tv The Place for Politics 2016 MSNBC April 21, 2016 10:00am-11:01am PDT
hello everyone, i am craig melvin, we are coming to you live in baltimore, maryland where it is deadline day waiting. more than 180,000 people had cast early ballots yesterday. 37,000 voted on the first day alone. doubling the last election. here in maryland on tuesday, what you might call a silver metal of delegates state. 38 for the republicans and while candidates are busy hunting support on thursday. the bathroom law that sparked a war between ted cruz and donald trump. cruz slamming trump for changing his tone. >> north carolina of what they are going through of all the businesses leaving and all the strikes, that's on both sides,
you leave it the way it is. there is been few complaints of the way it is. >> donald on television this morning he said, gosh, he thought that men should be able to go in the girl's bathroom if they wanted to. let me ask you, have we gone nuts? >> donald trump also telling nbc news at today's exclusive town hall of his plan winning over voters come november. >> in poll after poll and 69% of women disaprooefed and 67% of independence and young people and 70% unfavorable. that's not just one poll, that's several. how are you going to convince them that you are their candida candidate. >> when people see that i am going to bring jobs and i am going to have strong walls like nobody else and we'll pay for it by the way. >> we are covering every corner of the 2016 campaign trail with
our msnbc political team. we start with donald trump insisting that his winning by landslide and has the pact to one the gop nomination out right. this as he makes move changes and tones and present a more traditional campaign. >> again, today's town hall, trump playing down those controversial remarks he made about women in the past and explaining how he will pivot being presidential. >> i have said it as an entertainer doing the apprentice and you know how successful it was. >> they wanted to renew me for two years and i did not do it because of this. a lot of that is entertain. . nobody that respects women more than i do. there is nobody that'll take care of women's health issues better than i will. hillary cannot do it.
>> when i started we had 17 people and i was hit every angle. you know you are being hit pretty hard. i felt that i had to hit back very hard. i think if i did not and acted presidential, i would not be sitting up here today, somebody else might be and they would not be me. i will tell you it is easier for me to be presidential than for me to be doing what i have been doing for the last nine months. at the right time, i will be so ps presidential that you will be so bored. can he have more energy? i know when to be presidential. we have two more left and they are really, they have absolutely no path of victory. it was announced this morning they have no path of victory and we have an easy path of victory. i think they'll be gone pretty soon. >> let's get right to nbc jacob rascon in indiana at the hooser
state. jacob, we heard him say that he intends to be more presidential. and everything folks are talking about right now though back and forth of him and ted cruz. the campaign saying anything more of this bathroom law? >> reporter: i am sorry but i am not sure what your question was. we are talking about tones a lot. all of them are saying the same thing that the campaign is evolving and they are excited about that. it is time, it is time to move forward into this next phase of the campaign. it includes interesting details, for example, that he hired a speech writer and he's using teleprompter. that's interesting for the man that's known as the ultimate outsider speaking off the cup. we are seeing two tones. you have this tone during the victory party and the policy
speeches at apack where he sounds presidential but then he goes back to the rally with a group of friends and says sort of whatever he wants. i want to ask big drumtrump's supporter, shawn. to you hiring a speech writer and hiring a teleprompter, does that hurt his brand at all? >> yes and no. i think it will moderate what he says. he's the guy that speaks his mind and says what he wants to. having the teleprompter may hurt him a little bit. >> reporter: it is a good thing and maybe it hurts him. craig. >> jacob rascon for us in indianapolis. again, i understand there is some technical difficulties. i think you are having a hard
time hearing me. we'll go to hally jackson in a moment. i do want to play quickly, something that he said at the town hall this morning. again, this is donald trump at the town hall talking about nor north carolina's so-called bathroom law. >> i heard one of the best answers was from a commentator yesterday saying leave it the way it is right now. north carolina what they are going through with all the businesses that's leaving and all the striekes, that's on bot sides. there is been few complaints of the way it is. >> a moment ago in the campaign trail in maryland. ted cruz blasted trump over those statements, this is what he said. >> donald on television this morning said gosh, he thought that men should be able to go
into the girl's bathroom if they want to. now, let me ask you -- have we gone nuts? this is the political correctness, this is basic common sense -- let me ask you, are there any parents of daughters here? i am a father of two little girls. here is basic common sense, grown adult men, strangers should not be alone in bathrooms with little girls. >> that's not conservative or liberal. that's not republican or democrat, that's basic common sense. >> nbc hally jackson is joining us now from where the rally wrapped up a short time ago. about 45 miles west from our
