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At the height of his phenomenal powers, a typical touring day for Prince would involve a four-hour soundcheck and a three-hour show, before he checked in to a local studio to ‘start work’. “He would consider 1am, after playing a stadium show, the point at which his day could begin,” remembers Susan Rogers, the sound engineer who helped polish some of the finest pop diamonds ever made. “I didn’t get a chance to form memories, because I didn’t sleep long enough to form them,” she has said of the furiously creative period from 1983 to ‘87 that she spent working with this musical polymath and pioneer.

Perhaps never before or since has such a tireless work ethic been matched by equally outrageous talent and vision. For a glimpse of that ludicrous virtuosity, and the awestruck esteem in which Prince was held by other artists, treat yourself to six minutes watching his performance of While My Guitar Gently Weeps at George Harrison’s posthumous 2004 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. Rock royalty Tom Petty, Steve Winwood and Jeff Lynne are rendered redundant by his blistering fretboard work – guitar tossed nonchalantly into the air at its conclusion.

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Long Live Vinyl - Jul-18
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