"When Doves Cry"
The first time Prince ever played "When Doves Cry" for me was without the bassline. I'll never forget he took me and Bobby Z on a ride in this big white Cadillac in LA. He popped in "When Doves Cry" and of course my immediate reaction was, "Hey, there's no bassline in this song. Are you going to add one?" [Laughs] And Prince just says, "No." And I'm like, "Well, why not?" And he goes, "Because that's how it's going to be." I really questioned him because it sounded funny without a bassline on there. I wasn't ready for it and it tricked the hell out of my ears. But the ridiculous thing is when you listen to "When Doves Cry" today it still sounds groundbreaking and so unique. It never gets old.
I think the Linn drum hit and the wild guitar intro with the weird vocals made people stop and say, "What the hell is this?" It was very weird, creepy, and brilliant. The lyrics are really intense. This is a pop song talking about someone dealing with having a difficult childhood and how it can mess you up. And then you got these slightly de-tuned strings sounds coming out of the Oberheim keyboard. And then there's that thing at the end where Prince does that crazy keyboard solo. I asked him, "How am I going to play that every night?" You almost have to be a virtuoso classical pianist, but I nailed it. The funny part is Prince revealed to me that he took the 24 track two-inch tape machine and slowed it down to the half speed setting. He played the solo half time and sped the tape back up, which made the solo much easier to play. But Prince always handed the football to me when we did "When Doves Cry" live. It was if he was saying, "Here, you play it, dude [laughs]."