set. hally, does the cruz campaign, do they see an opening here to try to rally the conservative base? >> reporter: sure craig, here is a couple of points to back it up. we are k looilooking at a new p just out today, it was conducted online looking at the north carolina's bathroom laws. their views of allowing americans to use public bathrooms according to their gender identity. republicans side with the criteria people using their birth certificate essentially by 64% to 23%. it is clear that this is an issue where ted cruz believes he's on the side of his conservative base that matches what a campaign aid is telling me, they believe that donald trump is a spousing -- to what conservatives actually believe. ted cruz puts out a statement
pouncing on trump. we heard him do it at the rally here in frederick a couple of hours ago. now we are seeing in a paper statement form, accusing him of being no different of what ted cruz calling this liberal and democratic political incorrect elit elites. >> this issue will he will pivot to liberties. it is consistent with what he told, for example, our own chuck todd in that town hall in york. craig. >> nbc's hally jackson for us in frederi frederick, maryland. thank you. >> currently, a political analyst for msnbc, rick, ted cruz has said to others and have said it since he got in the race that trump is not a true conservative and not conservative enough. does this bathroom law back and forth, does this play in to
their hands? >> well, it definitely does. >> it does not seem to be any under lining government philosop philosophy. the one thing you say about trump's supporters, they seem to be low economic classes who's been hammered by the economy and really want a chance to get ahead and they believe that trump will help that. look at what he's doing over the past 24 hours, he's brought in his team of lobbyists here in washington dc. the same people that are causing all the economic policies and keeping us in stagnant growth. he's bringing them on the campaign team. donald trump got to be careful that his supporters don't see these moves as turning their back and his supporters for political. by the way, he sounded much more presidential, i don't know if we
should give him all that credit for not calling names or saying dumb things in a victory's speech. the next day he was right back at it calling ted cruz names and not acting presidential and he claims that he has the temperment thath change b will remains to be seen. >> here is trump's comments on abortio abortions, here is what he said. >> the platform of every four year has a provision of the unborn child should not be infringed, would you want to change the republican platform to include the exceptions that you have? >> yes, i would. absolutely. >> is an answer like that part of a larger plan to move center, to prepare for the general election, rick? >> not at the stage, part of it
is now, some people will say, nobody reads the republican platform on a piece of paper, nobody reads it. there this platform is written by the delegates and voted by the delegates and that has been the republican party flat form for many years and his suggestion to change it. that's not a way to endear yourself to the delegates. as you know, craig, this is two races now. he still has to get the majority and ted cruz got to stop him. also, winning the unbound delegates and delegates on the second ballot. cruz seems to be doing that very well and donald trump, so far, not so much. >> rick tyler for us here this afternoon. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> the convention is not until june, the rnc crew met today and we'll talk about that hopin hoping -- we'll take a quick
break and we'll come back and spend some time talking about that. >> the more that people see of all these decisions is being left entirely into the hands of the delegates that's elected by our grass root voters. it does not make people believing something occurring behind closed doors. >> that was a few hours ago, my conversation with sean spicer stopping this trump's movement. >> it is more likely that the billionaire front runner could claim the party nomination before nomination. msnbc's kasie hunt, ahead of what could be a very contentious
convention, what does the trump campaign planning to say their their presentation? >> reporter: hi, craig, we are ready for that meeting. they'll make to this group of rnc members. of course, all delegates themselves to the republican national convention. i can tell you they're going to have two main arguments to make here today. one is that they have more than one path, two 1237 on that first ballot. the trump campaign is running and what everyone here is calling a first ballot strategy. they know if they don't win on the first ballot, there is little chance that donald trump becomes the republican no, mami. they need to demonstrate on these folks here that they can get to 1237. they're going to say they have multiple pathways to do that. the other piece is to convince these members that donald trump has a shot at beating hillary clinton and becoming someone they can embrace as a presidential type of candidate.
