Tuesday, February 6, 2007

'The Best Part Of Jason Was You'
The Super Bowl may have sucked and a man impersonating a spoiled, 12-year-old girl may have quarterbacked his team to victory (by default), but we can take solace in the fact that 10 years from now no one will remember anything about the game. All anyone will remember is the halftime show. Why? Because Prince's 10-minute exhibition was the single greatest performance in the history of record music. I truly believe this.

And to prove it beyond doubt, I've compiled a list of 18 reasons why.

1. Digital lightning.
2. The medley of covers in the middle. In the span of about three and a half minutes, Prince covered Tina Turner (or CCR), Jimi Hendrix (or Dylan) and the Foo Fighters. Name another musician who could both do that and make it totally awesome. Heck, name another artist who would even dare attempt that.
3. And I'm entirely convinced he was just making it up as he went along to show off to his band.
4. That the Foo's Best of You was even in there. In that instant, Prince basically canonized a slightly above-average rock song. Single-handedly. He was that good.
5. The fact that it was raining. All game, slightly-above-average-quarterback-turned-incoherent-television-analyst Phil Simms talked about the precipitation as a pivotal and dramatic development for the game being played. But it should have had its greatest impact on the halftime show, what with the electrical equipment, make-up, dancing and fragile joints. And yet, despite the huge threat of electrocution or at least breaking a hip, Prince was completely fearless. I'm not even sure he noticed it was raining.
6. Actually, if you look closely, it doesn't even look like Prince got wet. That's how freakin' hot he was - the rain evaporated on contact.
7. Throughout the show, Prince was joined on stage by twin dancers. I am told that it's these same twins who brought about the end of Prince's marriage.
8. I'm fairly certain he had sex with them immediately after the halftime show. Probably in the Colts' locker room.
9. The fact that it inspired America's foremost football writer to write "Prince, Schmince," thereby proving America's foremost football writer to be a colossal dork.
10. Because it revived a once-proud cultural institution previously feared dead and prone in recent years to relying on nearly dead people.
11. Phallic imagery. And the inevitable outrage that always follows phallic imagery.
12. Because it involved the smallest, feyest man imaginable performing in the middle of America's greatest celebration of ugly, brutal masculinity.
13. The awesome head scarf thingy Prince was wearing.
14. The fact he defiantly tossed the head scarf thingy away near the end of the show.
15. The heaving throng of women writhing at the edge of the stage. And the fact that 99% of them would sooner sleep with this man than this man.
16. The guitar solos. One of them actually collapsed the lung of a Bears lineman.
17. The fake doves the twins had to swing around.
18. The Purple Rain finale... performed in the pouring rain. And the fact, again, that this happened in the middle of America's greatest celebration of ugly, brutal masculinity. "I never wanted 2 be your weekend lover, I only wanted 2 be some kind of friend." At a football game. Sung by a man wearing blue eye-shadow.

(Of course, having said all this, I can't actually link to a video of the show because Universal, Prince's label, has had it pulled from YouTube. The people who run record labels are geniuses. As always, I haven't the faintest idea why that industry is struggling.)

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