Okay, you’re Dr. Frankenstein, and your mission is to construct not merely a living, breathing hominid, but to piece together Prince.
Let’s start with the brain – to replicate Prince’s virtuosity one puny human brain ain’t gonna hack it.
First, you need to cop James Brown’s primary sensory cortex and those regions called caudate nucleus and thalamus. They control dance gyrations, and when it comes to busting moves, no one compares to the Godfather and Prince, unless you want to throw Michael Jackson into the mix – but let’s face it, both Jackson and Prince owe an unpayable debt to the late, great hardest working man in show business. He is the progenitor. Here’s some very low quality video of Brown, Jackson, and Prince on stage together.
In addition, Prince’s exquisite thumping funk originally comes from that same source, James Brown. So that part of the brain that rules the beat, the cerebellum, we need that to come from the Godfather as well.
At one count Prince played 27 musical instruments, but it’s his searing guitar solos that stand out. You’ve probably heard the story of Clapton’s remark, “I dunno, ask Prince” when someone asked him how it felt to be the greatest guitarist in the world.
So we need slices of Hendrix’s brain as well.
Prince’s song writing — where to begin? He could be as melodic as Smokey Robinson, as raucous as Rick James.
And charisma, where in the hell does charisma come from?
It’s time to drop this stupid Frankenstein conceit. There’s no replacing, no replicating Prince, a true virtuoso.
I’m just thankful I got to see him live twice, once with the Musicology tour in Columbia, SC 21 April 2004 and then in North Charleston 30 March 2011.
The Columbia concert was the second best concert I’ve ever seen, just losing out to the time I was on the front row of a Springsteen concert during the Darkness on the Edge of Town tour. The crowd at the Prince concert in Columbia was largely African American, and there was an electricity in the air, something smacking of Beatlemania, for the lack of a better term.
And what a friendly, generous performer. You got the idea he loved the audience as much as we loved him.
But now he’s dead, gone all Lord Byron on us. Poof!