Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Remembering Prince”)

For some reason I always thought that one day I would have the opportunity to perform onstage one day with Prince. I felt the same way with Michael Jackson but that never happened either. However, I did “come close.” For the Radio One 5th anniversary I was initially supposed to play for a “duet” featuring James Brown and Prince. Just the thought of that was truly exciting in my mind. However, during that time James had made some “off the wall comments” about “putting all women in their places by use of physical force” and Prince was going through a divorce at the time, so the duet notion “fell apart.” I did, however, have the very “briefest of conversations with him” at his own concert. I was sitting on the ground floor near the stage entrance and  Jill Scott was performing. I happened to look to my right at the entrance and this little head peaks through 3 times, looks at me and waves hello to me each time. The third time I said to him, “When are you coming up to the stage?” He put up one finger as if to say “In one minute” and then turned toward this young woman and walked hand in hand back down the corridor. As I had mentioned earlier, I am good friend with Prince’s cousin, and one day while we both were driving to New York (a 2 hour drive) we had a long talk about him. A couple of things that people may (or may not) know was that Prince was a great basketball player. As short as he was, his game was awesome. Also, Prince reveled in “control.” When it came to his shows, other musicians could introduce things that they would like to put in the show, but the fact of the matter is that Prince liked to control “everything…including each and every note.” It was “his way” or “no way.” When I saw him perform, he literally performed for over 3 hours. This man had a real love for music, and he loved to hear himself. He actually “wore his band out.” They were looking tired after about 2 hours, but Prince was like the “Energizer Bunny” often performing some songs with just him and  his guitar while his band needed a break. One thing I definitely need to mention was that Prince was an “incredible businessman.” When conventional radio stopped playing his new music he found other ways to sell his music. At his concerts he would give away his new CD’s “free.” However, the prices of tickets for his shows was rather exorbitant and high. That’s when I realized that the CD’s he was “giving away” weren’t free at all. The cost of the CD’s was paid through the ticket prices for his show. To me, that was an “excellent” business move. Of course, Prince had episodes of going against the grain of the music industry. He deplored the fact that he didn’t outright “own his own music” and at one point that made him change his name from Prince to some sort of symbol that no one knew how to pronounce. Eventually Prince got his name back, but he took a lot of his songs “off” of Youtube. I am not sure of his rationale for doing so but if you try to find a lot of his music on Youtube you won’t see it there. Chalk that up to yet another one of Prince’s business moves. No matter what you may think of him, the one thing you “have to say” was that he became extremely “successful.” We lost a real icon in the music industry, and no one put on a show like he did. May he rest eternally in God’s hands. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer. Here is an interview with Prince:


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