My thoughts on Prince

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by they, Apr 25, 2016.

  1. they

    they Member

    Jun 4, 2008
    I'm not going to get over this loss very easily.

    On Thursday, I was walking from meeting to meeting wondering how everyone was just going about their business when Prince had just died. I could think of little else. I still can't.

    After years on the top of my bucket list, I finally got to see him play live, at Mohegan Sun, in December 2014. I had an extra ticket, which I offered, on the night of the show, to my then acquaintance, and now friend, Nick, a great musician in his own right. Over the course of the long ride to the show, the long ride back, and the 3 hours of joyous, raucous, ebullient, funky, funky, funky music, we cemented a friendship that has culminated in a musical project of our own. As Vonnegut wrote: Peculiar travel suggestions are just dancing lessons from God.

    Say what you want about Elvis, or MJ, or Lennon, or Cobain, or Hendrix, or Allman, or Bowie, or the impending demise of Wonder, Clapton, Springsteen, the Stones, or even McCartney; the loss of Prince is a bigger hole in the cosmic musical spectrum electrum than any of the others. Don't get me wrong, all are huge losses, and I'll be inconsolable when McCartney finally turns off the mic.

    But only Prince played *all* the instruments - and played the holy hell out of them, while also writing all the songs - alone, produced all of them - alone, and then performed the holy hell out of them while dancing like some mix of James Brown and Michael Jackson, and keeping it fresh through 38 albums (that we know about). Losing the ability to see all that talent and improvisation live is like Jordan retiring; sure, he's still alive and the replay tapes are out there, but you'll never watch someone go up over Sam Perkins with the ball in his right hand, and switch it to his left hand for the score, live, ever again. That temporal genius is gone, forever, and we are the poorer for it.

    Prince's eccentricities, springing from his legendary shyness, childhood abandonment, loss of a child, and hermetic tendencies, made him even more compelling, if not exactly sympathetic. You just had to watch, and listen.

    Only Prince could show up on Jimmy Fallon, in 2013, playing Bambi, a 30 year old deep track from 'Prince', with his all-girl backing band, absolutely KILL the performance, and then make news by tossing, and breaking, the vintage guitar he had borrowed from Captain Kirk of the Roots, and refusing to sign it for him because he 'doesn't do autographs.' That's Prince in a nutshell. His songs still don't sound dated, his performances stayed fresh, and the whole package was mesmerizing in unspeakable, and sometimes contradictory, ways.

    It's that sort of remove that enables a performer to step out into a driving rainstorm and deliver, hands down, the greatest Superbowl halftime show ever. Or drag a dressed-down Janelle Monet onto the stage at Mohegan Sun, after the lights were turned on and half the crowd had left, for a surprise encore jam. Or stand in front of Dhani Harrison at the RRHoF "While my guitar gently weeps" jam, step into the "Clapton is God" solo, and just destroy it to the point that Dhani was reduced to a gawking, grinning, idiot mess - Dhani's face is my favorite part of that clip.

    Who could share a stage with him? Who was even close? I love going to shows, but often I am there just to hear songs. Dylan often reinvents and reinterprets his catalog live, but Prince did it minute by minute, on stage, on the fly, on multiple instruments, while doing the splits at age 57.

    Prince was adamant about turning off cell phones at his concerts. Maybe that had something to do with his legendary stranglehold on his online presence, but he would *beg* people to turn them off and be *in the moment* with him, in the room, with each other. His shows were for the people in the room, for the 'now', for the temporary community that came together for that one night. And if you had any doubt about his sincerity, his performance shut it off entirely. He *never* phoned it in. And there is nothing better to see in a live concert than an artist feeling the same ecstasy you feel when you put on a song you may have played, and they may have performed, a thousand times, and feeling it more than you do.

    His music will live on, and the musicians he inspired will carry on the creative torch, to say nothing of the probably endless trove of unreleased music in his Paisley Park Vault.

