuesday. I think all these musicians and singers are dying so they can just jam all they want without thinking about making money. 🙂 Heavenly thought.
You were saying that you hadn’t been a particularly big Prince fan. But if I hadn’t felt so rushed into posting about him here’s what I would have said: outside of maybe Sly Stone, nobody else I can think of has gone as seamlessly back and forth from rock to soul to funk and done them all superbly like Prince did. And made it seem effortless. Sometimes all in one song. There. Now I feel better. 😀
I found Prince’s early death (as well as others) very troublesome and was trying to make sense of it, and for me, I did just that. The saddest part of Prince’s early death is that, from what I read, he was starting to play more with other musicians and being less of a loner. I can only imagine what he could’ve produced as he reached further heights in his music. Do I enjoy Prince’s music? Yes, very much. Have I followed what he was doing these past years? No. Am I upset that he is gone from the present music scene? Yes, very, very much.
You, me and a whole lot of other people. For the record, not that anybody asked, my favorite Prince songs:
Little Red Corvette
When Doves Cry
Let’s Go Crazy
Nothing Compares 2 U
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God such a shock. I’m planning to do a post about it. His flamboyance and rock star antics sometimes distract from the fact that he was quite simply the greatest pop genius of the 1980s, and an extraordinarily gifted multi-instrumentalist. He produced his very first album on his own and played ALL instruments, yet he managed to sound as tight and live as any great band playing off each other.
Yeah, go for it man. I’d like to see yout take on it. It’s so hard to capture in one hurried post, I’ve been adding stuff into my comments. So my post + comments which trigger further thoughts = post. 😀
I found this pretty interesting.
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Brief but very interesting. Who knew he even thought about Bruce or his band leadership? Leave it to the Bruce fanatic from Down Under to dig that one up. 😀
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Talent recognises talent I suppose. There have been a few things around lately making comparisons between the two. I can see they both bring a similar excellence live.
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Guilty as charged. 🙂
Great post by the way.
Thanks. Wish it hadn’t had to be written. At least not under these circumstances.
I think Prince would’ve like this. 🙂
That’s pretty cool. Although I’m personally probably just prudish enough to feel awkward singing “the sweat of your body covers me” with 2000 strangers. 😀
Yes, our Canadian friends are not only perhaps nicer than us but also less prudish
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