Thursday, May 5, 2016

More Signs

"Oh Man. The bullshit piled up so fast in Vietnam, you needed wings to stay above it." 

Captain Willard ("Apocalypse Now")

Blue Love Symbol 1

That's how I have been feeling since the day after Prince died. There are so many half-truths, odd remembrances, and just plain stupid stuff that I thought I could shed some light on the man, the legend and the plain lies, being supposed everywhere.

First to Wolf Blitzer and CNN and all the straight, talking heads who enjoy Hootie and the Blowfish, and Celine Dion, and lacked even the most elementary facts about Prince; I would have given the benefit of the doubt if they seemed to even have a slight bit of knowledge about Prince but they were inexplicably sad, and their reporting was even sadder. Yes, Wolf everyone remembers "Purple Haze."

CNN in another brilliant move decided to show the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony for 2004 when Prince completely ripped a burning guitar solo during an all star jam consisting of Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Stevie Winwood, and just about everyone else who is a bona fide superstar musician.

CNN along with the video, asked the question: "Is this Prince's greatest guitar solo?" Well the simple answer to that is no. But the real question is: "Doesn't CNN even know one single guitar player that they could have spoken to who would have told them that the best guitar solo a guitarist does is his last solo?" Not one from 2004 or 1969 or even 1959. 

As a guitarist, I can tell you guitar playing is a funny thing. Like on that night in 2004, while the great Marc Mann, played George Harrison's, and Clapton's parts from the White Album, note for note, Prince was hiding almost offstage, to stage left of Scott Thurston of the Heartbreakers, who was almost offstage himself.
The Artist and Chris Rock

He was content to wait until Marc Mann was done and then he ripped into a solo that was not only played with electricity and excellence, but Prince ever the showman, actually leaned backwards into the audience, where he was held up by one of his people, and continued jamming, while making Dhani Harrison break into the biggest grin he wore all night. A pure "chitlin circuit" move that went unnoticed by most. Tom Petty remained unimpressed, but like Prince, he had a job to do that night.

At the end of the song Prince takes that fake Telecaster copy thing he has always played and flings it toward the ceiling, and it never comes down. It just defies gravity and goes up but does not come down. How that was done, I still cannot figure out, and no one there knows what happened to the guitar.
Blue Love Symbol 2

It was a good solo but I can guarantee you Prince has played better solos than that solo on that night. Prince pushed himself every time he played, so does anyone who really knows Prince think he did not push himself to do better than that solo, in the 12 years between it and his sad death? If you believe that I have some swamp land in Florida you might be interested in.

Wendy and Lisa, or any of the other women Prince worked with never wore any clothing they did not want to wear. I am sure Prince suggested, but knowing of Wendy and Lisa, I doubt they ever wore anything they did not want to wear. He liked his women sexy. Who does not?

Maybe he was a drug user, maybe he was not. But remember, more artists than Prince have said they can be in front of 50,000 people at one time, feel alone, and then they still go home alone, or are alone. So if he was a drug addict, he had the right to do so, if it healed whatever physical or mental pain he was in. No one could stop him anyway. Drug addicts can only stop themselves.

And when there were notes on the Internet on how to get his music for free or how to stream it, I did not have to do all that. I just went to my music collection, picked out "Sign O' The Times," and played it over and over. So if you want to do Prince a proper goodbye, buy his music instead of stealing it from somewhere.

The last thing I want to share is something from my own collection of Prince memorabilia. This is one of the Warner Brothers press releases for "Sign O' The Times." What makes this interesting is that near the bottom of the press release, which is just the lyrics to the title track, they attempt to spell out "Sign O' The Times."

Warner's Press Release, 1987

But just the way my computer cannot make that "O" with the peace symbol inside it, Warner Brother's computer could not do it either way back in 1987. So what did Warner Brothers do? Why they just put the quotation marks where they belong but left out the O with the peace sign. They simply could not figure out how to get it done.

Missing the Peace O

The one on top was hand drawn and pasted onto hard copy I would imagine. The tip off? When they also sent a page full of titles of various sizes so you could cut them and paste them at your particular newspaper or magazine. It was either that or tough nuts. So even back when Prince and Warner Brothers were on the good, he created problems.

Various Typesizes

And he was a person, a very talented person, but he ended up dying alone which is very sad. But in the end, don't we all really die alone? 
Purple Rain, Promotional Photo

"One owes respect to the living: To the dead one owes only the truth."