Prince has not always been one to endear himself to his loyal fans in recent years, what with jumping on anyone who so much as breathes the tune of one of his songs on YouTube. So it is heartening news that the diminutive pop master has sold a guitar to Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton, with the proceeds going to charity.
Spinner reports that the sale of the guitar raised USD100,00 (AUD 94,900), with Prince also recently donating USD2m (AUD1.9m) to arts, education and environment organisations. Prince is about to kick off a 21-date residency in Los Angeles.
In a very rare move for him, Prince appeared on television to publicise the shows and announce the sale of the Fender Stratocaster to Hamilton (who wasn’t even born when Purple Rain came out ). Gigwise reports Prince saying “We got $100,000 for that, brother Lewis Hamilton, the racing car driver… It will be hard to part with this.”
He also emphasised the affordable ticket prices for the 21-shows, which at USD25 (AUD23.70) are a far cry from the cost of Prince shows in the past, such as his residency at London’s O2 Arena in 2007. He blamed Ticketmaster for the extortionate prices, saying, “$25 is what we used to pay for concerts. Then somebody called Ticketmaster came in. Now we’re showing who the real ticket master is and putting the right price on it.”
Prince appeared on the US show George Lopez Tonight. He was also asked about whether the advent of the internet had been beneficial to music, his answer being typically incredulous.
“It’s helped people who sell the music,” he said to a fawning Lopez. “For an artist, they don’t make the money they used to, and I think we tend not to value things we can get for free. If you put anything in the place of music and say you got it for free, you’ll see what I’m talking about.”
He also got up and performed three songs. They were Laydown, You’re The One For Me and, very nice, Purple Rain‘s The Beautiful Ones, footage below: