movies matter | criticism by maryann johanson
Thu Apr 21 2016, 10:29pm | 6 comments
After I got home from work, I spent most of the evening watching Prince concert videos on YouTube, including the Super Bowl halftime show from 2007, the George Harrison-induction Rock & Roll Hall of Fame performance of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” with Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Steve Winwood, and Prince stealing the show in the second half with an amazing guitar solo that is one of the best I have ever heard, an early performance of “Purple Rain” at First Avenue, the club he popularized in the film of the same name a year later, and a really great episode of the show Arsenio from 2014, which was entirely taken over by Prince and two of his bands.
As a bit of a Broadway geek, I’d like to share some clips showing that Broadway mourns Prince too. Here are the casts of Hamilton and (of course) The Color Purple.
with Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Steve Winwood, and Prince stealing the show
Ooh, I just discovered an INSANE video, courtesy of NPR. Have you seen this? If you think Prince stealing the show from Petty/Lynne/Winwood is something, wait’ll you see him steal the show from JAMES BROWN AND MICHAEL JACKSON.
That is awesome. I read a description of this scene in an article, but the reality blows it away.
I love how Gene Demby describes it on NPR. It’s worth quoting the whole passage:
It’s a display of casual, mind-belting virtuosity — James Brown summons Michael Jackson, who happens to be in the audience, to the stage to perform with him. (Jackson’s voice is lovely, as always.) Then when Michael is done, he whispers something to James Brown. James Brown then summons Prince to the stage. And because he’s Prince, he doesn’t just walk onto the stage — no, he is carried to the stage on the back of what appears to be a giant, who sets him down. Prince then proceeds to shred on the guitar, performs some James Brownsian tricks with the mic stand, and I think fornicate with the souls of the entire audience. (He also accidentally — or I think accidentally — destroys part of the stage set when he leaves.)It’s unreal. And that’s the thing: whenever I tell people about this video, they think I’m making it up — because surely, if this s*** were real, we’d all have seen it and watching it would be an official part of Kwanzaa or something. It seemed to sum up the whole Prince thing perfectly: the dude who could somehow overshadow both James Brown and Michael Jackson at the same time, and even when there was concrete evidence of it happening, it seemed too preposterous to be totally believable.
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