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Saturday, April 30, 2016

There is no room for false modesty

Not where genius is concerned:
Keyboardist Morris Hayes arrived at Paisley Park as a production assistant. Under Prince’s tutelage, he eventually became not just a member of the New Power Generation but the band’s most senior member.
“I was just one of those church cats that played music by ear, so at first it was very difficult for me to keep up. We wouldn’t just learn one song, we’d learn a string of songs, and when we’d come back the next day I’d forget some. I remember he pulled me to the side and said, ‘Are you a genius, Morris?’ I said no. ‘O.K., then write it down. I don’t write it down ‘cause I’m a genius. I’ve got a million of ‘em, and I can remember. But unless you’re a genius, write it down.’ He gave you that extreme focus, where you knew you had to really come with it.”
It's fascinating that unlike so many gifted individuals, Prince was able to coach less talented and help them improve. I wonder if that might have had something to do with his early relationship with Andre Cymone, his friend from junior high and member of both Grand Central and The Revolution, of whom it was said that he could play everything Prince could play, but only if Prince showed him how to do it first. Speaking of which, this article about his performance at the 2004 ceremony honoring George Harrison tends to support that anecdote as well as put both both his performance and his demeanor in context.
I had no idea that Prince was going to be there. Steve Winwood said, “Hey, Prince is over there.” And I said, “I guess he’s playing with us?”

So I said to Winwood, “I’m going to go over and say hello to him.” I wandered across the stage and I went up to him and I said, “Hi, Prince, it’s nice to meet you — Steve Ferrone.” And he said, “Oh, I know who you are!” Maybe because I’d played on Chaka Khan’s “I Feel for You,” which is a song that he wrote. I went back over and I sat down behind the drum kit, and Winwood was like: “What’s he like? What’d he say?”

Then I was sitting there, and I heard somebody playing a guitar riff from a song that I wrote with Average White Band. And I looked over and Prince was looking right at me and playing that song. And I thought, “Yeah, you actually do know who I am!”
I was actually more surprised that Prince had ever heard anything played by a band called Average White Band than at the fact he would remember a riff from it and be able to play it from memory. But then, they were pretty funky and even I would recognize "Pick up the Pieces", so I suppose that makes sense.

My favorite part of the Harrison tribute article is how the clueless lead guitarist kept playing the Clapton solos in rehearsal and Prince didn't make a fuss. He just strummed along, waited for someone else tell the guy to back off, then waited until they were on stage to show him how it's done. Prince being Prince, I strongly suspect it was his quiet annoyance at the guy's earlier failure to know his place that drove the unusual nature of his performance that night, particularly because he told the producer to let the guy go ahead and play the middle solo.

“Look, let this guy do what he does, and I’ll just step in at the end. For the end solo, forget the middle solo.”

That wasn't just genius being expressed on that stage, it was also the contempt of a genius for mere talent and skill. Hey, even geniuses sometimes require motivation.

Labels: ,

74 Comments:

Anonymous Wyrd April 30, 2016 8:06 AM  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9gqStFxAo4

Blogger JACIII April 30, 2016 8:40 AM  

Would have been nice if they turned his guitar up so we could hear it. The engineers didn't catch on to what was going on. The playing is stunning, but what's really amazing is it is all still in the Clapton voice.

I blame all Minnesotans for hiding this brilliant musician under a pop star. Especially those with Flock of Seagulls hair.

Historically speaking he was a wasted talent.

Blogger Franz April 30, 2016 8:54 AM  

Fk!

Lol

Stunned o_O

Blogger Phillip George April 30, 2016 9:06 AM  

The engineers didn't catch on to what was going on.
but that's the point isn't it. An instrumental solo/ break can't be allowed to kill the vocals/ chorus. This was the sound board's nightmare. A coup d'etat. blood on the floor.

a mosh pit dive might have finished things off with everyone laughing.

Blogger threeLegDog April 30, 2016 9:15 AM  

and on a telecaster, no less...

