Prince review by Greg Henry Waters
Well, I never paid attention to Prince until I heard he died. Every time I may
have seen him or a glimmer of him just thought he was another rock star wanting
to make as much money from music as he could. It never was about the real
history of music or the past, but was just about the current trends of pop music
For me this has been always a sad situation for me because it meant that the
general public would never really appreciate the real beauty of music.
I googled his name and came up with the web site where it speaks about his
marketing genius. Because for me this was his real talent. Like his
gender-bending predecessor David Bowie, Prince was flamboyant in both his
masculinity and femininity. He wielded his outrageous guitars like extensions of
his manhood while vamping under winged eyeliner and plentiful jewels. He even
bragged that his traditionally feminine features lent him a special sexual
power. “The way I wear my knickers around this booty tight / Make a sister wanna
call me up every night,” he sang on “Pretty man” in 1999. “Everywhere I go,
people stop and stare / They just wanna see me swing this pretty hair.” Prince
didn’t just disregard the boundaries of gender and sexuality: He kicked straight
through them in platform heels, gyrating his very visible bulge in naysayers’
faces for good measure.
This is pure entertainment just like Madonna and her act. He used an all girl side-women
on SNL playing the format of opening introduction, setting up rhythm and singing with
the ladies and then He with guitar solos from him and also from one female soloist on the guitar.
There were not many chords with a few changes in tempo. He liked one style back beat
and he used a rhythm that I heard from another rock band. So to say this is musical
genius I have to wonder.But he was a fashion genius and actor or actress in his presentations.
He liked Minnesota because it was cold and "kept the bad people away". There were so many
words in his songs that it was hard for me to follow.
His performances on SNL was difficult to listen to because the electric bass
was covered up and the sound engineers don't know the music or sounds in the
I heard today that he had a bundle of music in his studio that hasn't
been released so maybe he does have some really serious music there. I don't
know time will tell. I must say his band was really rehearsed and with a lot
of precision almost to a point of being very uptight or tense where one could
not relax with the feel of the rhythm.
Not sure of his real technical ability on Piano and Guitar because he
was playing his own music and not well known songs or music one could compare.
He had a pop voice and not a strong melodic voice.
RIP Prince I know you were a sincere entertainer if there was ever one. I
never have understood the desires of pop musicians and their musical goals which
are so different than classical, Latino and Jazz musicians which has been my
area of performance and composition.
Prince could not control his fame and self importance because of his need to do the best he could. This is why
his life got out of control. Even with all his skill and spiritual power one can get out of control. He was not a free spirit because he attached himself to a religion. This religion controlled his behavior instead of him controlling his own behavior.
Fame in life is a problem for everyone, I think all the candidates in this coming election have this same problem that their words are not their own, but what they think is the right opinion to say which is conforming to present political opinion.
So the world will always keep making the same mistakes over and over again from one era to another is my conclusion.
A comment from Steve Stoddard MD
Steve commenting on our country and the Election 2016: in response to my note.
Good morning Greg,
That sounds pretty pessimistic! I have a feeling that we consider ourselves to be a Christian country, or at least very religious, but that an awful lot of people live by those rules that suit them. It then could be considered a pragmatic country, where people do what works for them. One will always find aberrations and the odd case where people like Prince die because of circumstances that none of us will ever know because we didn't "KNOW" him.
I suspect that there may be issues with wealth and self importance but maybe there were questions of sanity or mental illness, or other causes. I think there are many other people like this but certainly not the majority and can't believe that Trump, Clinton, or Sanders are too attached to religion. Cool today and totally overcast so may rain. I'm using the tractor to haul dirt for Sally's flower beds and to cut brush in the woods. Will have to be careful there!!! Hope you find some fun today. Sweetbread and coffee? Best, Steve
I was saying that Prince needed a mentor but chose a religion instead and they would not let him have an operation on his hips that were damaged from dancing. Fred (Yogi Narayana) talked about having an inner man without a tutor and many of these people end up in an insane asylum, but Prince did discover the inner man within himself, but one just cannot live with this without having a tutor a real live tutor like I had, two of them, plus developing my mind to become a strong and enlighten person, and including my reading and reading about it to understand it. One just cannot find the inner self without having great guidance
So Prince had so much pain, from his broken hips, and the only way he could combat it was with pain killers which turned into an addiction.
I am saying that Trump, Clinton and Sanders have that force mental condition like Prince had. If you watch enough of his videos you will see it for he had to have control of everything in his life or made it that way. He was obsessed with ownership and money to a point of destructive behavior in my opinion.
Candidates: I did not mean to apply that they were religious people anything but that they were normal religious people, not a Prince love letter life he led. He had weekly love concerts at his villa in Minnesota He worked so hard to bring this thought to people. He died because he refused to sleep and stay up for 6 days and nights the last week of his life. I still say he had enough of working with people and it was time for him to go to heaven or life after death.
For me, this research into his life, was a new look about music, and now I have to put it to rest and move on and enjoy what I have learned. You know I listened to some jazz yesterday and I thought how sweet it was after listening to Prince's music for several days an nights. Prince had so many things going on at once it was hard to listen to the music with the visual, loud rhythms, solos, quick words, vamps, and more vamps. so many dance routines, etc.
Extended thoughts from this inquiry on a different day.
Letter to my high school class mates 1961 Brookfield, Wisconsin
I hope everything is going relatively well with you as I know it doesn't always go that way for we cannot control everything in our lives. I have been obsessed with the Prince situation for he was an extremely talented musician and a spiritual person which really interested me especially because he loved pop music which I have never been able to relate to and he was mostly a guitar player, singer, song writer, and entertainer in the pop world of music. But he grew up in this environment and didn't feel any need to participate in instrumental music. Well, I don't know what this all means, but it means that instrumental musicians were not in the popular loop because they were not dancers, singers, entertainers and song writers. Now every day on the morning news it is just all about country music, pop bands and comedy presentations. In the 19th century the Sousa Concert Band was the number one musical group in our country.
So the values change and now we are in the government revolution and our next election with Trump leading the way and he did an amazing thing by defeating 15 republicans to get the domination . People are still saying he should not be the presiding presidential candidate. I guess this is as confusing to all of us as the music business is to me.
I wrote a book called The Death of Music in the 20th Century. So Prince found a way to get the attention of the public but it cost him his life so what is the real value of it all?
Steve had an interesting week for he was creating two new bee hives creating plant life on his farm. For me this is so pure and real compared to the music business which for me is so ill and destructive in our lives and families.
Here is his note about how to create a bee hive.
Well this was bee week for us. I bought a hive starter called "a Nuc" I think for nucleus of the future hive. This one has a queen and five frames of working bees all reading into the breeding cycle. Yesterday I drove to Watertown where I get my bee stuff and picked up 2 packages of 2 lbs of bees each, with queens in each box and this morning I hived them. I had prepared the frames, sugar-water-medicine mix and got my smoker out to "calm the bees. I think it just disorients them so they are less likely to get angry and sting. I suppose it may be a little like smoking pot? So first you take your smoker, calm the bees , wack the box on the ground to shake the bees to the bottom of the box, pry our the plastic feeder that keeps them fed during shipping. Then pull out the queen and close the door behind her so not too many bees get out. The queen is in a tiny box just for her. . So next you carefully pry out a cork not letting her out and replace the cork with a little marshmallow. The worker bees will eat at one sid and queen from the other freeing her into the center of the hive. Once her box is suspended in the right place the bees are smoked again , then half poured over the frames where the queen is suspended and the rest dumped into the box beside her. After things settle down I'll replace those frames removed to make space. The top watering devices rest on top and a cover secures the all. So with two hives to start I had thousands of bees all over the place. Here's hoping the rest will find their queen to which they have already bonded and go to the right hive. I left the boxed with some remaining bees and the syrup containers --more bees by the front door of each hive. so it has been an exciting morning.
