R.I.P. to My Friend Prince

Fine tribute, thank you for sharing it.

As a funk fan, I loved his grooves, tighter than glue, he understood syncopation with every cell in his lithe body. His guitar chops were celestial, but he never leant on them, quite throwaway the way he used that segment of his gift. After a decade of deluge of guitar heroes, this casual attitude was contrarian and impish, like so much else in his character.

The 80’s, MTV, the Yuuuge stage shows, Madonna, all turned me off big time, all sizzle and glitz.

Don’t even mention disco…

So I stopped listening to Prince, he faded away from my world till his death.

So amid the plethora of vids surfacing in memoriam I heard two that finally slammed home the completeness of his genius to me, one a warmup in an empty stadium, he playing piano and jazzing it up so well, so tastefully, so masterfully. The second was a compendium of covers and his own hits with just an acoustic guitar and voice. His ability to play that acoustic so funkily and sing so well was half the story. The other half was his totally disarming personality as he joshed with the audience, so funny, playful and wise, finely poking fun at his own narcissism, thus totally defusing it, making it into just another comedy to giggle at.

His purple persona was stagecraft, like Jimi Hendrix’s setting fire to his guitar it masked and diluted his musicality, made it into more mediatic than artistic — as if that weren’t enough of a conjuring trick in itself.

His brand, his market persona, his gender-bending androgynity, all caught the updated Barnum & Bailey Zeitgeist perfectly, he held a mirror up to his world and gilded it with his version of baroque, a toothsome confection irresistible to a generation that went on to see many Gender issues resolved in the decades to come as they grew in an ever more tolerant landscape, so he definitely help melt down mental barriers culturally.

Most of all the guy had done so much homework it was ridiculous! For that and his effortless wearing of Black Music’s history in such a natural, unaffected way, he is a once-a-century genius, and a long term gift to humanity’s musical patrimony on the level of a Mozart or McCartney.

Thanks, boy-Pan, for sharing your naughtiness as a fun spice dashing the masterful dish you concocted out of the past and the future Art, cooked up to perfection.

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