Blogger Phillip George April 30, 2016 9:19 AM  

look at the grimace at 4 minutes 43 seconds.

Blogger VD April 30, 2016 9:21 AM  

Would have been nice if they turned his guitar up so we could hear it. The engineers didn't catch on to what was going on. The playing is stunning, but what's really amazing is it is all still in the Clapton voice.

But that was Prince's style. He always kept his individual performances completely within the context of the song. He didn't think in terms of "the guitar" or "the singing". He was always thinking in terms of the complete performance, including how the musicians looked and moved.

Notice how he looks at Petty after he plays 16 bars or so - I didn't count - because that's probably how long the solo was supposed to go. He's asking "want me to keep going?" And Petty, being a pro, says, "hell, yeah." After that point, they're all looking at him because they don't know when the song is going to end, so they're following his lead. But they're all so good that the end sounds planned.

My favorite part is the way George Harrison's son just starts smiling and almost laughing in the middle of the end solo. He knows it's awesome even as it is happening.

Anonymous Wilbur Hassenfus April 30, 2016 9:26 AM  

Prince doesn't seem to me to have had a weak creative personality. In a contest of creative will between Prince and the rest of Minnesota, I wouldn't bet the farm on Minnesota.

Blogger WarKicker April 30, 2016 9:43 AM  

Witnessing something like this makes it even more painful that he is gone.

Blogger Granddad April 30, 2016 9:58 AM  

Thank you. As a 73 y.o. retired doc, I had no idea about any of Prince's music or his genius until now.

Anonymous Susan April 30, 2016 10:07 AM  

He totally schooled that stage with his solo. I did find it amusing that a guy stood on the floor under him while he was bent over backwards. Then he finished, he tossed his guitar and walked off without looking backwards. That was True Genius. Loved his appearance on Muppets Tonight also.

Blogger Nathan April 30, 2016 10:15 AM  

Prince's death really has been an enormous cultural loss. He was sort of this super-massive black hole of talent, holding together a whole galaxy of other stars and solar systems that made popular music so much better over the last 30+ years. All the songs he wrote for other artists that most people aren't aware of. Sinead O'connor, the Bangles... Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis from The Time pretty much invented Janet Jackson's industrial pop sound. Popular music is becoming sad and hateful and it seems like it will be so much less interesting now.

Anonymous trk April 30, 2016 10:28 AM  

I hope in the vaults he has cover albums of Hendrix. Would love to hear Princes take on him.

Blogger JACIII April 30, 2016 10:33 AM  

Phillip George wrote:The engineers didn't catch on to what was going on.

but that's the point isn't it. An instrumental solo/ break can't be allowed to kill the vocals/ chorus. This was the sound board's nightmare. A coup d'etat. blood on the floor.

a mosh pit dive might have finished things off with everyone laughing.


I understand that is what is taught, but even the most boneheaded newb should realize, given it was a Clapton tribute, the guitar playing might turn out to be significant.

Blogger Atomic Agent 13 April 30, 2016 11:03 AM  

"And then that whole thing with the guitar going up in the air. I didn’t even see who caught it. I just saw it go up, and I was astonished that it didn’t come back down again. Everybody wonders where that guitar went, and I gotta tell you, I was on the stage, and I wonder where it went, too."

Only God and Prince can shred on that guitar, Prince just gave God his guitar back.

Blogger 1337kestrel April 30, 2016 11:30 AM  

It's fascinating that unlike so many gifted individuals, Prince was able to coach less talented and help them improve. I wonder if that might have had something to do with his early relationship with Andre Cymone

From your posts it seems that he was highly analytical. Without trying to guess if he was an analytical genius with musical talent or a musical genius with analytical talent, analytical types are usually able to explain what they're doing so it can be replicated.

Blogger Aeoli Pera April 30, 2016 11:52 AM  

There is no room for false modesty
Not where genius is concerned


Okay, this is true but there's a counterbalance that needs to be acknowledged.

