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.