Talented Tenth

There are some times when critical thinking goes out the window, when the sheer spectacle of a musical talent overrides every other consideration. I had one of these experiences when I stumbled upon a video of Prince playing keyboards.
Prince is one fucking amazing musician.
One of my favorite videos is of Prince playing a beastly solo while playing “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” with a crowd of rock elder statesmen at a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony:
My favorite two things about this video are
1) Dhani Harrison’s shit-eating grin.
2) The sedate expressions on Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty and the rest of the band as they phone in their performance which transitions to
2b) a borderline embarrassed expression as they realize that Prince is actually going for a real performance which transitions to
2c) a quasi-religious frenzy, like whirling dervishes of strings, keys, and sticks, and everybody on that stage feels like a rock star on the power of the solo alone.
It will be the project of my life to be as proficient on my instrument like Prince is on both guitar and keyboard.

One response to “Talented Tenth”

  1. Great pair of clips there…
    On the second, Prince (almost) manages to drag the band from reverential dirge to howling lamentation, as the song suggests. From the hat down, and in a few of the moves, the Purple One is definitely channelling Hendrix/”spirit of 1968″ (TM). “It’s what George would have wanted.”
    But yeah, watching them just makes me feel like a fumbling amateur [tunelessly plunks out ‘Harry Lime Theme’ on ukelele]

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