Humility is absolutely essential to genius because it is more important for obtaining correct answers than intelligence (I won't have to convince anyone here of the importance of intelligence). I won't get into the detailed reason for this. In contrast, false modesty is a form of peacocking and is a perfect predictor of self-aggrandizement, which is the opposite trait of genius.

The key is to understand the difference between relative and absolute measures, which requires a belief that aesthetics and truth are objective. A genius understands that in the grand scheme of things, he is an insignificant mote of dust. However, he acknowledges that he has some truth he is morally obliged to share with his fellow man out of generosity, which assumes a position of relative superiority. That superiority could be as simple as the understanding that "I have this great story in my head, and nobody else does".

In the West, this moral obligation arises either from Christian charity or some form of secular humanism, but very few geniuses hail from the latter camp because the belief in one's relative superiority (in some significant way) leads to absolute superiority within that system. It is a contradictory delusion to believe otherwise, although the existence of a few atheist geniuses like Bertrand Russell shows it is possible.

/screed

Blogger Aeoli Pera April 30, 2016 11:54 AM  

(Russell achieved this by being depressed and miserable for his entire life, which is a sinful but effective way to starve one's self-aggrandizing instincts of motivation.)

Anonymous redsash April 30, 2016 12:12 PM  

YouTube Stevie Ray Vaughan doing VooDoo Child and Crossfire and then honestly tell me that Hendrix or Prince is a better guitarist. Same for Blackmore on Machine Head and Rainbow Rising.

Blogger Aeoli Pera April 30, 2016 12:13 PM  

Vox,

I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge that I'm in awe of your intuition for interpersonal dynamics. It may even be reasonably described as a form of genius.

Blogger Aeoli Pera April 30, 2016 12:15 PM  

redsash wrote:YouTube Stevie Ray Vaughan doing VooDoo Child and Crossfire and then honestly tell me that Hendrix or Prince is a better guitarist. Same for Blackmore on Machine Head and Rainbow Rising.

Prince is a better guitarist, although they're in the same league. Hendrix had immense talent but no disciplined skill or knowledge, and no aesthetic sense.

Anonymous Big Bill April 30, 2016 12:18 PM  

I wish the video was higher resolution. His fingerwork would be a pleasure to watch.

Anonymous trk April 30, 2016 12:20 PM  

I love SRV take on some of Hendrix voodoo chile and little wing. I just want to hear what Prince would do w it.

Anonymous Nathan April 30, 2016 12:22 PM  

Prince also had a better sense of the song as a whole composition, and better backing bands, than Hendrix. Double Trouble was also a better backing band than Hendrix's.

Blogger 1337kestrel April 30, 2016 12:33 PM  

Stevie Ray Vaughan doing VooDoo Child and Crossfire

Stevie Ray Vaughan was an amazing guitarist, but he was so narrowly focused that it was mostly wasted. I hate to think about what he could have accomplished with some creativity.

Blogger Michael Maier April 30, 2016 12:34 PM  

I was wondering about where that guitar went immediately too. I just re-watched those last seconds like seven times.

But I cannot agree with you, Vox. A tribute show is usually a TRIBUTE. As in, the point is giving a show where you get to hear the solo that was done originally, note for note. A reproduction of the song everyone loves.

Some geniuses can reign in their egos enough to play ball for a day.

Prince's solo is cool and badass. But it is absurd to pretend it was not 100% about HIM, not the person being honoured.

But it was the organizers' own fault. It was absurd to bring a famous control freak attention whore like Prince into a show like that and expect him to stick to script. I've seen it myself in the small-time music scene. Dude agrees to come in and play a song, wanks all over it. Usually doesn't get invited back.

Blogger Michael Maier April 30, 2016 12:44 PM  

1337kestrel wrote:Stevie Ray Vaughan doing VooDoo Child and Crossfire

Stevie Ray Vaughan was an amazing guitarist, but he was so narrowly focused that it was mostly wasted. I hate to think about what he could have accomplished with some creativity.


Exactly. I'm not a big fan but everything I've heard from SRV is loud Hendrix-flavoured blues. I don't get the genius label applied to him.

Blogger Michael Maier April 30, 2016 12:46 PM  

Hey, this quoting gizmo is pretty cool. When did that show up?

Blogger clk April 30, 2016 12:53 PM  

Well .. you would have to be a guitarist (i have 40 years on guitar under my fingers) to understand the what Prince does here is passible but by no means amazing..its basically pentatonic based riffs hanging into a simple progression...there are many many guitarists who can do this and better.... that doesnt diminish one bit of his greatness as a artist song writer and performer... every interview i have ever seen of Prince impressed me... he will be greatly missed.

The greats are not always the most technical or highest skilled... they have something different..and often they are great because they were first .. like Charlie Christian, T bone Walker, Wes M, the beatles, hendrix, zep

One thing i thought i noticed when i watch this clip a few days ago.. does prince leave the stage, get a different guitar and then at the wnd throw that guitar to the audience? That would indicate some preplanning.

Anonymous Nathan April 30, 2016 12:55 PM  

@26,

You must have watched different tribute concerts than I have.

And the wasted talent is John Mayer, who can do performances that push the Hendrix-SRV style envelope, but instead does insipid Venus-worship ballads.

Anonymous map April 30, 2016 12:58 PM  

I'm sorry, guys, but it is pretty obvious here that no one is a real connoisseur of great guitar playing, especially guitar playing that is considered state-of-the-art. Prince is good, but there many professional guitar players that will own him completely, as well as at least a dozen amateurs on youtube. Skill on the instrument has progressed well beyond Vaughn, Hendrix and Prince.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wkh14D_UN4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RGjKvKb1Bc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M3HpO_S664

There certainly is no accounting for taste, but, remember, "art" is a classical term for "skill."

Blogger VD April 30, 2016 12:59 PM  

But I cannot agree with you, Vox. A tribute show is usually a TRIBUTE. As in, the point is giving a show where you get to hear the solo that was done originally, note for note. A reproduction of the song everyone loves.

You're totally wrong. You're not an artist and it shows. Prince did pay tribute to the song, because, as was noted above, he kept the creativity within the context of the song. What he did melded harmoniously different; it didn't detract from the song, but rather added to it and made it more than it was. He was paying the ultimate tribute by quite literally offering up his own contribution to it.

That is why George Harrison's son was so visibly delighted. As a musician himself, he understood not only what Prince was doing, but also the quality of the tribute being offered to his father. Think about it. Despite his gargantuan talent as a guitarist, how many times did Prince unleash it? He only produced a handful of memorable solos, some very short, in 30 albums worth of songs.

And yet, he created one and offered it in tribute to George Harrison. I don't think there is any guitarist, or any musician, who wouldn't tremendously appreciate being paid such tribute by a musician of such standing, rather than have him simply mechanically reproduce the original.

Any competent guitarist could have done what the other lead guitarist did. But only a handful could have done what Prince did, much less do so while remaining fully within the musical context of the song. Read the comments. Every musician and producer involved was delighted that he unleashed like that.

Blogger Michael Maier April 30, 2016 1:04 PM  

"amateurs on YouTube"

The guys that cannot play in time, in tune, or with any tone? Yeah, they're awesome.

Anonymous map April 30, 2016 1:13 PM  

"The guys that cannot play in time, in tune, or with any tone? Yeah, they're awesome."

Did you click the links?

Blogger Michael Maier April 30, 2016 1:17 PM  

Vox, your Prince fanboy-ism is showing here.

As far as music goes, I do not pretend to be a genius or an artist. Somebody has to be the foundation in a song and I dig that part.

You also underestimate the ability of folks to be gracious. Some of those faces looked strained instead of happy to me. Plus, he's DEAD. Who is going to knock him now?

But I certainly understand the power of swagger. I've been steamrolled by certain personalities IRL and not really cared because they weren't dicks about it so who cares about it in the long run? It's almost like having your pocket picked while you watch but still admiring the thief's style.

And Prince 100% seems like one of those weirdos that got away with a lot out of sheer audacity.

