A new video offers a better look at music icon Prince during one of his most memorable performances: The absolutely blistering guitar solo he pulled off during an all-star rendition of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” at the 2004 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
The moment came during a tribute to George Harrison, who was previously inducted as a member of the Beatles but was being inducted posthumously as a solo artist that year. Prince, then a newly minted member of the Hall of Fame himself, stole the show with a solo that quickly became a career highlight, and it went viral online after his unexpected death in 2016.
Now, Joel Gallen, who produced and directed the event, has released a new cut of the performance.
“17 years after this stunning performance by Prince, I finally had the chance to go in and re-edit it slightly ― since there were several shots that were bothering me,” Gallen wrote on YouTube. “I got rid of all the dissolves and made them all cuts, and added lots more close ups of Prince during his solo.”
The performance also featured Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Jeff Lynne and Harrison’s son, Dhani Harrison.
As the song ended, Prince ripped off his guitar, tossed it into the audience then cooly walked off the stage to a standing ovation before the rest of his all-star band even had a chance to take a bow.
According to Minnesota Public Radio, the axe was caught by his guitar tech, Takumi Suetsugu. In 2016, The New York Times published a behind-the-scenes account of the moment.
Although Prince never did the big solo during rehearsal, he told Gallen not to worry about it.
“They never rehearsed it, really. Never really showed us what he was going to do, and he left, basically telling me, the producer of the show, not to worry,” Gallen told the Times. “And the rest is history. It became one of the most satisfying musical moments in my history of watching and producing live music.”
Prince died of a drug overdose in 2016 at the age of 57.
In a sad irony, Prince shared the stage that night with fellow musical icon Petty, who would also die of a drug overdose a year and a half later. Both deaths involved the synthetic opioid drug fentanyl.
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