Nuno Bettencourt says Prince called him one of the “top three guitar players in the world”
“‘Fucking great. Isn’t this great? Prince has probably never seen me play before. Now I’m gonna be doing this.'”
Image: David Wolff – Patrick / Getty Images
Extreme’s Nuno Bettencourt has shared that Prince once dubbed him one of the “top three guitar players in the world”.
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Speaking to Sirius XM’s Hair Nation, Bettencourt revealed that Prince had shared his opinion with his then-girlfriend Nikki Costa during a tribute to Earth, Wind & Fire. “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,” Bettencourt began.
“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.’”
Bettencourt noticed Prince leaned over and whispered something to Costa while he was playing onstage, though he initially assumed Prince’s reaction was negative. “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,’” Bettencourt said.
However, upon meeting Costa the next day, it was revealed that Prince’s opinion was the complete opposite, as Bettencourt shares, “And she said, ‘[Prince] 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.’”
Extreme are set to release their new album Six on 9 June this Summer. The band dropped the first single from the record, Rise, back in early March. Listen to it below.