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Beau Vine

Oral History of Prince’s Super Bowl XLI Halftime Show

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Definitely worth the read. 

Even had a quote from Nathan Vasher:  The last two or three minutes, I peeked out of the tunnel. I didn’t want to go all the way out there, but for two or three minutes I got to witness greatness. I haven’t experienced that greatness again.

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Excellent read.  There is no doubt that was the greatest Super Bowl Halftime ever and I can't imagine how it wold be topped.  I think my favorite part of the story is this:

Arzate: Prince looks like he floats and he flits—but he kind of does. You’ll turn around and he’ll be right next to you. How the freak did that happen? It’s very unnerving.

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40 minutes ago, Hate said:

Excellent read.  There is no doubt that was the greatest Super Bowl Halftime ever and I can't imagine how it wold be topped.  I think my favorite part of the story is this:

Arzate: Prince looks like he floats and he flits—but he kind of does. You’ll turn around and he’ll be right next to you. How the freak did that happen? It’s very unnerving.

first thing I thought of was Marty Feldman in Young Frankenstein but without the hump and with platform shoes.

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Jeff Lynne is so underrated. Such a great voice.

Edited by Deej

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Here is a link to the full show.  I had forgotten how they mixed in the marching band as well until reading the story.  It sounded great and looked even better on TV that night.  The second place halftime show is so far behind this that you can't even see it in the rear view.  They should just replay this every year. 

 

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On 1/29/2020 at 11:53 AM, Beau Vine said:

Holy shit, that little mofo could shred...

Yes he could.  One of the all-time great rock guitarists.

I like this performance, because it shows his sense of humor as well as his impeccable taste, just doing a simple acoustic southern funk:

 

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16 hours ago, VirginiaLonghorn said:

My favorite Prince performance ...

There's a backstory on this one, too, but I am not 100% sure of the story- something about Prince being pissed-off about being left off of a guitarist list, but said "Fuck it" at the last minute and showed up and played with the guys.

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Man, he was born to be a performer. It isn’t just his talent, which was plenty good. It was how he handled it. He made being a super star look as easy as a warm spring day. 

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15 minutes ago, Kennythetiger said:

There's a backstory on this one, too, but I am not 100% sure of the story- something about Prince being pissed-off about being left off of a guitarist list, but said "Fuck it" at the last minute and showed up and played with the guys.

yeah i remember reading that he said he was not coming and at the very last minute he only told Harrison's kid that he was going to show. that's why Harrison's kid was grinning his ass off when Prince started his solo and moved front and center, and what a fucking show that 3 minutes was. Prince was absolutely world class at everything he did 

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I don't think Prince was a surprise to anyone on stage -- didn't he have a little beef with the spare guitar dude who didn't want to give up any of the parts?

I think Prince's solo was a bit of a "OK, this is how it's done.  Step aside."

Edited by jimmyjazz

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yeah i can't find it now, or maybe i mis-remembered. the dude on the far left tried to hog all the solo time in rehearsal and the producer was pissed, prince told him 'i got this' without playing the solo in rehearsal at all.  then he tore the roof off the place      

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10 minutes ago, Dennis Taylor said:

yeah i can't find it now, or maybe i mis-remembered. the dude on the far left tried to hog all the solo time in rehearsal and the producer was pissed, prince told him 'i got this' without playing the solo in rehearsal at all.  then he tore the roof off the place      

That's essentially what I recall reading.

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Seen quit a few “iconic” guitarists live but none better than Prince was. He made it look so effortless. Kinda like most everything else he did.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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the personification of the entire concept of "talent."  dude was just made of music.  he could pick up virtually any instrument and just "get it."  played with proficiency, if not expert skill regardless of experience.  he put out a ton of music.  personally, i am by far the biggest fan of the prince and the revolution material but there are great songs across multiple decades.

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“He smiled at us and he invited us in and we were walking and he was gliding, and the reason why he was gliding is because he was wearing these kids sneakers with the wheels on them. He was wheeling down the floor and the lights of his sneakers were lighting up in the back, the same color as his canary yellow suit.”
 

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Prince's half time show,  Marvin Gaye's Star Spangled Banner and Queen's Live Aid performance are my top 3 "live" moments of all time. 