I don't know whether to laugh or cry about Trump. He might just become the worst ever president. How pathetic. Good to hear from you! Steve
Steve and I our friends, he doesn't like Trump, I like him for he speaks like a New Yorker and since I have been here for 36 years I am use to his way of speaking. I just hope we produce a better America over this.
Here is my latest, a letter to Steve.
I decided I will just hope my body takes care of itself along with my help. The new survey said that 1/3 of deaths are caused by medical errors of one sort or another.
I decided that Prince was so alone that he took drugs so he could forget about the bad people in the world as he said.
In yoga one is taught in order not to lose it one must have a mentor to show the new man how to live in two worlds at the same time.
Prince spoke of this in his interviews but never mentioned anyone that would help him deal with it. So he decided it was time to end it all. Maybe he got tired of playing all those pop concert too with all that excitement of sorts, but that must have gotten to him too. Very make believe and superficial I think. Plus he lost two unborn babies when he was married. That must of cut him in half in many ways.
I think if he dealt with more serious musicians and music he might be still alive.
I lost two children too and it almost destroyed me, but I was determined to start over. But I never returned to my former self. A few weeks ago or so I decided to look for them again and all those old feelings came back like it was yesterday so I just stopped it. It never really goes away.
I got my money back from the Supper Market on April 27th. Since I have had so many bad experiences with the Latin community I have no empathy for the Spanish problem. I believe the Mexicans should fix the Mexican situation. Well, I hope Trump doesn't deport them but at least put them in their place this isn't their country as of yet.
I just bought some Mexican sweet bread and the bodega cashier just over charged me for them like I didn't know how much they cost. The Mexican stores don't place the price on many items so they can change the price for the customer so when you go into a Spanish store always look for the price or ask what it is.This will go on for years and years. Remember the Mexican government sold their country out to the Americans during the Mexican American War. They still rule in their country another big group of ass holes.
I love that Mexican Sweet Bread.
I put on my winter coat again today about the third time, the weather just keeps changing from warm to cold. I hope spring really comes soon.
Email to Greg Henry Waters
I watch this one scene from the Rain Maker with Burt Lancaster and I noticed what a great speaker and actor he was. Reminded me of great talent so I wanted to reply to Steve's letter and mention my feeling about Burt.
A note to Steve: what a great actor he was, in the rainmaker movie. He turns words into beautiful scenes in life. Prince performances for me is more like theater than music, he has ballet, dances, guitar solos, lighting with the routines, drama with his changing of his voices, kind of like a mini opera, or something like that. The world is forgetting him already too. He improvises a lot and not one performance is the same as the other for he changes the routines. He could change the style of music for pop music maybe, just a thought. but I think he lost it because of his illness and could not complete his mission. He was truly trying to be creative and changing the sound of Pop Music.
Just a thought.
Interesting. I might have enjoyed him if his period of popularity had occurred when I had time to listen. It took 17 years after high school for me to to finish college, med school, Navy, residencies etc and during my first two years of practice. I was on call every night except one weekend a month so I lost track of a whole generation of musicians. Maybe that has something to do with my love of classical music. I was reading about intermezzi and discovered that Brahms didn't write them as connecting pieces but rather softer solos that stood alone. Some of them are really soulful and beautiful to listen to. My favorites are op. 117 #1&2&3 ---lullabies I think ? Steve
Response from you know who:
Wow Stevie I will certainly send this note to the class u deserve a lot of credit
U can watch a lot of movies if u stop being a full time farmer.
I watched another Prince video about his music pop recordings he was just trying to be a pop artist nothing more for he didn't try to create instrumental music just music for his career.
Losing interest in him there is more to music than writing pop songs. I have never understood the meaning of pop music instead of serious jazz, Latin or Classical Style music from music history. I thought for a while that Prince would bridge the gap between the different forms of music, but I finally decided he was too far over on the pop side of music.
Joining a fundamental religion is not a good idea.He was looking for support for his inner spiritual life, but it hurt him instead of helping him.
Religion should help a life not control it. It gave Prince a lot of pain by not allowing him to have operations. I believe it eventually caused his death.
Thank You for reading my thoughts, Greg Henry Waters
Email to Greg Henry Waters