Happy Birthday Prince: 5 More Examples Of His Insane Guitar Skills


Fans and admirers around the world are celebrating the life of talented musician Prince who today would have turned 58 years old had he not suffered an accidental overdose on prescription painkillers on April 21. The late great Purple One continues to be the subject of tributes – many in the form of live covers of his well-known songs – ever since his tragic passing was confirmed just a few weeks ago. Additionally, Minnesota governor Mark Dayton has declared today “Prince Day” in the musician’s home state, declaring:

Prince’s artistry, music, and brand showcase his outstanding contributions to music and the arts and entertainment industry … Prince was considered a music industry innovator, a mentor, and a humble philanthropist; and Prince was the creator of “The Minneapolis Sound,” a contribution not only to the global catalogue of music genres, but to Minnesota’s worldwide prominence and its economic growth.

At the time of his unexpected death we compiled a collection of five instances of Prince demonstrating his insane skills on guitar and later shared recently surfaced footage of him pulling off an intense version of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love.” Today, in honor of Prince’s birthday here are five more examples of his widely revered talent with six strings.

1. Acoustic Medley – Webster Hall, New York City April 20, 2004

Switching things up a bit, the first selection showcases Prince on acoustic guitar. Part of his Musicology Tour, this video comes from his appearance at Webster Hall and includes stripped-down portions of “Cream,” “I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man,” Chaka Khan’s “Sweet Thing,” “Sometimes It Snows In April” and Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary” which he reveals was the first song he learned to play on guitar. Watch the solo acoustic performance here:


2. “Te Amo Corazon,” “Fury,” “Purple Rain” & “Let’s Go Crazy” – Brit Awards February 14, 2006

Joined by his former The Revolution band mates Sheila E and Wendy & Lisa, the 12-minute appearance at the 2006 Brit Awards at Earls Court in London gave Prince plenty of time to show off his diverse set of guitar expertise. “Fury” lives up to its title as The Purple One begins to heat up after the slow burning opening song. By the time he leads the ensemble through a soaring “Purple Rain” and rocking “Let’s Go Crazy” there’s little doubt about his abilities with a guitar. Watch for yourself below:


3. “All Shook Up,” “Peach” & “Spanish Castle Magic” – Montreux Jazz Festival July 18, 2009

The Purple One plays The King and Hendrix in this footage from the famed festival in Switzerland. Prince shreds the song made famous by Elvis Presley and rips his way through Jimi Hendrix’s “Spanish Castle Magic” in the video that also captures his blistering take on his “Peach.” Check out the highlights form Montreux: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1zXpkhRNMs

4. “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Take Me With U,” “Raspberry Beret” & “U Got the Look” – Le Zénith Paris June 1, 2014

Prince wasted no time melting French faces with his six strings during his Hit & Run II Tour stop just over two years ago. Backed by his 3RDEYEGIRL three-piece band, Prince goes crazy with his soloing on a medley of originals to open the show. The clip below also features Prince sans-guitar playing the role of frontman on Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” and “Cool” by The Time. Here’s the opening 20 minutes of the show from Paris – listen for the “Frankenstein” tease during the opening track:


5. “The Ride” – Phones 4u Arena Manchester, England May 17, 2014

Finally, another video from the Hit & Run II Tour, this audience-shot footage via BlindMellowJellyInc is essentially six minutes of guitar mastery on unabashed display. Taking center stage both literally and figuratively, Prince goes full on guitar god while taking his time on the patiently developed blues number. Here’s one more instance of Prince proving he was simply one of the greatest guitarists to ever live: