Rachel Stamp Recalls Prince Genius:David Ryder Prangley of Brit glam-punks Rachel Stamp told us about his Prince experience.
David Ryder Prangley: Planet Earth is 4.5 billion years old and I was lucky enough to be alive at the same time the greatest performer in human history was tearing up stages from Syracuse to Sydney. I am, of course, talking about the mighty Prince.
I grew up in a small village in South Wales and had been a fan of His Royal Badness since ‘When Doves Cry’ hit the UK charts back in the golden year of 1984 but it wasn’t until he came to Wembley Arena in London, England in 1990 that I got to see him with my own eyes. Prince had not long ago released the ‘Batman’ album and was heading out on the NUDE tour, which was essentially a ‘greatest hits’ show. The arena was decked out with yellow and purple balloons and when the lights went down my mind was blown. Prince made his entrance on top of the stage left PA column, backlit as he sang ‘The Future’. Everybody went nuts just looking at his silhouette. Then he slid down a pole to the main stage and kicked into ‘1999’ – it was the most incredible thing I’d ever seen in my life.
Over the course of the next hour and a half Prince danced his ass off, sang like an angel, played astonishingly thrilling guitar solos, and serenaded us with beautiful piano ballads, all without dropping a note or missing a beat. It was hard to believe that a human being was doing all this, right in front of me. The only time it appeared that Prince was, in fact, fallible came when he was in the midst of one of his James Brown inspired ‘tricks with the mic stand’ routines and the thing fell to the floor. He made a few failed attempts to flip it back up with his high heeled boot but eventually conceded and bent down and picked it up. Just like you or me would…
I saw Prince many more times over the years, and he was always brilliant, but that initial encounter stays with me as the most unbelievable thing I’ve ever seen another person do. As a musician it was intimidating and inspiring. A masterclass in That’s How It’s Done, and I will forever be grateful to the Purple One for the thrills, adventures in music and the sheer brilliance he gave to the world.
Rachel Stamp Recalls Prince Genius: The reissue of Rachel Stamp’s debut Hymns for Strange Children album is out now.
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