Friday, April 22, 2016

Gently Weeping

I can remember the exact moment that I became a convert to the music of Prince, though I'm uncertain as to the year in question. It was some time in the early 80's. I'd enjoyed listening to the singles I'd heard up to that point, but had no idea of the phenomenal talent that lay behind them. Then one night watching the telly I accidentally hit upon a concert featuring the man himself. It was so unbelievably out-of-this-or-any-other-world fantastic that I was left questioning myself as to why I had no idea of the scope of the little guy's genius to that point. I suppose I'd lazily fallen for media stereotypes and vaguely remember telling myself never to do so for any musician ever again.

Something of that genius shines through on Prince's playing on the stellar tribute to George Harrison he contributed to back in 2004, in the best live version of While My Guitar Gently Weeps I've ever heard. What I love about this is the obvious joy Prince (and Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Stevie Winwood, etc) experiences in the moment of creation. Sad to think that's lost to us now for ever; happy to think of the amazing legacy that's ours in terms of the recordings he left behind (quite a number of which, I'm sure, have still to see the light of day given just how prodigal a gift he possessed.)

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