May 3, 2016

"In her journal, she jotted down her frustration: 'There’s Prince sitting on his purple throne...'"

"'... and he’s taking a perfectly good song off of this brilliant record and replacing it with this horrible "Gett Off" song.'...  she placed the book down and walked over. Suddenly, she heard Prince say, 'There’s prince, sitting on his purple throne...' He had picked up [Sylvia] Massy’s journal and started reading it aloud. Horrified, Massy ran to Prince and grabbed it out of his hand. But instead of being angry, Prince was laughing. 'He thought that was the greatest thing,' Massy said. 'Everyone just gave him lip service constantly, and no one really was honest with him, so I think he was impressed with that.... He was better at everything — it was just like the rest of the world was just kind of slowing him down'... [S]he remembers Prince once picking up an untuned Fender Telecaster with rusty strings: 'He played it in tune by shifting his fingers on the fret board so that the chords were in tune. I’d never seen anything like that before... Someone who could play an untuned guitar and make it in tune. It was mind-blowing.'"

From "What It Was Like To Be A Woman And Work With Prince/According to a sound engineer, a producer and a performer."

12 comments:

YoungHegelian said...

She remembers Prince once picking up an untuned Fender Telecaster with rusty strings: 'He played it in tune by shifting his fingers on the fret board so that the chords were in tune. I’d never seen anything like that before..

Wait a minute! While this may be possible with an unfretted stringed instrument like a violin, how is this possible with a fretted instrument like a guitar? I mean, unless the strings are a multiple of a half-tone or tone out of tune (highly unlikely), the frets are going to prevent one from any sort of micro-tonal adjustments like one could do on an unfretted instrument.

Or, as has been known to occasionally happen, am I missing something here?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

You can raise the pitch a bit by pushing the string sideways, increasing the tension. I could certainly see someone adjusting some notes that way for something very simple, adjusting a note at a time. But not complex fingering.

Laslo Spatula said...

Ignorance is Bliss said...
...I could certainly see someone adjusting some notes that way for something very simple, adjusting a note at a time. But not complex fingering.


With his history of girlfriends I would assume Prince was adept at "complex fingering.".

Of course.

I am Laslo.

coupe said...

...an untuned Fender Telecaster with rusty strings...

If you're going to embellish a story, at least put it over the top.

"An untuned Telecaster manufactured in Singapore by Congolese immigrants, with strings so rusty, the Catholics strung up with them were dead already 100 years."

EDH said...

I always found Wendy Melvoin's "Get out of here I'm your guitar player who's a lesbian, I think" reaction to Prince in the video for "Kiss" an interesting curiousity.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I'm hoping that the purple throne was actually a toilet.

Fernandinande said...

coupe said...
If you're going to embellish a story, at least put it over the top.


The highly radioactive guitar was on fire at the time. And he played it behind his back. With his feet. While balancing on a tight-rope. Over the Grand Canyon. And fighting off an illegal alien from Mars Do-Wop group with his other feet. Wearing a "Trump that Bitch!" dog sweater, just like the Martians. And it had 2000 strings.

tim maguire said...

Even if the neck were fretless, it would still be no small task if the strings were (as was likely) each out of tune in its own way.

mikee said...

What will be the public fame and enduring legacy of this Mozart of modern times?

I, for one, enjoyed "Purple Rain" but expect it to be a bit dated a century hence.

Maybe by then Prince (and Hendrix, and Earl Scruggs, et al.) will be synthesized digitally so that new music by these masters can be generated at will.

eddie willers said...

I too call horseshit.

Prince's legacy will die with his fans.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Everyone just gave him lip service constantly, and no one really was honest with him, so I think he was impressed with that.

News flash, babe. You weren't honest with him either. You were honest with your journal, and only because you never expected him to read it.

halojones-fan said...

"Many of the people under Prince were women..."

(bah-DOOMP)