We are gathered here today
To get through this thing called life
Electric word life
It means forever and that’s a mighty long time
But I’m here to tell you
There’s something else
The after world
A world of never ending happiness
You can always see the sun, day or night”
Man, 2016 is starting out to be really depressing. The musicians who shaped me musically seem to be passing left and right. David Bowie, Merle Haggard, Phife Dawg, Glenn Frey, and the news coming down today. Prince.
This one hit me hard. It’s difficult to pin down what Prince was. Rock? Funk? Soul? Pop? Jazz? Yes. The answer is yes to all of these. The man was a genius and a complete master of his music. I still remember the first time I heard Purple Rain, it was so different than the music I heard on the radio every day. I love this NPR story about how Purple Rain came about.
That man knew how to make a guitar talk. He was sex in human form. He was cool come to life. He was more than an Idol.
I found out recently — something that seems to be common knowledge but slipped past me somehow — Prince was a self taught musician. How anyone can become that great at so many instruments with no professional training tells you everything you need to know about his genius.
He played 22 different instruments over the course of his first 5 albums. That first guitar lick in When Doves Cry still to this day makes me want to pick up a guitar again. This may be his greatest legacy – there is an entire generation of musicians and weekend guitar warriors who are trying to capture any semblance of Prince.
Everything he tried came easily to him it seemed. Acting in everything from Purple Rain to a silly guest spot on New Girl, he stole the show. The guy was the definition of smooth and it showed.
So on this incredibly sad day where a music legend has left us, let’s look at what I believe is the best Super Bowl halftime performance of all time.
Prince is dead, long live Prince!