Benny Jay: Every Now And Then…

January 3rd, 2019

About five or six years ago, I hosted a radio show with my old friend, Devin Thompson, who happens to be one of Chicago’s finest singers.

Basically, we spent our time arguing about this or that. In addition to being a fine singer, Devin’s a hard-headed debater who will cling to a position long after it’s obvious that he’s wrong.

To cite just one example, Devin argued that Mick Jagger was a good dancer. I know–absurd, right? I don’t even think Mick Jagger would make that claim.

But I’m not here to write about all the times Devin was wrong. No, I’m here to concede that on one point he was right.

It has to do with Prince’s guitar-playing abilities. I took the position that Prince, while good, was nothing special. And Devin asserted that Prince was one of the greatest–if not the greatest–guitar players of all time. That ignited something like the following exchange…

Me: I can name five guitarists better than Prince…

Devin: Name `em…

Me: Santana…

Devin: Santana’s not better than Prince…

Me: Yes, he is…

Devin: No, he’s not…

And so on. Okay, so it’s not Lincoln v. Douglas.

devinthompsonEvery now and then Mr. Thompson is right…


Well, I just watched a film of a concert Prince gave at the Alladin Theater in Las Vegas back in 2002, and, folks I have to admit–Devin was right.

Prince was an amazing guitarist! It’s not just technique, but range. At times he’s like Jimmy Page. And then in the next instance, it’s like he morphed into Wes Montgomery. And he played with an effortless nonchalance–tossing the guitar back to a roadie in between songs as if to say, no big deal.

By chance, Devin called the other day and I had no choice but to do the right thing.

“Devin,” I said. “I have a confession to make…”


“You were right and I was wrong…”

“About what?”


“I tried to tell you…”

“Yeah, well, you were right…”

“I can’t say I was ahead of my time. More like you were behind the times.”

Have you ever noticed that hard-headed people are not exactly the most gracious of winners?

Just to save a little face, I added: “But you’re still wrong about Mick Jagger.”

“I never said he was a great dancer. I said he had a thing.”

“Now you’re re-writing history. You sound like Trump.”

That momentarily silenced him. After he regained his composure, he broke some good news.

He’s recording a CD with Severn Records that includes original songs and covers and it will be out next year. I’ll be first in line to buy it, cause the man’s a great singer, hard-headed or not.

Congratulations, Devin. Now, here’s some advice. When you make a video, don’t invite Jagger to be a dancer. Cause, as everyone knows–Mick Jagger can’t dance.

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