ted cruz was making that argument to these members earlier in this meeting, yesterday and that of course, got back to the trump campaign and cruz is essentially arguing i am the only person who could win the nomination and go onto win the general election. the trump people don't agree but they'll have to make that argument in front of this audience. i will tell you in private conversations i have had over the course 24 hours or so, many ways they are going to have an easy time making that argument that trump is a better general election candidate than ted cruz, there are a lot of people who think ted cruz is too toxic to beat clinton. craig. >> kasie hunt for us in florida, thank you for that. today's microsoft question, are dold's efforts to appear more presidential working. >> you can go on our website to
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bernie sanders has a choice to make and according to our msnbc's news delegate math, he has about 20 weeks to decide. may 17th is the earliest that democratic can cross the threshold. after taking time off the trail to think, sanders reappeared at a town hall in pennsylvania just a few moments ago. >> we just had a democratic primary in new york state the other day.
well, i share those sentiments but here is the point. three million people in new york state, three million people who registered as independence did not have the right to participate in the democratic republican. that really is not democracy. >> new polls showing sanders trailing clinton by 13 points. it does not mean sanders is entirely down and raking enough money to keep going. more than 10 millions more so far. that's what he has to carry his campaign all the way. the question now is where does bernie go from here. i have a reporter on the trail. first, nbc's chris jansing, chris, as you know, democratic
insiders, staying in the race and focused on the issues. the issues ahead. what's the campaign saying? >> reporter: there is zero chance that bernie sanders is going to drop out. that's what senior officials are telling me. 1800 people inside this auditorium. they just about five minutes ago filed out. look, this was a little more subdue for bernie sanders and if part of the task was we don't want you to attack hillary clinton so he listens. in this hour's long speech, although hillary clinton's name came up three or four times in pass ing and standing ways he talked about before. there was none of the heavy criticism of her taking money for speeches and none of the calls we heard in the past that have been so loud from him that she should release the transcripts of those speeches.
instead, it was a pure bernie sanders talking about the issues th of college and college tuition and back to you now, craig. >> all right, nbc's chris jansing for us in scranton, pennsylvania. we are following breaking news in minnesota right now. brian williams is standing by with devastating news with the world of [ music playingmusic. >> thank you, we are called pupn to break here. we are receiving confirmation at the age of 57, prince has died. he was in the news days ago because of an illness. a sudden illness following a concert date that he completed without incident then we were told his private jet had touched
down in illinois that he had been treated. it was speculated of the time of a fast moving and strain of fu.w that was the last we have heard by prince. it was picked up by websites anding a graand aggrigators days ago. the local coroner's office have been summoned to the house, the initial complaint was someone was not breathing in side the house. of course, prince was an addition to the rest of the music world. a huge figure locally in minneapolis, born prince, roger
nelson of the son of two musicians. always made his home in minneapolis and remained a visible local part of that community. part of his vibe, part of his reputation was mystery, always. >> he had become in these last few years, if anything, i think most would agree more assessable, more available, perhaps, a little bit more visible at mainstream events. he got a kick out of various attempts to parody his mystery notable among them on "saturday night live" over the year. as an artist, he remains slightly unavailable to his fans. this music is -- this news is rather going to, of course, rock
the music of business and beyond his catalog of sounds, is what he meant to other musicians, his influence. we are joined by telephone by matt penfield may known him with his work over the years on mtv and vh 1 and mo. matt, this is a devastating bit of news and i am wondering where your thoughts are running at this hour? >> well, i was very sad to hear this. he's so young. being a prince fan from the time i was in my late teens, it is extremely sad news. i gottening to meet him over t years and see him live. he was not assessable. he spent most of his time when he was not on tour on the
compound and in minneapolis. he was a private guy and he was kno nocturnal. he would record about 2:00 a.m. he really lived the life the way he liked to do things in. he was not on anyone's schedule. he recorded his record at 19 years old and played all the instruments as well. it is incredibly sad news, brian, i got to tell you. >> he's in the category of all his own when you think about it. he does not fit neatly or nicely into anything else. like great musicians, it is when you ask other musicians that you really get a sense for his legacy of what he meant to people and what he will always mean to people. he was a trailblazer and he was an iconic glass.
