Prince is still the best single live performance of an artist that I’ve ever seen at the old [Capital] Centre. He was an artist that spanned that many generations. I have a personal love for artists who can reinvent themselves. I’m amazed by anybody who can play “Chopsticks,” because I’m not particularly musical, but you take it to the level of a person who can play a guitar the way that he could, and then play every instrument on the stage . . . I look at that art in awe.
I think I see his performance style more on a continuum than people who were 10 years younger than me, who saw that as purely novel. What he did was novel in its own way, but it’s sort of in the same way that I listen to music and can pick out riffs from other earlier bands. I find as much, if not more, joy and satisfaction from the fact that they were able to reach back and take this to a new level. Watch Prince onstage and watch Sly and the Family Stone onstage. I dare you not to find five or six things that he does, and even his footwork in Purple Rain was a lot of James Brown.
He was one of the iconic artists of my childhood. Purple Rain, in many ways, changed the perception of music, movies, and films, and I think to every kid of our generation, he’s one of those artists that you know. He pushed the boundaries in lots of ways, and the caliber and the quality and the quantity of music. He was just a remarkable talent. I saw him in concert. I remember he was that edgy kind of Michael Jackson-like figure who just had talent beyond most people’s imagination and exhibited it in ways that you couldn’t even predict. You can’t be my age and not have had Purple Rain and that music have an impact on your childhood.