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Prince was not Magic

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Dr. Cheese, Nov 29, 2019.


  1. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Yesterday, I heard a re-broadcast of an interview of the guy who co-wrote the recently published partial memoir and picture book about Prince. The guy said Prince objected to people saying his music was magical because he mastered 27 instruments through hard work and that he had to “observe rules” to produce Funk. He did say there was a magical quality to Michael Jackson’s music though.

    This struck me because the one thing I wish I had really learned much earlier in life is that there are no shortcuts to being great at anything. Highly accomplished people work hard. It really helps to be gifted, but product, whether it is musical skill, knowledge, or even a great physique is the result of a serious effort. In my chosen profession, I faced this fact when I worked on my Ph.D. because I knew simply being smart would not produce the data I needed or write pages. I know regret is pointless, but I have said many times that I wish I had spent as little as $1,500 (heck, even $500 in 1980’s or 1990’s dollars,) on lessons, instead of the tens of thousands I spent on gear (very little of which I still have,) between 1985-2019. At least, I have really worked on becoming a better musician for the last four years or so. Believe it or not, my GAS is less now because I know a new bass or amp is not a substitute for better knowledge of harmony or being able to read rhythms better on a chart. I almost bought a bass I did not need today (an ATK305,) but at least part of the reason I did not pull the trigger was that I knew buying that bass would do nothing for my skill and I do not lack good gear.
     
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    Amen, brother.

    Some heavy stuff you dropped there.:thumbsup:

    Btw, Doc, what's your PhD in?
     
  3. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    History, I did my research in what is now the Republic of Sudan.
     
    Vytor, Mr_Moo, Haroldo and 50 others like this.
  4. OldDog52

    OldDog52 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    McCartney still makes occasional magic with that wacky Höfner. Case closed. :D
     
  5. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    He was a great example of someone whose talent was obscured by his personality. Amazing songwriter and musician.
     
  6. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    More Mel Bay, less eBay

    Still struggle with that one.
     
  7. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Nothing will replace hard work, but there is such a thing as natural talent for some things.
     
  8. JoshS

    JoshS

    Dec 30, 2018
    Colorado
    Indeed. No number of hours would allow me to scratch the surface of Prince's creativity. There is a small number of people who just see the world differently and create things no one else ever would.
     
  9. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Just think, there surely people with his skill who never got past daydreaming or never pushed past their natural gifts. It happens in sports pretty often.
     
  10. I have to disagree with him. His music is magical. I don’t doubt he worked his ass off to develop his stunning musicality, but he also possessed the type of genius that can’t be acquired through hard work.
     
  11. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    True, but genius does not equal results either. Results come from work.
     
  12. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    What the old saying? Genius is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.
     
    barrenelly, HughC, Mr_Moo and 13 others like this.
  13. JoshS

    JoshS

    Dec 30, 2018
    Colorado
    Absolutely. I'm probably remembering it wrong, but it reminds me of "Death of a Salesman." Wasn't the protagonist a very gifted carpenter but for some reason determined to try to make it in sales? How many people are completely (or even partially) miscast in their life's work?
     
    Mr_Moo, JC Nelson, Frankula and 9 others like this.
  14. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Truer words have never been posted on TB.:bassist:
     
    Mr_Moo, OldDog52, Tigerpig and 6 others like this.
  15. Monterey Bay-ss

    Monterey Bay-ss Supporting Member

    All very good, but you would have loved that ATK :smug:
    14E5E628-3359-4356-AEF1-83B99E4A14FB.jpeg
     
    tzohn, Clark W and Dr. Cheese like this.
  16. thewildest

    thewildest

    May 25, 2011
    Montreal
    Awesome post; if our species were to apply this concept to everything in life we would know more that we would consume. We wouldn’t have smartphones but we would have a planet....
     
    Mr_Moo, srayb and Dr. Cheese like this.
  17. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I there are lots of things all of us would love to do that we know aren’t good to do or smart to do.
     
  18. btmpancake

    btmpancake Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2015
    Apollo beach, Florida
    Interesting; When I was training people in my field of trade, I had the opportunity to train people I thought were a natural or had a *(god given talent) much above the normal in learning and performance..So I reached the conclusion that everybody is born with a talent that is up to that individual to discover what it is. *(If you want to go there or believe)-I understand the rules around here.
     
  19. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Hollywood
    I still struggle to understand his genius. I’ve heard it stated, and I’ve been given examples, but I don’t hear it. I don’t hate his work, but I don’t enjoy it, and that’s the blinder for me.

    I suppose I can objectively appreciate the unit’s sold and the legions of fans, and the large body of work he produced. However, nothing he’s ever produced has connected with me.

    That said, I’ve met a few gifted musicians in my day. They are the kind of players who make it look easy and almost effortless. Of course what you never see is the hours spent practicing. You don’t hear the wrong notes they played on the way to the right ones. It can be difficult to appreciate the work you know must’ve been invested when all you see today is the finished products, and the accumulation of all those hours.
     
  20. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Leave Prince to those who appreciate him. Something else speaks to you.
     

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