he was a shape shifter and a melder of different music genres going back and of course, he was also part of that visual wave of artist. a lot of his music, we grew up kind of seeing the imagery he had in mind or at least the imagery the producer had in mind because of the aevents of networks like mtv and vh-1. >> hello? >> are you with me? >> yeah, i am right here now. >> i am on a radio in san francisco doing a radio show. i want to say that the thing about prince, brian, he was admired by so many musicians. he could play any instruments and he literally would construct songs in such a different way,
not only his own sound but the way he recorded was unlike many other people. when they make a record and play the instruments themselves, there is a certain touchdown sound. you never get the feeling that you are listening to one person playing all that stuff. he just knew how to layer sound and he did a great job producing it and he knows how to realized it and purple rain as you know, he came up with the idea for that film which is the thing that put him in his years. he was fear less. he was very fearless. >> matt has been fitting in our conversation while on the radio doing his morning show in san francisco. matt, thank you very much for sharing your initial thoughts. this is a painful day for a lot
of people. people who knew prince and influenced by him. al sharp is in our news room, a man who got to know prince during his lifetime and reverend, what are your thoughts right now? >> well, i am still numb with this, prince was a musical genius and had his own path. i got to know him first many years ago because of my father with the relationship of james brown who he would admire him a lot and go and see him a lot and we would talk and years later with michael jackson. he would support many of our civil right causes. i remember when we were raising the issue of justice around the
travon martin killings. he wanted to send some funds for the family and never wanted any recognitions for it. he was one that did not want to make a lot about his humanitarian and activist involvement. he was very much involved of what was going on in the country and very much involved in human rights and he was a musical innovator without peer. he had his own ear and sound and you would talk with him. i remember i sat with him in los angeles for three or four hours one day at his house and he would talk about how he would develop his own technique and way of doing things in doing music in the studio. he was adamant and wanted to be in control of his music. you might remember that he famously gave up his name saying that he did not want to be owned
by a company and led the whole fight for artist's independence and artists maintaining their right to control themselves, something that michael went through and michael and i were much closer. it is shocking but i would hope that hen9/11 the shock, we remer what he was as a musical innovator icon and somebody who used the resources he had to help causes that better the country and the world. >> reverend, do you agree with my assessment that he was just entering that time in life that he was becoming a little more assessable and visible and a little less mysterious and oh, that's prince. >> i do agree with that and i kind of witnessed that. he was removed and mystical. the last several years, i saw him in new orleans where he did
the essence festival and he was opened and talking to people and he would show up to events unexpected and going to social events and clubs and all. he used to be almost one that viewed as a hermit and not in the traditional sense but in very private and very mysterious and did not want to be in the public. he started to loosen up in the last couple of years and it is very, very against what he was in the early years that many of him had come to know the mystique around prince. he never lost his musical edge and never gave away the secret to how he got to the way he was. he's always was an enigma but he did in encounters i had with him, he was not trying to project that.