It wouldn't surprise me if he talked Kim Basinger into having sex and recording it for "Scandalous" and told her everything up front.

"It's ART, baby!"

Anonymous Stirner April 30, 2016 1:19 PM  

I don't think the guitar came down. Prince seemed to throw it up into the air rather casually at the end, instead of a more targeted toss to a stagehand waiting in the wings. The camera pulls back at the end, and shot long enough for the guitar to come back down - but it didn't...

My guess is that the guitar was connected to some sort of wire hanging from the rafters. When Prince "fell" into the audience he was caught and pushed back on stage by a burly stagehand. That seems pre-planned to me. The stagehand (or an unseen partner), could have hooked the guitar strap with the suspension wire while Prince was dipped below the camera while playing on his back.

Once Prince was pushed back on stage, he seems to adjust and re-settle himself - was he making sure he didn't get his power cord tangled in the suspension wire?

Just a guess, but a "magical" flourish like that seems like Prince's style.

Blogger Michael Maier April 30, 2016 1:20 PM  

map wrote:"The guys that cannot play in time, in tune, or with any tone? Yeah, they're awesome."

Did you click the links?


Yes, I did.

No, I'm not calling Pablo Gilberto an amateur. Mostly because 1) he's awesome and 2) he's been a pro for 30 years.

But while you're posting stuff, do link to one of the amazing amateurs that show up Hendrix and Prince.

Blogger Michael Maier April 30, 2016 1:22 PM  

Stirner wrote:I don't think the guitar came down. Prince seemed to throw it up into the air rather casually at the end, instead of a more targeted toss to a stagehand waiting in the wings. The camera pulls back at the end, and shot long enough for the guitar to come back down - but it didn't...

My guess is that the guitar was connected to some sort of wire hanging from the rafters. When Prince "fell" into the audience he was caught and pushed back on stage by a burly stagehand. That seems pre-planned to me. The stagehand (or an unseen partner), could have hooked the guitar strap with the suspension wire while Prince was dipped below the camera while playing on his back.

Once Prince was pushed back on stage, he seems to adjust and re-settle himself - was he making sure he didn't get his power cord tangled in the suspension wire?

Just a guess, but a "magical" flourish like that seems like Prince's style.


That was my guess too.

But I watched Victor Wooten make his bass disappear in a show once too. Freaked me right out.

Blogger Atomic Agent 13 April 30, 2016 1:39 PM  

He was paying the ultimate tribute by quite literally offering up his own contribution to it.

Genius being the keyword here, working on a higher level than everyone else.

Look at the joy on Dhani Harrison's face. A tribute should bring joy when celebrating someone's life, Prince nailed the solo and the performance, a fitting tribute to another artist and performer.

Though Prince had a nicer demeanor the attitude reminds me of Gordon Ramsey. If you can't step up, you're not ready to play at their level.

Blogger Sheila4g April 30, 2016 1:44 PM  

I'm neither a guitarist nor an artist nor a Prince fan, but I have always enjoyed the Beatles and was actually privileged to hear George Harrison live back in high school (the guy I had a crush on in 5th grade invited me in 10th grade). "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" has always been a favorite, and fwiw, I was impressed by Prince's solo at the end. I'm no VFM nor acolyte, but I agree with Vox that it melded well with and enhanced the song in all aspects of tone, harmony, and emotional appeal. I'm not inspired to go listen to or purchase Prince's music, but I very much enjoyed this clip. Side note - I'd seen other photos of George Harrison's son and didn't find the resemblance as strong, but here he looks amazingly like his father.

Anonymous map April 30, 2016 1:59 PM  

Michael Maier,

Here are three:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqFMCg0TglA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TF2uAHlBPQI

Semi-pro:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMIG0u21d5Q

Anonymous BGKB April 30, 2016 2:16 PM  

If you miss Prince you can just draw a moustache on Rihanna

OpenID luciussomesuch April 30, 2016 2:18 PM  

"Russell achieved this by being depressed and miserable for his entire life, which is a sinful but effective way to starve one's self-aggrandizing instincts of motivation.)"

