Prince was, by leaps and bounds, one of the greatest artists of the last millennium (really of all time) – a title that he will forever hold. And there’s a chance that he may have even prophesied his own death, having written the song “Sometimes It Snows in April” at the age of 26, explaining that:
Sometimes it snows in April
Sometimes I feel so bad, so bad
Sometimes I wish that life was never ending,
But all good things, they say, never last
All good things that say, never last
And love, it isn’t love until it’s past
From his eclectic songwriting (of his own songs and plenty of songs for other artists) to his unbelievable showmanship, Prince distinguished himself in many ways – amongst all kinds of people, across all genres and around the world.
Who else could run around stage in the heaviest of rain and thunder in the middle of a football field while singing and playing
“Purple Rain” with impeccable tone and seemingly endless energy?
Who else would so unabashedly (and rightfully) kick LA royalty Kim Kardashian offstage because she wasn’t dancing – at a Prince concert?! On that note, what exactly was she thinking? And does she feel stupid now for being a wallflower? I wonder, briefly… (This was something I witnessed live at the Garden, by the way, and for which I shall forever applaud him.)
Who else would master every instrument because he cared so deeply about his craft, and who else would be so capable of such a task for that matter?
Who else could leave Tom Petty, Steve Winwood AND Jeff Lynne in awe of his “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” solo at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? (George’s son, Dhani Harrison, was pretty impressed too.)
Lastly, who would be so protective of his craft that licensing a single piece of his music or finding a YouTube link to one of his music videos would be so damned difficult? Prince would. Because he could. He was just that good – something that was great for him and actually kind of annoying for someone working at VH1 (i.e. me). I wrote one of the best scripts I’ve written about “Gett Off” – a script that never made it into production, which was disappointing at the time. I never blamed him though. He made music with genuine purpose. Sure, he made plenty of cash in the process, but he wasn’t out there just to make a buck, and he had the insight and the pride to not allow his craft to ever be altered or used in ways different than he intended. And I have always respected him greatly for that.
Here are some of my favorite Prince moments. Please share yours with me.
Prince – “Purple Rain” at Super Bowl 2007 – When he was notified about the weather, he replied with, “Can you make it rain harder?” Does it get any more badass really? Could more of today’s musicians please take notes? Thanks.
Prince, Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Leff Lynne and co. – “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” (solo at 3:28)
Prince – “Nothing Compares 2 U” (If you didn’t know that this is a Prince song, then you should probably start taking notes too.)
Prince – “Sometimes It Snows in April”