that was just him. you can tell that this was the authentic prince. he hired the trombone player and he would bring in old school, new school and schools we never heard before. he had the prince's sound, you cannot say he was pop or r&b, he had the prince's sound. he had a fascinating mixture of all kinds of music. if there is one person that's original in our lifetime of music, it was prince. >> yeah, it was really truly a fusion and it became defined as his own sound. and in his private life, you read reports now and again that he was a vegan and he doubled down to his commitments that
there were changes going on in his private life but along with the rest of it, reverend, we were not allowed to see that. >> well, his private life remains private. in the conversations that i had with him, we never dealt much further into what he wanted to talk about. he liked to talk to me when we would meet about what was going on in term s of industry and questions a lot about what was going on in the community and justice issues and he never got into partisan or politics. his private life is private. i would read able him being a vegan and i am a vegetarian. we never talked about that. l it was out of nowhere he questioned me about michael jackson's eulogy because i did
that. >> just to repeat for our viewers just joining us. i am reading this, pop super star, prince, widely acclaimed as one of the most invepopular musicians, he was found dead in his home on thursday in suburban, minneapolis acrawfoco to his publicist. we got reports about an hour ago perhaps that the medical examiner was called out to the house. i will read a little bit more. it is interesting to read how his life is being summed up from the kind of wire service account that was the first draft of the eu euro. he's the most original and compelling sound at will whether
playing guitar or openly drew upon jimmy hendricks. among his other notable releases at the time of graffiti bridge, the black album. >> fearlessly protective of his independence and his privacy. reverend, you mentioned his fight with warner's brothers is what changing his name to a symbol. >> yes, he had to fight with warner's brothers and he removed his name. he would give up his name until he can control his entire career. this was a fight many artists at. i don't know anyone at his height and commercial success would take that stand. he became a symbol of that night
at great sacrifice. he did that and his attorney was with him throughout that fight and a lot of people in the music world respected that that this was a guy in the height of history took a firm stand. he did not care about the controversial or adversities. that's how he was in the time that i would speak with him of the issues that he was going to focus in and he was zoned in on it and she was sure and would move for war. >> reverend sharpton, thank you. this is a huge local news story in minneapolis, saint paul, where he was born. the place he kept as his home. he was a twins city kid. we are bringing in the signal of kere television, channel 11 out
there, our nbc station, they are in live coverage locally as local news broadcast, they are looking at social media reaction and they are doing what we are doing. they are talking to people on the phone and on the studio, their anchors are as stunned as anyone else of this prominent local citizen is gone. we have been showing these videos as kind of video wall paper since news of the confirmation of prince's death. let's try to listen in and get a taste for those who's been around for a while and have not seen these for a while. it will bring back memories. ♪
stone. thank you for being with us. i know your publication ranked prince as the artist of all time. describe prince's life. oh, we just lost anthony decurtis, i mentioned what this is like in the twins city. put up the picture of our colleagues out there at kare 11 television. they have gathering at the news set. local news in the twins city where his complex were located where he was regarded, while not widely available to people, while not a visible member of the community, everyday someone you would see at the dry cleaners. he was always remained true to the twins city. they proudly call prince one of their own.
every one in the twins city has a different prince story. as we said at the top of the coverage, it was just days ago prince was in concert and people who were there said it -- it was a normal show, well received. that night flying on a private jet back home to minneapolis, saint paul, we got a report that a private jet set down in moline, illinois and ems met plane and he was hospitalized for a short time. we don't have a cause of death yet. we have been able to reestablish with anthony decurtis, right before we lost you i was saying
your publication ranked prince 27th of the top 100 artists of all time. how do you think he will be remembered? >> well, as one of the most important rock artists of all time. a song writer and an alask actin the industry, his death is a major loss. >> how would you -- if you had one gaenre to pick and part of his own thing was his own sound and how he blended different genres, how would you describe his body of music and vibe? >> well, prince was somebody that's really combined traditional r&b and roc rock n' roll. the moment that he did it was
truly ground breaking. it is something that also attra attracted artists. prince called attention to the fact that black people invented rock n' roll. it is so amazing of this artist. when you listen to prince in a sense that you can hear the whole history. so that is very significant, you know in term s of the music he created. he could go in many different directions and that's what made who he was. >> his talent in certain years of his career was much about the