Russell was an insanely arrogant prick who tried to tear down all his rivals-- traducing Santayana (who was best friends with his brother), cuckolding Alfred North Whitehead, poo-pooing Bergson (a prize-winning mathematician) as innumerate, and of course squatting over much of the philosophical canon in his History of Western Philosophy.

Russell was not known for a modest bone in his body.

Anonymous redsash April 30, 2016 2:20 PM  

Here it is for those who have eyes to see. Prince played ping pong with Jimmy Fallon. Blackmore would have spit on Fallon.

Anonymous Case April 30, 2016 2:52 PM  

Don Ross. Acoustic master who writes his own music. Very creative and complex without being ostentatious--uses 10 fingers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OYyIJUTKEI

Anonymous Lord Autumnbottom April 30, 2016 2:53 PM  

Thoughts:

1. By letting that other joker take a solo, maybe Prince was just being polite?
2. The original Clapton solo in that song is supremely meh. (As is Clapton himself, but that's another matter.)
3. Matter of fact, the definitive take on the song is the Jeff Healey Band's. Just the right amount of oomph.
4. Anybody who thinks Paul Gilbert - or Malmsteen or Michael Angelo Batio or just about any other shredder - is better than Stevie Ray Vaughan or Jimi Hendrix is a philistine or a robot. There's more to musicianship than technical prowess.
5. Prince is an outstanding guitarist, but his performance here is, frankly, overrated. I'm not saying it stinks - it's pretty good - but he's capable of much better. This one was all flash and no substance, and while the flash is entertaining enough, you can tell his heart's not in it. It proves he's a very good guitarist; for proof he was a great one, try the Purple Rain solo, or... I'm only a casual Prince fan, so perhaps others can make some other recommendations.

Anonymous map April 30, 2016 2:57 PM  

Yeah, the CandayRat records guys are outstanding.

Blogger CJ April 30, 2016 3:28 PM  

I was actually more surprised that Prince had ever heard anything played by a band called Average White Band than at the fact he would remember a riff from it and be able to play it from memory.

Geezer comment here ... the Average White Band were very popular in the 1970s. They had a string of hits on both the pop and R&B charts, something like George Michael did 10-15 years later. They were if anything more popular with musicians than with fans in general. Of course Prince would know them, and probably so would everybody Prince played with.

Blogger Aeoli Pera April 30, 2016 3:31 PM  

Other skilled and talented guitarists exist, both pro and amateur, and they all matter diddly squat to whether Prince was talented, skilled, ingenius, or acting appropriately in this situation.

Blogger Aeoli Pera April 30, 2016 3:33 PM  

luciussomesuch wrote:Russell was not known for a modest bone in his body.

Which is precisely why it's interesting that he was both an atheist and a genius.

Anonymous patrick kelly April 30, 2016 3:47 PM  

SRV is still going to always be my favorite .

As a guitarist for me it's all about Groove and tone and Prince was great at it.

Shredlike technique can be learned by rote with a metronome with lots of repetition. the dedication and work to do so is admirable, but not necessarily indicating anything inherently musical or genius.

The Harrison tribute solo is better than anything he played at the Superbowl but I still enjoyed it all.

Anonymous Wyrd April 30, 2016 3:52 PM  

If you miss Prince you can just draw a moustache on Rihanna

LOLOLOLOL..banned!

Anonymous rubberducky April 30, 2016 4:17 PM  

I've been playing guitar for 39 years. Not rock guitar mainly, classical guitar. And I've got to say, this notion that skills and techniques today have surpassed what Jimi Hendrix or Prince were up to struck me as one of the most boneheaded points I've heard in a long time. I mean, I laughed out loud.

Blogger Mark Butterworth April 30, 2016 4:44 PM  

One: A lot of people don't realize how easy an electric guitar is to play compared to acoustic steel string or classical. That's why there are thousands and thousands of shredders but few Mark O'Connors or Tony Rices and so forth.

