In 2004, George Harrison was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. To celebrate, his son Dhani performed “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” written by The Beatles, alongside Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Jeff Lynne… and Prince.
You can just see Prince, stage left, staring down an otherwise a formulaic, straightforward, undeserving cover – until it’s his turn at-bat, when he won’t let that happen. When you see the smoke start to rise off the fretboard. When he falls backward into the arms of a security guard and stares straight back at Tom effing Petty, bleeding swagger. When he finishes the solo by taking off his guitar without touching his hat, throwing it in the air, and walking off stage.
In a room full of Hall of Famers, Prince was the king.