Tuesday, April 26, 2016

RIP Prince, 1958-2016

I'm sure a lot of you have seen this, but this has to be the greatest performance at a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Prince and George Harrison (as a solo artist) were inducted in the same year, and this is one of those All Star jams during the ceremony. Harrison was already dead by his induction, so this is a tribute performance of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." Many of the usual suspects are there, like Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Jeff Lynne, etc. It is a nice but unremarkable performance until about 3:30, when Prince tears into his guitar solo. On a totally different plane of existence from these other guys. And you can tell he knows it. He isn't usually associated with classic rock, but it is like he is saying, "if I feel like it, I can do this better than any of you." He is having so much fun. Notice the look of surprise and awe on Dhani Harrison's face at about 4:48 (Dhani is George's son, can't you tell?) The best part may be the end. He tosses the guitar to the heavens (where the hell does it go??) and struts off the stage while the other guys are still on the last chord. Like "yeah, bitches!" I read an interview with Dhani Harrison that was great, talking about this performance. Harrison said that he wasn't too excited about Prince performing on the song, he just wasn't that familiar with his music beyond hits like "Kiss," and didn't think he would fit in musically. These other guys had been friends of his Dad's, Dhani had grown up knowing them, etc. Also, at rehearsal Prince didn't show his cards, he played a rather routine solo. Harrison said that he ran around frantically backstage looking for Prince after the performance, shouting wildly "where's Prince! Where's Prince!" Apparently when Prince strutted off the stage, he never stopped and just walked out of the building into the night without saying a word to anyone.