Two: Prince was a passable guitarist. Not great. A great guitarist plays in a way no one else thought of before him, and influences others.

Three: Prince, like so many pop stars, plugs into the zeitgeist when they're young, have a fertile and prolific youth (Beatles, Brian Wilson, Bowie, a number of others), and then fail to achieve anything innovative, especially imaginative, or compelling after their initial wave passes.

Whereas actual geniuses like Bach, Beethoven, Shakespeare astonish throughout their lives.

Prince's most memorable music (it seems to me) are the ones with the hooks 'though melodically quite silly like Little Red Corvette, Raspberry Beret, Manic Monday. They're childish and weak tunes, whereas his funk being mostly groove, rhythm, and soundscape oriented are huge bores except for those whom it was their teenage soundtrack.

That music remains popular to them not because it was good, but because it provokes memory of keen experiences when life was dramatic and more intense.

Prince is a blip, his tunes weren't that catchy whereas little kids keep falling in love with the Beatles decades after them.

Blogger Miguel D'Anconia April 30, 2016 4:54 PM  

That...was...F'ing amazing! Holy. Shit!

Blogger Aeoli Pera April 30, 2016 5:00 PM  

1. You don't know what you're talking about. Guitarists acknowledge Prince's skills because we can tell he's in the top rank.

2. You seriously have no clue what you're talking about. He obviously was doing exactly what you're saying he didn't.

3. No one is comparing Prince's compositions to Beethoven's. I don't even like his music, personally.

Blogger Aeoli Pera April 30, 2016 5:07 PM  

The crazy thing is...watching this guy play, I can tell he's got at least two more gears above what he's showing here.

Anonymous cheddarman April 30, 2016 5:13 PM  

That was beautiful.

Anonymous cheddarman April 30, 2016 5:16 PM  

Any recommendations regarding Prince's later works or a collection of his best music?

Anonymous Wooly Phlox April 30, 2016 5:28 PM  

I nearly poop when I hear Don Ross, or Andy McKee, or Joe Bonamassa.

Thanks, Case, for reminding me about Don Ross and Candyrat Records.

IMHO Bonamassa is the new best.

OpenID luciussomesuch April 30, 2016 5:39 PM  

But Aeoli, you said he starved his own instincts for self-aggrandizement.

Really, Schopenhauer or Nietzsche would make a better candidate for atheist genius attempting some sort of self-transcendence than Russell. At least they really thought they were trying to get at some sort of cosmic truth (that Schopenhauer believed in cosmic truth albeit atheistically so is uncontroversial; in Nietzsche's case there is at least a hunger for "meaning").

Russell is just a poor example for what you're trying to get at. Having exhausted his mathematical genius in 40 years, he spent the last 50 pitching for dreary liberal causes, including the horndogging he always was notorious for. His service to humanity was self-service. His metaphysics, such as it was, was parched. His egotism was astonishing.

Frankly, your humility theory sounds like Tolstoian wool-gathering anyway, and in his case it was another backdoor to promoting himself as God's little brother.

Blogger Steven Caban April 30, 2016 6:43 PM  

I've listened to a lot Prince. His guitar solo style always reminded me of Santana. Both artists said the same thing about guitar solos. Something to the effect of: "it doesn't matter how many notes you play. I can kill it with two notes, what matters is the rhythm and the context."

Blogger Aeoli Pera April 30, 2016 6:43 PM  

luciussomesuch wrote:But Aeoli, you said he starved his own instincts for self-aggrandizement.

...

Frankly, your humility theory sounds like Tolstoian wool-gathering anyway, and in his case it was another backdoor to promoting himself as God's little brother.


That's the second time I've been accused of writing like Tolstoy, I'm gonna have to read that guy.

And yes, starved of motive, like an engine running on fumes.

OpenID nightskyradio.com April 30, 2016 11:29 PM  

Speaking of Prince (and George Harrison and Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne)...

http://legendsrevealed.com/entertainment/2016/04/29/what-bob-dylan-song-was-surprisingly-inspired-by-prince/

Anonymous map May 01, 2016 1:23 AM  

Lord...

