Five Examples Of Prince’s Insane Guitar Skills

By Scott Bernstein Apr 21, 2020 10:32 am PDT

Not only was Prince an incredible and prolific songwriter and performer, but he was a highly skilled guitarist who often put jaws on the floor when he took a solo. In honor of the anniversary of Prince’s tragic and untimely death, we’ve prepped a list showing five examples of his insane guitar work.

Now, bear in mind Prince hated YouTube and did his best to keep his music off the site. Thankfully for fans he wasn’t always successful especially when the Purple One was performing covers and appearing on television shows. Just imagine if as many Prince videos were on YouTube as for a typical iconic musician? Let’s get down to it.

1. Honky Tonk Woman (Rolling Stones) – Circa 1993

Thanks to Gawker to tipping us off to this clip of Prince shredding The Rolling Stones’ “Honky Tonk Women” in 1993 as part of a VHS that was supposed to accompany an EP-length release. The EP was intended to be released with an issue of Guitar World, but as Gawker explains “his war with Warner Brothers got in the way.”

2. She’s Always In My Hair – Circa 2014

Prince hadn’t lost any speed off his fastball in recent years as displayed by this version of “Raspberry Beret” b-side “She’s Always In My Hair” played on the Arsenio Hall Show. The Purple One is backed by 3RDEYEGIRL and the band’s guitarist Donna Grantis unleashes a wild solo. Not to be outdone, Prince delivers two incendiary solos of his own.

3. Super Bowl XLI Halftime Show Purple Rain – Circa 2007

Among Prince’s many accomplishments over the past 30+ years is delivering the best halftime show in Super Bowl history. The Purple One’s 12-minute triumph at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida was a tour de force featuring plenty of phenomenal guitar work from Prince. And yes, the guitars were played live. Prince shows off his guitar skills on “Let’s Go Crazy,” “All Along The Watchtower,” Foo Fighters’ “Best Of You” and “Purple Rain.”

4. Creep (Radiohead) – Circa 2008

In 2015, Prince finally gave his approval for a professionally-shot clip of his Radiohead cover from Coachella 2008 to be shared on YouTube. The Purple One lays down one face-melting riff after another some of which took place as he was singing the song.

5. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (The Beatles) – Circa 2004

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (See 279 videos)
Prince (See 70 videos) , Tom Petty (See 4 videos) , Steve Winwood (See 4 videos) , Jeff Lynne (See 2 videos) and Dhani Harrison (See 10 videos)

Only Prince can steal the stage from a group of performers that includes Tom Petty, Steve Winwood and Jeff Lynne, but that’s exactly what happened at the 2004 Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony. It’s not an exaggeration to call Prince’s solo at the end of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” one of the best guitar solos of all-time: it’s that good. At the absolute least, The Purple One’s insane solo stands as the greatest moment at a rock hall ceremony.

[Originally Published: April 21, 2016]

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