visual arts as it was recorded music. >> well, performance, of course, he was an incredible performer on stage. b but, even of rebellion and writing slave on his face, for example, you know, kind of almost theatrical, designed to make a point about and how he pursue as a role of musician and the relationship of the company, pretty much everybody thinks that way now. there is a sense in which that rebellion has become apart of the contemporary vocabulary of how we think about music. prince was ground breaking in that regard and in terms of fighting for his rights as an artist. as far as a performer on stage, he was extraordinary and he loved that aspect of, you know,
of what being a musician was. he was the guy that would not give in on interviews. but, he was somebody that once he got up on stage really knew what to do. that was yes, as you mentioned equally important and compelling aspect of what i guess now of what his legacy is. >> anthony, talk about interviewing him. that's something a lot of people don't know about and talk about the pre-conditions and where you would meet and what he was like and loosen him up and all that. >> all of that, there was a sense in which, you know, he never wanted you to record. he didn't particularly like you taking notes. i finally got him to agree on that. there is a contradiction that he
represented. on the one hand, he was very concerned about being misrepresented in the media. on the other hand, it is difficult to represent somebody accurately if you are not recording them or taking notes while you are talking to them. there was a kind of trickery to that. also, speaking with him, you know, during the period where essentially he abandoned he is name and known by that symbol that he came up with. speaking to someone without ever using their name is itself something that makes you think about well, you no know, what d that mean when you are speaking to someone and you have no idea of identifying them other than in something that's more of a symbol than something that you can actually pronounce. >> with all of those aspects. he was very funny and energized,
he was somebody that likes to get up and jump around. it was not one of the interviews where you are sitting there for hours on end. he was somebody that really liked to engage and often after you talk for a while, it would like let's go to the studio and let's listen to some mew accident in question music and he would have tracks that you want to hear. that was to him where his true expressions took place. the formality of interviewing, i don't think, it is kind of mysterious and weird to him but sitting down and playing music for someone, either you know after we are playing it or playing songs that he had recorded, i think he was very interested in communicating that way and really loved that. >> i cannot help but have this
thought that now that he's gone, the music we'll probably get to hear in kind of curated form. he has better music that he chose not to release over the years of catalogs and hours of it than most musicians been able to generate in a lifetime. >> no question and without a doubt. this is a guy that recorded every single day and kept track of what he was doing. he took his own words seriously. so, yeah, who's responsibility that is or how is that being released to us? you know, that's an opened question at this point. that's something hopefully we can look forward to, there is a trove of things without a doubt
and all kinds of mew cusicians played with over the years in and out of that studio became an iconic place out there in minneapolis. he would never lose the opportunity to record. hopefully, we'll get to hear some of that. >> of course, that'll have to be carefully curated. in the master's hand, he decided of what tiny percent of total music that he would release. he had his reasons. >> that's true, it is a tiny percent and still a ton of stuff that he put out. he loved that idea kind of flooding the market and how music is released. where you put out the album and promote it and two years later you go in the studio and record again, that made no sense to
him. that was one of his reasons rebelling against his record company. >> anthony decurtis, we thank you very much. thanks very much. we realize you, like us, have just learned this news, and everyone is organizing their thoughts and coming to grips with the fact that of all people, prince has died at the age of 57. anthony decurtis is a journalist and author. his work has appeared for years in "rolling stone." thank you so much for joining us. one of the things people are going to hear about prince and be reminded about prince is his football performance -- his halftime performance during the super bowl game. among the people who ranked these sorts of things, it's always been ranked in the top three of the artists we have seen. what is commonly called the world's biggest stage because of the massive global audience for
that sporting event. which long ago merged music and entertainment and i understand we have a bit of that for you now. >> get through this thing called life. ♪ oh, no, let's go ♪ ♪ are we going to let the elevator break us down ♪ ♪ oh no, let's go >> super bowl halftime 2007. everybody soaking wet. very happy. and one of the iconic performances from prince. again, those just joining us,
prince has died. the sudden news out of the twin cities at the age of 57, just shy of his 58th birthday in june. we have a friend and former colleague of ours from the cycle, most notably today, we've asked him to join us because he is author of "i would die for you," how and why prince became an icon. your thoughts at this hour? >> i mean, still processing, still trying to think about, you know, how do you feel, what does this mean. i mean, this is a person who still recorded music, still touring, still -- [ inaudible ] -- had not settled into some post-career retirement. he's not as big as he used to