Come on, people.

Prince is a passable rock guitar player for a pop musician. But to sit here and swoon over what is a simple, blues-based, minor pentatonic solo that has been duplicated ad nauseum for the last 50 years? Geez...we have to keep listening to this same derivative shit just because that's what the baby boomers were imprinting to while smoking dope at Woodstock.

And, again, we have the usual "tone and rhythm" slur against the shredders like Malmsteen...as if someone looks at Franz Liszt and says "yeah...too many notes...he lacks feel." Classical music has established the musical viability of massive technique. It greatly expands the musical palette. Why shouldn't rock guitar expand in the same direction?

Instead, Paul Gilbert has to make a living doing guitar clinics and selling albums in Japan.

Blogger Desiderius May 01, 2016 10:18 AM  

"Frankly, your humility theory sounds like Tolstoian wool-gathering anyway, and in his case it was another backdoor to promoting himself as God's little brother."

It's easy to catch metaphysical cold in these post-Christian times. One could do worse than a good sweater or two knitted from that wool.

Blogger Alec Rawls May 01, 2016 11:14 AM  

Did you miss the part of the story and the performance where Prince let the other lead guitar play the "Clapton note for note" part through the whole song and only came in with his own tribute at the end?

Anonymous It's 2015+1 May 01, 2016 4:49 PM  

In case anyone stumbles by this later... Estas Tonne is quite the guitarist. I believe this album was recorded in one sitting without stopping.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGTxqhSN8bE

Cheers

p.s. There are a loads of extremely talented individuals out there making music. To some they will be better than a Hendrix, SRV or a Prince. It's all subjective at this point.

Blogger rycamor May 01, 2016 8:56 PM  

To all you musical spergs going on about how what Prince did here "wasn't all that impressive", just can it. It's not about whether you can play a certain set of notes in a certain time. I've been a guitarist literally since I was six. I could easily play everything Prince did there note for note. But he did an awesome interpretation, and put just the right amount of soul without overdoing it or busting out of the song completely like the Johnny B Goode scene in "Back to the Future".

So yes, it was genius, and any guitarist who has heard Prince play knows he could do all sorts of technical fireworks when he wanted to, but he was above all about the music, not the notes.

Blogger Joshua_D May 01, 2016 9:06 PM  

15. Atomic Agent 13 April 30, 2016 11:03 AM

"And then that whole thing with the guitar going up in the air. I didn’t even see who caught it. I just saw it go up, and I was astonished that it didn’t come back down again. Everybody wonders where that guitar went, and I gotta tell you, I was on the stage, and I wonder where it went, too."

Only God and Prince can shred on that guitar, Prince just gave God his guitar back.


LOL. But seriously, where did that guitar go?

Blogger Joshua_D May 01, 2016 9:09 PM  

69. rycamor May 01, 2016 8:56 PM

To all you musical spergs going on about how what Prince did here "wasn't all that impressive", just can it.


Yes. I second this. It's always entertaining to hear the spergs talk about how certain music is easy to play, or some solo isn't that hard, blah blah blah.

And I'm always thinking, "THEN WHY AREN'T YOU UP THERE ON THE STAGE?!?"

Blogger Akulkis May 01, 2016 9:47 PM  

"It wouldn't surprise me if he talked Kim Basinger into having sex and recording it for "Scandalous" and told her everything up front.

"It's ART, baby!""

Women are suckers for fame. And the more famous a woman is, the more of a sucker she is for fame above all else.

Blogger Akulkis May 01, 2016 10:01 PM  

"it doesn't matter how many notes you play. I can kill it with two notes, what matters is the rhythm and the context."

I've seen Pat Methany do it with a single chord...
on a guitar which he had taken off of his neck, and placed onto a stand.... and then he played another one. And he did that for about 2 minutes. Simple, but amazing. Sounded like a harp.

Blogger Banjo May 04, 2016 5:22 PM  

@map: Paul Gilbert FTW

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