Watch Prince Perform Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love"
On April 21, 2016, the day Prince’s death was announced, a YouTube user uploaded a rarely seen pro-shot clip of Prince performing Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love.”
Although no information was provided with the clip, it is likely the video was shot in 2002 or 2003 (most likely 2002 in Las Vegas), when the song made regular appearances in his live sets. If you happen to know the year, please share it in the comments below.
Prince’s impressive guitar solo kicks off at the 57-second mark (00:57), immediately after he screams “no format tonight!” into the mic.
The solo pays tribute to the more psychedelic, late-Yardbirds-era playing of Jimmy Page—before veering off into several other thrilling directions.
Like all the videos that have cropped up in the wake of Prince’s death, it’s a testament to what a well-rounded performer he was. Although he did not “market” himself as a guitar god, it was a skill that was always there, tucked away convenientlly in a front pocket should he ever need it.
Be sure to stick with the video—or at least jump ahead to the song’s feedback-drenched breakdown section, which kicks off at 3:23. It ends with Prince laying his guitar on the stage and covering it with a handkerchief before walking away.
The following weekend, guitar legend Eric Clapton posted a touching tribute to Prince. You can check it out below:
“I’m so sad about the death of Prince, he was a true genius, and a huge inspiration for me, in a very real way…. In the the Eighties, I was out on the road in a massive downward spiral with drink and drugs, I saw Purple Rain in a cinema in Canada, I had no idea who he was, it was like a bolt of lightning!…
In the middle of my depression, and the dreadful state of the music culture at that time it gave me hope, he was like a light in the darkness…
“I went back to my hotel, and surrounded by empty beer cans, wrote ‘Holy Mother’…. I can’t believe he’s gone….”
“Holy Mother,” which Clapton co-wrote with Stephen Bishop, appeared on Clapton’s August album in 1986. Be sure to check out a live version of the song from 1996 in the bottom YouTube player.