Anyone who didn’t know or had forgotten how much of a guitar god Prince really is, last night’s two-song performance on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” was a lesson that will stick. Members of Fallon’s house band, the Roots, also got an education on never lending one of your prized instruments to the purple guru, because he might not take care of it very well.
Introduced by Fallon as “one of the most legendary and influential musicians of all time,” Minneapolis Celebrity #1 returned to the NBC airwaves for the national unveiling of his all-female band 3rd Eye Girl, the hard-rocking group he debuted on the final night of his three-night stand at the Dakota in January. That’s right: He brought an almost metallic rock band to a jazz club. Got a problem with that?
Clearly, the Fallon crowd didn’t mind the heaviness, as fans ate up his opening song “Screwdriver,” which was released as a single of sorts a few weeks ago via the new site 3rdeyegirl.com. He got even heavier and screwier in the second tune, “Bambi” (reinvented from his 1979 eponymous album), which ended with a crescendoing guitar solo that lifted so high Prince finally let the instrument fly high into the air and crash to the ground. See the video below. Turns out, it wasn’t even his guitar.
According to Roots frontman Black Thought’s Twitter feed, the instrument belonged to their guitarist Kirk Douglas. Here’s one of a few tweets about it via @Blackthought: "#Prince borrows @kirklloyd guitar, uses during @LateNightJimmy show, refuses to autograph THEN slams it to floor in the end! #rockgodstatus"
And another one: "Kirk your sh[**] is BROKE son!...it's bleeding son... BADDD. #theinstrumentformerlyknownas"
Douglas also tweeted a photo of splintered pieces of the guitar afterward. Presumably, there are no hard feelings over the incident, since the Roots guys were all clearly in awe of the appearance. Roots drummer and bandleader Questlove is well known to be one of the biggest Prince fans around, enough to be headed back to Minneapolis next Saturday for ex-Revolution drummer Bobby Z’s second annual tribute/fundraiser bash A Benefit 2 Celebrate Life at First Avenue, featuring other Prince alum and Fallon’s fellow “Saturday Night Live” alum Maya Rudolph’s tribute band Princess. Questlove will get here early enough to spin a DJ set on Friday night.