be, but still making music. it's a shock, you know. and he -- he didn't seem old, near his end. i have a friend who's recording with him now. he's still -- i mean, sort of shocked by what happened. to build a little bit on your conversation with anthony decurtis, a man who at his peak was making a song a day. most artists are looking at a week if they're really, really on it. a week from idea to final music. prince was doing this day. i have this from people over the years, and other people who worked with him. [ inaudible ] you know, didn't -- into a race. most of the stuff stayed the
course, but he -- he -- career and it begins with him trying -- extraordinarily difficult childhood. there's stories that there might have been physical abuse. parents break up when he's very young. goes live with his dad. gets thrown out of that home or leaves. goes to live with his mom who had a new husband. that situation doesn't work out. then he ends up living in the basement of andre simone's mother's home. she had five children and was pursuing an advanced degree at that time. how much attention could he have gotten? people who knew him from high school and say -- that
personality -- because he didn't used to be like that. he trained himself as a teenager not only to know all these instruments and songwriting and develop as a performer, but also to know the business of music and not get screwed as so many of these artists do. they were like, wow, he's so knowledgeable. he got deal that he could not otherwise have gotten. i mean, the people around -- talk about, he didn't take breaks. they would go out to take a cigarette break and he stays on the set still practicing. i just talked to one the other day, when prince was a teenager, when revolution was early, he would say -- he said prince would rehearse us for six to eight hours and we would break and he would go to the keyboard or the piano or the drum and go
four, five hours on his own. >> yeah. >> an incredible ability to learn extremely rapidly. anything he didn't know, rapidly he would acquire it, focus on it and he would master it. he had every bit of being -- [ inaudible ] -- >> hey, you're dropping in and out and it breaks my heart to tell you that. but we've been losing portions of your conversation. we've been talking to toure, author of "i would die for you: why prince became an icon." we all can't help but think there is so much music because of all that he recorded and as often as he recorded. and this is going to be fascinating. this is a guy that leaves a real musical heritage behind. a real musical canon behind.
really his own genre. of course, there are all the other musicians that have been influenced by him. our next guest is james peterson from lehigh university and msnbc contributor. i guess same first question to you, where are your thoughts today on his influence? >> brian, i'm actually -- i'm still just wrestling with the loss and the kind of gaping hole in the musical and cultural world that prince is going to leave behind. it's very difficult -- and toure was struggling himself a little bit on this. but it's very difficult to try to put into words as you're trying to wrestle with the loss of someone like prince, exactly what his impact has been not just on the music world, but on
pop culture period. his live and recorded music was both boundless and unmatched when you think about black musical production, particularly in the latter part of the 20th century. the range, the diversity of his aesthetic range, the different kinds of sounds that prince was able to sort of muster up on any given record is just powerful. so i think a lot of folks right now, and myself included in this, brian, i'm shocked and stunned and trying to wrap your head around. if you're following on social media, a lot of people think it's a hoax. it's a sad day for music period, and obviously for black popular music as well. prince was a giant in the field and his impact is immeasurable. and i don't use that word
lightly. we won't be able to have some sort of metric that will allow us to properly understand the number of different artists that he's influenced over the long arc of his career. >> imagine if he had just been a session musician. imagine if he had just been one of those guys. pick one of the instruments, you know, that he mastered over his life. and i suppose we should be very happy that he got our attention early and that that bought him -- >> that's right. >> -- the fame that sometimes, you know, terrorized him. >> yes. >> he was becoming a little more accessible, a little more visible in his old age as 58 approached, as 60 approached, hard to believe as it is. but being successful gave him free reign. it gave him the ability and the access to record every day.
so at least we have that and at least we'll have what we're going to have, this incredible body of music that he left behind. >> body of work. yeah, i think that is some small -- first, to his immediate family and friends, our condolences go out to them. but to the millions of fans, yes, we are going to -- just as we did in the aftermath of michael jackson's passing, people will rally around his music. you'll see folks go back to the film "purple rain" and go back to the quirkier films over the course of his time. i can actually remember seeing "purple rain" in the theater. this was my first experience being in the theater where people in the theater treated it as a concert, almost like a live performance, the way people cheered and stood up and sang every song. musicians refer to it as get it