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The Artist Formerly Known as the Artist Formerly Known as Prince

Call him what you will, Prince Rogers Nelson has always been a great live performer. In my book, quite simply, he is the greatest musical performer of modern American music. He inspired me to become a songwriter...and, when I couldn't find a full band of available players in my small teach myself to play all of the instruments. While his songwriting has meandered through it's high and low points over the years...and he occasionally drifts off too far into weirdland to keep even his biggest fans buying his records, Prince has always commanded the stage with a fierce tenacity that is awe-inspiring. Seeing him live is a historic event. He routinely switches from guitar to bass to keyboards to drums, pushing the band at every turn. He controls his band better than James Brown, improvising whole sections based on audience response (or on his own personal whim). He jumps in and out of choreographed sections and improvised sections, making you wonder which is which. He reworks his songs nearly every night--one night playing a familiar hit on piano...the next night, on guitar. The next night it's not in the set at all--he's decided to play a B side from the early 80's or a song he just wrote last week. Every musical awards show performance or special birthday gig he unveils something that makes you wish you had your VCR running. He has traded jams with every major performer of his era--from Miles Davis to Eric Clapton to George Clinton to Carlos Santana, leaving them all singing his praises. He has rehearsed his band for 8 to 12 hours/day for 25 plus years...and has toured solo and as the headliner for a triple bill that is rounded out with his spin-off acts.

If you haven't already experienced Prince live, I hope my little bit of the Internet will inspire you to do so. If you're already a fan, check out my list of Prince albums...or my alphabetical list of Prince song lyrics or even give some of my funky songs a listen.


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