While I was at a conference in Houston last week, Prince died. I’m one of the many people now saying “I wasn’t really a huge fan, but I respected his musical talent.”
My wife said that as she’s gotten older, she’s come to appreciate Prince a lot more. That’s easy to do, in our current age when so many music stars seem to be so talent-free. And I don’t say that lightly, because I think there are some really talented people out there, even people I’m not into. I can’t say I’m a fan of Lady Gaga, but her musical ability is undeniable. Still, the technology of music has become so easy to use, and so inexpensive, that while burdgeoning geniuses now have quick access to a treasure trove of sounds, so does every hack and idiot as well.
So yeah, it is easy see why one might gain respect over time for a guy who, on his first albums, played all the instruments, who could play all the instruments in his band better than the other band members, who beyond all the hype, image, and showmanship really loved and studied music.
Oh – and he was a virtuoso guitar player. How do I know that? Billy Gibbons, of ZZ Top, told me so. Be sure to watch the link to Prince playing Honky Tonk Woman in this news story. It is bad ass.
Many years ago I happened upon an MTV performance by Prince playing an acoustic guitar, by himself, on stage. He played his hits and misses all on the acoustic. It was mesmerizing and mind-blowing that this guy, who one thinks of as this crazy stage performer, could sit on a stool, convert his super hits to acoustic, and just make it work.
There are a million great Prince stories out there. Testaments to the man’s intelligence, talent, and passion for music, so I’ll stop. This was just my 2 cents.
To paraphrase Dan Baird (Georgia Satellites/Homemade Sin), what really sucks is it feels like the one guy we could all agree on just left.