The Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt recalled in an interview with Sirius XM (Transcribed by Blabbermouth), when the late legendary Prince had the chance to watch him play and said that he was one of the top three best guitarists in the world. Prince passed back in 2016 at the age of 57 after accidentally overdosing on fentanyl.
“I was doing this thing in L.A. where there was a tribute to Earth, Wind & Fire, out of all things. And Steve Lukather was doing it and a bunch of guitar players, and it was a bunch of just sick musicians. And Earth, Wind & Fire were there, and it was at a theater. And I’m doing ‘Higher Ground’, I think. And I’m waiting for my name to be called out to be introduced. I’m backstage.”
“I come out and I do it. And, of course, the second they say my name, I look in the aisle and walking down the aisle, coming into the building is Prince. And I’m standing right there. He sits down front row. And I’m, like, ‘Fucking great. Isn’t this great? Prince has probably never seen me play before. Now I’m gonna be doing this.’ And I noticed that he was sitting next to somebody that I know is a producer, and his girlfriend is an amazing singer called Nikka Costa.”
“If you never heard, go find Nikka Costa’s album. ‘Everybody got that something’ — you probably heard that track; that’s her. [She’s an] insane singer. So all of a sudden he’s sitting next to one of my best mates and Nikka, who’s, like, is at my house [the next day], I think, because our kids play together, like with my wife. So all of a sudden I’m playing and I start playing.”
“I can’t help but sweat that Prince is in the front row and I’m trying like all my best to be as cool as fuck and have him like me. And then, all of a sudden, he leans over to Nikka and he says something. And he goes back, and I’m, like, ‘Oh my God. He just told her how much I suck. He told her I’m not playing it right. He told her whatever.'”
“”Ironically enough, she was at my house the next day — the next day — and I come back from the studio and her and my daughter, I think, are sitting there and they’re just looking at me. And I just walk by and I’m like, ‘What?’ And [she’s] like, ‘You don’t wanna know what Prince said to me about you?’ And I’m, like, ‘No, I don’t.’ And I went into the kitchen.”
“I walked away. I come back 30 seconds later. I’m, like, ‘All right, what did he say? What did he say?’ And she’s, like, ‘Well, you sure you wanna know?’ I’m, like, ‘All right. Fuck this.’ And she said, ‘He said, ‘Right there I think that’s one of the top three guitar players in the world.’ And by the way, I’ve never told that story to anybody until today. I’m probably only saying it because he passed away and you can’t deny it that he said it. But my point being, I took that with me as, like, ‘Wow, he’s listening. He listens. A hero of yours,'” Nuno Bettencourt said.
Bettencourt is currently promoting the new Extreme album called “Six” that will be out next June.
I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG