Friday Night with Guitar George: The Purple Episode

Girl with a guitar is twelve times better than another crazy band of boys.

–Prince Roger Nelson

C’mon, be honest. You may not admit it publicly, but you like Prince. You scoff at his outrageous purple “clothing” but secretly wish you could dress like that and get away with it. You denigrate the offensiveness of some of his lyrics, but you write poetry in your head that is just as scandalous. You rolled your eyes when Prince changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol, but when you learned the back story of how he was being jerked around by his record label you admitted that he had a point. You wouldn’t think of putting “Raspberry Beret” on your list of favorite songs, but every time you hear it you catch yourself unabashedly singing along.

Just to keep all of us on our toes, His Purple Majesty reinvents himself every few years, but his music has never strayed too far from its original blend of rock and funk and R & B. He just finds new ways of approaching it, always painting with different shades of purple. As you will see in tonight’s video, Prince’s latest incarnation includes a funkaliciously energetic backup band called 3RDEYEGIRL, whose beautiful and enthusiastic drummer Hannah Ford Welton reminds us of another attractive female percussionist, Prince’s former protégé Sheila E. Bassist Ida Nielsen and guitarist Donna Grantis add plenty of talent and beauty of their own to Prince’s little dance party.

Prince Roger Nelson (yes, that’s his real name) grew up in Minneapolis where his father was a musician and his mother was a singer. With that type of musical pedigree, it is no surprise that Prince was a naturally gifted and multi-faceted musical prodigy who mastered several instruments in addition to being a distinctive vocalist and prolific songwriter. Regardless of what they may think of Mr. Nelson personally, most people will acknowledge his musical expertise, yet Prince’s skill specifically as a guitarist is generally underrated. In tonight’s performance, Prince and Donna both play some GG-worthy licks, but a future episode of FNWGG will showcase an absolutely stunning guitar solo by the Paisley Maestro.

Tonight’s featured song, “She’s Always in My Hair”, was the B-side to the aforementioned “Raspberry Beret”, and this performance was taped during a recent show hosted by Arsenio Hall, whose primary purpose in life is attempting to be the Arsenio Hall whom he mistakenly believes all of us think he is. The quote above tonight’s essay is actually a line from “Fix Ur Life Up”, a song from one of the two albums that were released last year by Prince and 3RDEYEGIRL, and its video can be seen here.

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  1. […] Prince was the featured artist in the April 17, 2015 edition of FNWGG which is linked here. […]

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