    But we won't get to see him pull out all the stops, dance on the speakers, and preside over the communal joy that was "Purple Rain" live.
  2. major-minor

    major-minor Supporting Member

    Aug 28, 2006
    Well said.

    Unfortunately, I'm appreciating him more now ( seeing all the clips ) than when he was alive.

    Yeah---he was the real deal.
  3. MrTAteMyBalls

    MrTAteMyBalls Member

    Nov 21, 2010

    Me too. I feel like I missed out on something special. I am gonna visit some used shops this.weekend and see what I can discover.
    muzishun, BUK, Turi and 1 other person like this.
  4. Turi

    Turi Member

    Jan 2, 2011
    Well said.
    He was, and most likely will always be, without an equal.
    Paul Conway likes this.
  5. UncleDuke

    UncleDuke Member

    Nov 3, 2010
    I got a chance to see him a few years back, on the Musicology tour, I believe. It started as a date night for my now wife and I and the moment I found out that while my lady loves music, she's not that big of a fan of large concerts. We were in the fourth row. I mean, it was Prince.

    I remember that for a portion of the show, he was doing a lot of stuff that I wasn't familiar with. Admittedly, I was really only familiar with the Hits, but it was a good jumping off point to check out a lot of the stuff he was doing that wasn't hitting the mainstream. He did a run of the hits and they did not disappoint.

    A few years later, we somehow found ourselves in Vegas the night The Time reunited for a show at the Flamingo. I wish I was about 20 years older to appreciate more of that.
  6. drewbledsoe

    drewbledsoe Member

    Feb 9, 2016
    Amen. Great post and I completely agree. These past few days I'm feeling like I took him too much for granted while he was here.
  7. seiko

    seiko Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
    I actually feel bad for people that didn't see him live. I wish I'd seen more.
    deeohgee likes this.
  8. wstsidela

    wstsidela I'm bonafied Gold Supporting Member

    May 11, 2005
    Temecula, CA
    I saw him at Coachella '08. He was brilliant.
  9. Sigmund Floyd

    Sigmund Floyd Supporting Member

    Feb 28, 2011
    That's funny... just watched him do the Radiohead song CREEP from that show I believe, very good.
    Cruciform likes this.
  10. Melodic Dreamer

    Melodic Dreamer Member

    Aug 15, 2005
    I like Prince, and was once a huge fan, but since his death there is so much hero worship happening that it feels bloated out of proportion. I'm not meaning any disrespect to fans or to Prince, but to say he is without equal is just silly. He was simply a man, male-diva and a good performer. It sad that he went that young, but to hear people talk you would think he found the cure to cancer, or overcame world hunger. Same thing with Bowie. I don't get the hero worship aspect.
  11. lp_bruce

    lp_bruce Member

    Jun 7, 2007
    Metro Detroit
    Prince was the real deal for sure. I dug him from the get go. When 1999 came out I remember thinking, "Finally! This guy is getting his due!" And from that point, he could have put out some version of that album for the rest of his career and he would have been just fine. But Prince just followed his muse and he went where it took him. And even when I didn't always get it, it was obviously great music and I respected him a ton for doing what he felt compelled to do. Hard to believe we are talking about him in the past tense.

  12. Judge Smails

    Judge Smails Member

    Sep 16, 2014
    Rochester NY
    People went about their business because they didn't know him personally. He was a great musician and performer, a human being like the rest of us.Also ,many people don't care for his music.
    Clifford-D and slowerhand like this.
  13. Turi

    Turi Member

    Jan 2, 2011
    Name an equal.

    He was way more than "simply a man, male-diva and a good performer", fact.

    The hero worship is happening because people have access to videos of him performing now and it's blowing everyones minds how awesome he was.

    I honestly don't believe his death would have made a difference - if out of nowhere, it was just Prince letting video and bootlegs of him online, to be enjoyed by everyone - there'd be just as much hero worship, imo.
    I think that would still have made the news and been a huge deal and the same love would have happened.
    That would have been shared all over the media and all over TGP.

