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Why Lenny Kravitz Almost Turned Down the Rave Un2 Concert Performance

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“The Artist” jams with Lenny Kravitz in this rare clip at The Palladium in New York on July 13, 1994. In 1994 Prince had changed his name and was known as The Artist.
Both musicians are incredibly talented and this 1994 clip of them jamming to “Peach” doesn’t really show the range of what they both can do.
Lenny tries to follow the patterns but just like everyone else who tried to jam with Prince, he just has to guess what the cues are and hope for the best.
In the video, Lenny stands close to Prince in an attempt to hear the music and match the notes. But I imagine trying to play with the master is not only intimidating but extremely difficult if you don’t get any cues ahead of time. Near the end of the video Prince seemed to get tired of playing it safe and showed out as he always does!

The two musicians played together countless times. Lenny Kravitz says Prince was one of his biggest influences, and also one of his dearest friends.
Kravitz says he met Prince in 1990 shortly after his rock anthem “Let Love Rule” topped the charts.

Kravitz told Rolling Stone:

“We played music together quite a bit. When I was on tour, he would show up and play. Most of this was before camera and video cellphones, so there’s not a lot out there of it. But if we were a couple of cities apart on tour, we’d do an after-show together at a club. It was fun since we’d jump around to different instruments. I’d play drums and he’d play guitar and then I’d come and play guitar and he’d play bass or keyboards. I would sing. He would sing. Those were fun times.
Over the years have hung out all over the world, playing together at many late-night after-parties and Paisley Park jam sessions.”

The most noteworthy time the two played together was the “Rave Un2 the Year 2000” concert at Paisley Park.
Everyone watched in awe as the two rocked out to Lenny’s Classic’s “Fly Away” and “American Woman.”
But, the moment almost didn’t happen.
Lenny was in the Bahamas for Christmas vacation when Prince called to ask him to play the New Year’s Eve show in Minneapolis. Lenny had just gotten off tour and didn’t want to leave the warmth of the Bahamas. Who could blame him? In December 1999, it was snowing in Minneapolis and temperatures were below zero.
But it was Prince so he agreed and chartered a private plane to make the trip. He says Prince kept him awake for two days before the performance.
Kravitz says:

“If you watch the video I seem a little out of it and I’m low-energy. My voice wasn’t really in great form. No excuses, but I stayed up for two days and I was done. I was like, “This guy is a vampire! How does he do it?” His energy was beyond anybody’s energy I’d ever met.”

“The Vault” may contain countless jam sessions between the two musicians.
Lenny Kravitz says spending time at Paisley Park was incredible and Prince recorded everything.
Kravitz told Rolling StoneKravitz told Rolling Stone:

“We’d come up with grooves, just instrumental stuff. He would film it and record it. He called them “mementos” and hand me a cassette when we were done. This is before printing CDs. He’d say, “This is just for you. I have the master tape here and I’m gonna lock it up.
He didn’t want to show people or exploit it. It was just for us. It was a moment we knew about and nobody else. That’s really cool, man. Everything isn’t for business. It’s for the sake of doing it. It’s about the art, the moment, the memory and the experience. I think that’s beautiful.”

Whether we hear any of the vault jam sessions between Prince and Lenny Kravitz remain to be seen. Right now, getting anything cleared at Paisley Park seems to take six court hearings and an act of God.

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