Wednesday, April 9, 2014

TMFW 31 - Prince [of] Wails


Today's TMFW is a very short one (and just under the wire).
For many, Prince (also known as "Prince logo.svg," or "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince," or later just as "The Artist") is the weird guy from Purple Rain.  Or the late-night basketball player with Charlie Murphy (language warning there).  Or the Batdance guy. But one aspect of Prince's music that is often overlooked is his guitar-playing skill. 
To put it plainly, Prince can shred on guitar.  I didn't realize or appreciate his talent until I saw this now-famous video of a "supergroup" playing "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" at the 2004 induction of George Harrison into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  For the song, Prince shares the stage with Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Dhani Harrison, and others, and for the first half of the song they play a perfectly serviceable cover.  Then, at 3:28, Prince takes over.  For close to three minutes, he plays a solo that floats in and out and over the top of the song.  It simultaneously fits right in and stands completely out.  It is amazing.  Then at the end of the song, Prince throws his guitar in the air and it seems to float away. 
That's it.  That's your TMFW for tonight.  It's Prince, destroying. 
BONUS FACT:  Last year, Prince did some actual destroying on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.  He appeared on the show to play his famous song "Bambi."  During soundcheck, Prince became enamored with a guitar that belongs to "Captain" Kirk Douglas, the guitar player for Jimmy's house band The Roots.  Prince asked to borrow the guitar for the on-air performance, and Douglas obliged.  Prince and his band tore through the song, then at the end Prince threw the guitar in the air.  Unlike his performance above (where he had someone to catch it), the guitar - a rare early '60s Epiphone Crestwood - crashed to the ground and broke. Not cool, Prince.

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