    Of course that's not how it went down - his death is the reason for all the clips popping up and all the amazement and all the album and singles downloads etc etc.

    Just my 2p.

    I'm obviously bias. I think he was amazing.
    Block me if it'll make TGP more tolerable for you.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2016
  14. lennokez

    lennokez Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    He was a great performer. I had no idea how great until seeing his Diamonds and Pearls tour in Sydney in '92.
    Too funky he was. Really really slick.

    I went along with my girlfriend and a dozen of her girlfriends. They were all huge fans. He had every chick
    in the place buzzing with lust. Was pretty incredible. Good vibes. The effect he had on women was something else.
    We were right up the front and centre and had an amazing night.

    I had no idea he was such a killer guitar player. Serious grooves and amazing stage presence. He had the moves.
    Had everyone in the palm of his hand that night.

    He really grabbed Sydney and shook that town when he arrived. It was huge news at the time.

    It's sad to hear of his passing. Hope he was happy at the end.
    deeohgee and Turi like this.
  15. burner

    burner Member

    Dec 27, 2007
    Me too.
    Still tho'.....Dallas '85
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
  16. MKB

    MKB Silver Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2009
    I remember first seeing Prince WAY back on American Bandstand, maybe in 1979-80 or so. I recall he was so incredibly weird and acted like he had snorted half of Columbia, played maybe one chord on his Tele and threw it on the floor. Made quite an impression.

    I liked his music and appreciated his talent in the studio, but IMHO he was the best live performer by far in decades. All the live work he did with NPG just left me completely gobsmacked. He took the best parts of Sly, Jimi, and James, mixed them up and made perfection.

    No less than Pete Townshend called Prince the Mozart of our generation. Big praise.

    Prince's death points out another thing every music lover should realize: if you really adore an artist, go to one of their live concerts as soon as possible as you have no idea if they will do another. Then you will always regret not seeing them live. I can add Prince to my growing list of regrets (along with David Bowie and a host of others).
    friend33, Paul Conway, Turi and 5 others like this.
  17. sears

    sears Member

    Jan 23, 2004
    ec md
    I was unaware of this. He mic'd the drums? It is depressing to contemplate that he did absolutely everything pre-master on Dirty Mind.
  18. racecarracecar

    racecarracecar Member

    Jul 2, 2014
    We shut the office down after we got the news of prince's death. I don't think we are going to reopen.

    I even stopped feeding my son and daughter because they were not crying over him.

    Slapped the Mrs racecarracecar for asking why I was so upset.

    Im having some suicidal thoughts. Don't know how I'm going to make it through this.
    Cb, sixty2strat, bobbyatomic and 4 others like this.
  19. Papanate

    Papanate Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2013
    North Carolina
    I found Prince's abilities to be inspiring. But I understand the feeling - for me it was the Police - every album
    I kept thinking - how am I ever going to top this?
    enharmonic likes this.
  20. JiveTurkey

    JiveTurkey Trumpets and Tants Silver Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    You're a little rowdy for this place, don't you think :D
  21. T Dizz

    T Dizz Member

    Jan 20, 2015
    Erotic City MN
    I'm so happy I got to see him once. It was the best live music performance I have ever witnesses. I said it back in 1999 when I saw him, and I have maintained that statement ever since. Very few musicians had it all, and Prince was one of them. As a Minnesotan, losing him hit me hard. He lived here.. he put 1st Ave on the map. You cannot walk into 1st Ave without thinking of Purple Rain. He was out at the local record store a few days before he passed. He loved us and we loved him. Minnesota has Prince and Dylan. I could never connect with Dylan's work, but as a child of the 80s, and a young budding guitarist, Prince influenced me just as much as any of the rock and metal I was listening to. I won't be getting over this any time soon, I still tear up when I see him play guitar. Here in MPLS/STP when someone from town gets famous, we refer to them as "one of us"...and Prince was, and still is, one of us.
    friend33, Turi, muzishun and 3 others like this.

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