Edited by Macanudo

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Here are some halftime show highlights with some interviews with those involved.

The production designer talked to Prince before the show and said "Prince, it's raining".  Prince replied "I know ... can you make it rain harder?"

 

 

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I've been able to get a few stories recently from Prince's in house audio engineer from the early '80s. He actually built Prince's in-home studio when he was living in Chanhassen. The guy also worked with Stevie Wonder & David Bowie & was highly regarded for his technical abilities back then, especially being able to hack early drum machines to produce special effects. He's an interesting cat. He says his favorite experience was touring w/ Wonder because of how exceptionally well he treated everyone. 

Prince was generally always good to him (and even paid him as a full member of the band), but he was also "a little prick" when people didn't live up to his standards. Gods have never been known to be patient with the skills and abilities of mere mortals, after all. A prime example would be his song released by The Time,  777-9311. This guy programmed that super funky drum track that Prince described to him, Prince played everything else, and Morris Day added the vocals later. The reason for the title? It was a big "fuck you" to Prince's guitarist at the time, Dez Dickerson. Dez missed a recording session and Prince exacted his revenge by using Dez's home number as the title of the song he knew was going to be a big hit. The message was clear: don't ever no show on Prince.

Oh, he also described the basketball games as "scary." Prince could be a dirty, dirty baller. But he's still amazed at how he would go into the studio, lay down tracks, play every instrument, and come back a day or two later with a dozen completed songs. He says he was the ultimate one take artist.

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Saw Stevie Nicks here in ATX a couple of yrs ago.  Chick is a chatty Cathy between songs, but her stories are damned good.

Here's what she said about Prince...

She even covers his love and playing of basketball, but Charlie Murphy's got Stevie on storytelling there.

Edited by Cajun

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On 1/31/2020 at 10:01 AM, jimmyjazz said:

Yes he could.  One of the all-time great rock guitarists.

I like this performance, because it shows his sense of humor as well as his impeccable taste, just doing a simple acoustic southern funk:

 

I had never seen that.  Nice window into his sense of humor and bit of self deprecation.  His ability to connect with an audience, big or (relatively) small is simply amazing.

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On 2/1/2020 at 10:38 PM, Mez2 said:

Baddest motherfucker of all time

YES!!!!!!!

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I've always been a huge Prince fan and from very early thought he was one of if not the greatest guitarists ever.    Its so funny that the Guitar Slowly Weeps clip invariably gets posted when talking about him.   It's like the first time people in general realized he was that fucking good.     That performance was good but there are so many other songs of his where he was infinitely better IMO.    Maybe this was just one of the few very mainstream performances of a song that many are more familiar with.    Its like he had to play that to finally get props as a guitarist.

 

 

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I think people always considered him a songwriter and performer first.  You'd have to be familiar with his live sets to understand just how great a player he was.

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I think it's more that most people have only been exposed to his "hits" from radio play.  I've always been a Prince fan as well, but I didn't realize just how great he was on guitar until the video you mentioned.  I just don't think that most people put much thought into who is playing guitar when the hear "Let's Go Crazy" on the radio.  Hell, Prince's real glory years were during the MTV glory days when his videos didn't actually show him playing an instrument except mostly as a prop for his showmanship. 

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10 minutes ago, jimmyjazz said:

I think people always considered him a songwriter and performer first.  You'd have to be familiar with his live sets to understand just how great a player he was.

Not really though.   I will say you have to not just listen to his mainstream songs or the short versions at least.    Pretty much every song that was a hit has a 10-12 min version with him ripping a solo to shreds.     There also were album cuts with incredible solos.   But shit realistically the rif to start When Doves Cry should have been enough for people to at least take notice.   Maybe they just didn't think he was playing everything.

Edited by d2o

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On 1/30/2020 at 6:16 PM, VirginiaLonghorn said:

My favorite Prince performance ...

@VirginiaLonghorn- Thank you for posting. Could not agree more. Talk about a “mic drop” moment.  Wow.

Like a lot of y’all on the thread have said, Prince was just a musical genius. Really miss him and TP.


Any sort of addiction sucks and I feel for any and every one who may be fighting it. 

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Thanks!  That was a great read.  Was so glad to finally get to see him in 2004.  Such a great performer and guitarist. 

"I always make history."

Edited by dcbc

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