Prince Reveals His 10 Favorite Guitarists
Image via cdn-images-1.medium.com
For years, legendary artist Prince has never revealed his music influences, until he spoke with Mojo.
During his interview, Prince said:
“When I’m working, I’m working. I don’t have time to… You know what? It’s such a drag to have musicians claim they never listen to the competition. They’re liars, man. I mean, I know bands who in the press badmouth artists they revere in rehearsal. I don’t wanna be like that.”
“I crave great musicianship, and I don’t care who provides it. I’ve got no problems saying I dig D’Angelo. Or some of the things that Bjork does…the Cocteau Twins…Musicians, we’re family. I hope young musicians learn from me — my mistakes too — the way I learned.”
Prince then revealed his top 10 favorite guitarists.
One is the icon Jimi Hendrix, Prince told MTV:
“Hendrix is very good. Fact. There will never be another one like him, and it would be a pity to try. I strive for originality in my work, and hopefully, it’ll be perceived that way.”
Second is singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell. Joni shared a story about Prince in an interview with New York Magazine:
“Prince attended one of my concerts in Minnesota. I remember seeing him sitting in the front row when he was very young. He must have been about 15. He was in an aisle seat and he had unusually big eyes.
“He watched the whole show with his collar up, looking side to side. You couldn’t miss him—he was a little Prince-ling. Prince used to write me fan mail with all of the U’s and hearts that way that he writes. And the office took it as mail from the lunatic fringe and just tossed it!”
Third is Jazz icon Carlos Santana. Prince always believed:
“He plays different guitar than I do. If they really listened to my stuff, they’d hear more of a Santana influence than Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix played more blues; Santana played prettier. You can’t compare people, you really can’t, unless someone is blatantly trying to rip somebody off. And you can’t really tell that unless you play the songs.”
And fourth is Sonny Thompson, whom Prince’s longtime friend. In 1994, Prince picked his bandmate and bassist, Sonny T as his favorite guitarist by saying:
“I listened to everybody. My favourite of all time is Sonny T.
“I thought Sonny was God. Sonny was my hero. A lot of what I do on guitar, I learned from him. I’d go over to his house and we’d play records and he’d show me things on guitar.”
Other guitarist Prince mentioned were: Funk guitarist Tony Maiden, Grand Funk Railroad’s Mark Farner, Blues-Rock musician Amos Garrett, Chicago’s Terry Kath, Sly and the Family Stone’s Freddie Stone, and Boston’s Tom Scholz.