LEGENDARY GRAMMY® EXECUTIVE PRODUCER KEN EHRLICH SITS DOWN WITH AXS TV TO TALK ABOUT HIS EXPERIENCE WITH THE LATE MUSIC ICON PRINCE IN A CANDID INTERVIEW
During the Discussion, Ehrlich Recalls Prince’s Incredible Work Ethic, His Love for the Fans, His Trademark Individuality, and Prince’s Underrated Guitar Skills
LOS ANGELES – April 23, 2016 – AXS TV caught up with acclaimed GRAMMY® Awards Executive Producer Ken Ehrlich on the eve of the network’s 2016 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival broadcast, conducting an exclusive interview in which Ehrlich fondly remembers his working relationship with the late music icon Prince. Ehrlich offers four unique experiences, detailing the celebrated showman’s tremendous attention to detail, as well as his love for his fans, his singular style, and oft-overshadowed skills as a guitarist.
In this clip, Ehrlich recalls Prince’s unmatched work ethic and commitment to his art, while preparing for a PURPLE RAIN medley with Beyonce at the 2004 GRAMMY® Awards. Ehrlich says:
“He was in L.A., and he said, ‘Can you come out to center staging at about 8:30, 9:00 tonight’… So, I go out there and I walk into the studio, and it’s a performance look… and all of a sudden I realize the band is there, they’re all in position, they’re quiet. And he greets us… and then he says, ‘Ok’, and he walked away, strapped on [his guitar], and then went through, note-by-note, that six, seven-minute piece that we did with them that opened the show. In one day, he had written the arrangement, worked with his band so that they knew it and could play it down, and did it….”
In this segment, Ehrlich explains how vital Prince’s audience was to him, saying:
“We’ve just lost a great artist… in a way, Prince was sort of a throwback artist, [the fans’ enjoyment] was so important to him.”
In this sound bite, Ehrlich offers an amusing anecdote illustrating Prince’s propensity to do what he wanted when he wanted, saying:
“It wasn’t really until 1984 that we had him on the GRAMMYS® for the first time, and he did “Baby, I’m A Star,” and it turned out to be really great. But, what we didn’t know was that when he finished his performance on the show, he walked offstage, walked through the house, walked out. Never saw him again. He was always interesting.”
And, Ehrlich puts the spotlight on one of the more underrated aspects of Prince’s musicianship—his guitar playing—saying:
“He was always a great guitar player, but I think because his composing, his writing was so strong… and that dynamic performance… some of that guitar playing was lost on people, because there was so much else. After 2005, 2006… that was a dominant part of his persona.”
For the fourth consecutive year, AXS TV is official broadcast home of the 47TH Annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Presented by Shell, airing 20 hours of footage covering both weekends, starting today and tomorrow and April 29-May 1. Jazz Fest expert Amanda Shaw hosts AXS TV’s broadcasts, which start at 5pE/2pP and end at 9pE/6pP nightly.
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