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PRINCE........the whole truth - ANDRE CYMONE


Andre Cymone interview from 1998

Some of you may have seen this, but I'm sure there are those who have not.
I found this on, first posted by Bart Van Hemelen. Andre's girl group the girls were put together before Vanity 6? Andre dated Vanity before prince? Rick James pointed a pop gun/starter pistol at him? Andre came up with the whole zoot suit Cool for the time from watching a guy on French TV? Morris said in a 2004 Tavis Smiley interview that Prince came up with it. Well I think Kid Creole from Kid Creole and the Coconuts was doing the Morris Day thing long before Prince even got a record deal. Now that I think about it, from the description Andre gives in the interview, the zoot suit,the women and the Bas-Nova music. I think he was talking about Kid Creole.

I wish the interviewer would have asked him about the rebels project. Gayle Chapman talked about in a interview once.

Bart Van Hemelen Feb 7 2003, 12:55 am show options

From: Bart Van Hemelen - Find messages by this author
Date: Fri, 07 Feb 2003 02:30:17 +0100
Local: Thurs, Feb 6 2003 9:30 pm
Subject: André Cymone interview from KPFA Radio October 31, 1998 San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area
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Digging through some old files...

This was posted waaaaay back on the great Prince/ Family
newsletter website...


André Cymone Interview

KPFA Radio October 31, 1998 San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area

"G-Spot" - KPFA disc jockey

(Thanks to Cecilia Vasquez for the transcription)

G-Spot: Now "Purple Rain" was all about how Prince finally ran away,
so to speak, but in real life when he ran away, he kind of found a
home with your family right?

Andre Cymone: Oh yeah. Actually, the movie wasn'tÉ it was a very good
movie but it wasn't really done close to any kind of truth. It was
kind of a fictional thing, you know a good story, and it was loosely
based on the truth. But yeah, 'cause he came and lived with us and I
think actually my mother adopted him and he lived with our family for
a while and that's kinda how that went.

G: Your mom's name is Bernadette and your dad's name is Fred right?

AC: You got that right! (laughs)

G: Moms, yeah! They say at those moments in time that you and Prince
were like kind of learning the instruments down in the basement.

AC: Yeah, pretty much, 'cause see I kind of learned a little bit
beforeÉwe both knew how to play a lot of things before we actually met
each other for the second time, 'cause we had met each other when we
were really young but we met again when we moved up. We used to live
in the projects, moved up from the projects into kind of an upper
class Black neighborhood and I met him and some other friends of mine
up there. So we rehearsed in my mom's basement and we got a chance to
develop and learn through that whole situation.

G: Man, there's rumorsÉ you know those were the days that you were
getting women in the basement. I mean do you wanna even talk about
that or does it speak for itself?

AC: You know (laughs) when you're young you do what you gotta do.
'Cause it's about having some fun, it's a growing thing.

G: You guys were youngsters.

AC: Oh yeah, we were having fun. But the thing is, I wouldn't really
want to promote any kind of negative things in terms of sexuality to
kids 'cause there's a price to pay for that wild freedom that you
have. And the thing about my situation is that my mother was going
through an interesting period in her time herself, so she gave us a
lot of freedom. Not only was Prince there at my house but Morris and a
lot of other people, some other friends came and you know how in the
neighborhood there's always one house that everybody kind of comes to
and hangs out at? That was my crib.

G: Kind of like the clubhouse.

AC: Yeah, everybody came to my crib 'cause we could rehearse there and
my mom was totally cool. She wasn't trying to sweat us about making
the noise, she wasn't sweating us about having girlfriends, you
know,even when we were 14, 15 years old. So she was cool, so we had

G: Speaking of the rehearsing, you guys eventually just formed a band
right then and there and started going to high schools, YMCAs.

AC: Yeah.

G: What were those like, 'cause that was kind of your first time in
front of a little audience. You probably had a lot of people that you
knew but was it scary for you, intimidating or what?

AC: You know the interesting thing is, it wasn't scary at all for us.
I mean the cool thing about us, I think 'cause we had a little
four-piece band at the time, so playing and performing was something
that was in everybody's blood. I know it was in mine and I know it was
in Prince's. Morris wasn't in the band at the time but my sister was
in the band. It was a very kind of small situation. In fact, I'm sure
you're hip to Flyte Tyme, that whole situation.

G: Oh yeah, with Jam and Lewis in that group.

AC: Right, but originally there was only Terry Lewis. Jimmy Jam came
in til later. But we had a battle of the bands. It's interesting,
'cause at the time they were much older than we were and at the time
they had all this really, really nice equipment. Just big amplifiers,
nice guitars, they had a horn section and they had this guitar player
that was rich so he had like a wah-wah pedal and all this other kind
of cool stuff. We didn't have nothing! It was just me, Prince, a
drummer, and a percussionist, you know, and everybody laughed at us
when we came up and thought that we were gonna lose and all that kind
of stuff. You know, we had all this really bad equipment, it didn't
have any paint on it. So we went up to them (wimpy voice) "You guys,
can we like play on your stuff, man? You know, we promise we ain't
gonna break it." So it was like, "Yeah, yeah go ahead." It was like
letting the little kids, yeah let them go ahead. Man we turned it out!
People came back. People were leaving and they came back and we won
the battle of the bands and we played the rest of the night. Yeah,
that was fun. The only problem was that Prince's cousin was our

G: His name was Chaz, right?

AC: Right, right! You did your homework! So when they announced the
name of the winner, we thought we lost. You know his name is Chaz but
his real name is Charles, so when they announced the winner, they
announced, "The winner is Charles' Cousin and Friends" and we all
looked at each other and thought we lost, 'cause our band's name was
like Soul Explosion at the time. So it was like Charles' Cousin and
Friends and we looked at each other and we looked at him and he was
all excited: "We won, we won!!" We were like, "Man, when did you
change the band's name?" (laughs) Well, you know...

G: And once again the band's name changed again, was it Grand Central
in '74?

AC: Yeah, it wound up being Grand Central 'cause we went through some
changes. It was like Soul Explosion, that was like my whole thing,
then it was obviously Charles' Cousin and Friends (laughs), that was
his cousin's thing, he just thought Sly and the Family Stone, you know
Charles' Cousin and Friends. But it changed again, it went to Grand
Central which is something I think Prince came up with 'cause he was
really into Grand Funk Railroad.

G: And you guys changed the name, was it because of Grand Central
Station. Is that why you guys changed the name to Champagne?

AC: Yeah, exactly. 'Cause they came along afterward and everybody said
we were trying to copy them and it's like no, no, no, we're not trying
to copy anybody. So we changed it, plus I think right around that time
Prince had split, he had gotten a solo deal with Warner Brothers. So
he split and we just changed the name. We actually changed the name
before he split but, you know, it wound up being Champagne when he was
out of the band.

G: But tell me about these early days, in 1977, because I understand
there's a recording right now that's called "94 East Minneapolis
Genius." It features you and Pepe Willie and who is that exactly?

AC: You know, it's an interesting little story and I'll tell it to you
and your listeners 'cause it's funny. Back then they wanted us to
record for Little Anthony and the Imperials. They wanted Prince and
myself to do some tracks for them so they flew us out, I think a guy
named Troy Sylvester was the producer, flew us out to New York and put
us up in a really nice hotel. And we were out there and we came up
with some songs. We came up with a bunch of songs, actually, some
things that wound up coming out on a lot of stuff. I know there was
one that came out on Chaka Khan's that's (singing) "Chaka Khan, Chaka
Khan", I think it's called "I Feel For You". That was originally done
for that project. I think there was a song called "With You" that was
done in New York. It wasn't really for that project, it was done at
the same time "Do Me Baby" was done. There were a lot of songs that
were done at that time period but we got stranded in New York, 'cause
obviously the producer didn't pay the hotel bill so Prince and myself
kind of got booted out of the hotel. So we were wandering around New
York cold, cause it was cold out. So we ran across a friend of mine,
one of my high school buddies and luckily I was able to get some cash
from him and we got a hotel and we were cool for the rest of the stay.

G: Tell me about this song "Just Another Sucker". You've on bass. I
mean those were early sessions for you right?

AC: Yeah, those were really early. We were, what was happening was
Pepe was trying to get a solo deal himself. He had himself and two
girls and they were doing a group thing and so they just had us sit in
and just do session stuff. We were just trying to make some money,
never knew that they were gonna wind up coming out on any kind of
bootleg thing, but my thing is, anyway a brother can make some money,
you know, he's got my blessing, 'cause I know how rough it can be
sometimes trying to make some money, so...

G: We're you surprised when this came out, I mean all of sudden it
came out of nowhere and you said "Wow, I didn't know this was ever
going to be released?"

AC: Yeah, I had no idea this was gonna be released. You know I was
playing at the time so anytime I strap my bass on or started playing,
I'm hoping people are gonna hear it. So I'm trying to play my best and
I'm not embarrassed about anything that I ever do. I mean if it comes
out 20 years from now, 50 years from now, I'm still going to be proud
of it, 'cause I know I was playing from the heart. That's what it's
all about.

G: Were you there for Prince's "For You" album, the very first album?

AC: Yeah, I was there when it was being cut, was involved in the whole
situation. Did it in San Francisco in the Record Plant in Sausalito.

G: Owen Husney had a place out here right?

AC: In San Francisco? Actually it wasn't his place, it was the record
company's. They rented a place in Corta Madera I guess, I'm not real
familiar with that area. I remember, 'cause we didn't have a driver's
license but we were driving anyway.

G: All these songs in here, on this album credits, it says that he did
everything. I mean would you say that? Did he pretty much play
everything, play every instrument for this album?

AC: Actually, he pretty much did. I'd have to say he pretty much
played everything. You know there was a little bit here and there, but
for the most part he played everything and I wouldn't want to take any
credit from what he did 'cause I think he did a great job and I was
right there. So it's pretty true to what it says, you know, performed,
played, produced and all that kind of stuff by Prince.

G: In 1979, he came out with the "Prince" album. Were you more
involved in this record?

AC: A little bit. I think I played and sang on that one a little bit
more than I actually got credit but it wasn't credited in the way of I
did this or I did that but it was credited, I think, "Heaven sent
help" or something like that.

G: So Prince pretty much kept in touch with you and played everything
and used you for the tour.

AC: UhhhÉI played a little bit here and there. You know a lot of times
what happens, 'cause I know there's a lot of rumors saying that I did
this and I played that, but what happened was that he had a recording
studio and we'd have a lot of jam sessions, and sometimes you jam and
a song would come out of it, right? And you wouldn't know for sure
whether you played bass on it or not because it was a jam session when
you went in. When he got through it wound up being a song, so you'd
hear the song later and you'd go, "Wait a minute, that sounds like..."
you know, but you were never quite sure because my bass style and his
bass style is a lot alike. It's like my guitar style and his guitar
style is a lot alike. Obviously I played bass a lot longer than he did
and he kind of picked up how I play bass and he played guitar a lot
longer that I did, so I kind of picked up his style of guitar from
playing back and forth, so I mean when you hear us play, it sounds a
lot alike, whether I'm playing bass or whether he's playing bass or
I'm playing guitar or he's playing guitar. So it got kind of hard to
tell, so I really didn't want to say, "Oh, I did this or I did that,"
because it reallyÉ see my thing is, I do my thing and get credit for
it, so I'm not trying to get credit for anything I didn't do. By the
same token, if I did it, really only he knows for sure and I'm sure he
wouldn't try to like not give me credit (little louder) now would he?

G: Naw, he wouldn't at all. We just wanted to know, man, 'cause we
always wondered. (laughs) Now do you remember the Rick James tour,
first big giant tour right?

AC: Oh yeah. We had a lot of big giant tours but I think that was the
first one. Yeah, I remember that. That was a good gig. I know I had a
little fallout with Rick right before that gig 'cause he pointed a bop
gun at me (laughs). I think that's what it was, no, what was itÉ love
gun, what was the thing he had?

G: Yeah, love gun.

AC: Right, he pointed that thing at me and that thing shot stuff out
and I'm like, "Listen brother, don't point guns (laughs), you don't
point guns at brothers. But anyways, we worked that out and everything
was cool.

G: And during that time, it's actually in print, that he talked about
Prince saying that he was mentally unstable and kind of weird, right?
He was quoted as saying that.

AC: I wouldn't be surprised, but that wouldn't be cool for him to make
a statement like that. I mean, far be it for him or really anybody
else in the music business to call someone unstable. I mean, 'cause
this is a pretty wacky business. I mean, it's a little strange anyway,
so for him to call somebody strange, 'cause that's what this is all
about, it's about being unique and being different. So I think that
anybody calling somebody strange in this business, sounds like a
little bit of jealousy and you should leave that alone. You can lose
fans like that.

G: For "Dirty Mind," were you more involved in the record or was it
once again Prince just coming through with these jams and having you
come through later?

AC: You know it's really hard to say 'cause when you say was I
involved, 'cause when you think about all of the stuff that you're
naming, I'm always there. I'm always making music and I'm always
involved. What winds up being on tape is all influenced by everybody
around you and when you listen to stuff, especially when you have
really talented people around you and obviously I'm not trying to toot
anyone's horn but I think I've got some talent and I think that a lot
of people around had talent, so I think you're influenced by your
surroundings. So I definitely hear a lot of things that I do in some
of the music and then I definitely, specifically play on certain
songs. So I mean, I think I'm definitely involved, but I think,once
again for the most part he played it all and did his thing and he's
really great at it.

G: And you guys on stage, outrageous! Started wearing like underwear
on stage, zebra striped and a little bit of everything else. I mean
you were first doing that right?

AC: Yeah, well actually how that worked out was we did our very first
gig at the Roxy here in Los Angeles and it really wasn't underwear but
I used to wear clear pants. I don't know if you've ever seen the Dick
Clark thing, any of the early stuff. I was wearing clear pants but
under the clear pants I couldn't be naked so I had to wear some black
underwear. So people just assumed I had black underwear on, you know
if you saw from a distance it looked like I was just somebody standing
up here in his underwear. But what happened was, his management --
'cause the girls were screaming and they were trying to tear my clear
pants off (laughs) -- and it was like, "Hey man, this is Prince's
thing," and I'm like I didn't care if I was in the band or not 'cause
me and Prince were really tight, so it's like, "Look man, I'm going to
do what I want. If I can't do what I want then I don't want to be in
this band." So they couldn't stop me from doing what I wanted to do so
they came and tried to say, "Well, why don't you try to wear some
different stuff?" and I'm like, "You know what, later for this gig,"
and they're like, "Ah, no. Ok, just wear what you want." So the second
gig, 'cause we did two gigs that night, the first show and the second
show. For the second show he came out, he had on some like underwear
(laughs). Just straight underwear! There were no clear pants (laughs).
So that's how that whole thing started. So it wasn't long after that
that I stopped wearingÉ 'cause after a while, if one person kind of
has that vibe, it's cool. With two people then it starts turning into
the Chip n' Dale thing, so I put some pants back on and let him have
the thing and it was his thing after that.

G: You were kind of known for wearing jeans, right?

AC: Yeah, I kind of went into the whole tore-up jean thing and you
know, just doing something different. I really don't like toÉ I'm one
of those kinds of people, I'm a nonconformist. I don't like to be like
anything else which is why I'm always doing (laughs) strange stuff.

G: You guys were real free with your bodies and free with your music.
That's what it just seemed like. You guys were free.

AC: That's what it's about, man. You don't break new ground by being
anything other than free. If you start trying to constrain yourself or
fit into some kind of box, you're really notÉ if you're talented and
you're born with talent, your talent is not seeing the light of day.
You have to be true to your talent. It's a gift and if you're not true
to it, you're liable to get it taken away. So you need to just express

G: During this tour you were going to New York, Paris. Were those
tours great, going to like Europe and receiving that crowd?

AC: Well, you got to understand, man, I'm from the projects (laughs).
So a brother from the projects in Paris? (laughs) That's like a lovely
experience. I mean it was great. I unfortunately got a hold of some
serious strange, I mean they have like hash bars and things like that.
We were in Amsterdam and I ran into these girls and they hooked me up
with I guess hash or something like that. I never had that before but
it completely made me like, I was a little disorientated for a couple
of days. But it was cool. Obviously all after the gig, 'cause I don't
believe in performing in altered states of minds or anything like
that. I try to keep a clear head about myself. I mean after the gig we
did go and party. So I wound up staying in Paris a little extra. I
stayed there a couple weeks after the gig.

G: When you started pursuing your solo career, did you use the
experience you saw from Warner Brothers?

AC: After I split the group, 'cause that last tour I did we kind of
had a fallout because there was a problem about a couple of songs and
things like that. I was like, "You know what, I don't wanna hassle
about this song. Take the song (laughs). Take the credit, I don't
care. I'll write some other songs," and so I split the group. So he
was trying to do this European tour and trying to do Saturday Night
Live and at the time we used to be really close, 'cause obviously he
was adopted by my family and all that kind of stuff. So he went to my
mom and said, "Listen, why don't you talk him into doing this gig.
It's really important, blah, blah, blah." So my mom said, "Why don't
you do it. He's like a brother to you. You should do it." So I'm like
cool. I said, "I'm gonna do it but you gotta pay me some more money,"
'cause I was only getting a couple hundred dollars, right , and so he
made a big deal about me asking for more money. So I was like, "You
know what, never mind. I'll do it for free." So I did it for free but
when I came back (whispers) I was broke! (laughs) So I had to really
get my hustle on. So I wrote some letters to Columbia and sent them
some demo tapes and that whole thing and pretty much got it on myself.
I also hooked up with Owen Husney and had him make some calls on my
behalf as well. And once he called and got some connections happening
I had him become my manager as well.

G: In the video "Uptown" there's this part where you push Prince out
the way and take lead vocals. What was that about?

AC: Well you know, liveÉ we used to, the cool thing about playing in a
band with somebody that you're really cool with like me and Prince
playing together is because we really know each other like brothers so
it's like, "Move man (laughs), I'm singing this verse." Or he would
just come and grab me by my shirt and pull me up to a microphone or
something. Now normally, if somebody grabs me by my shirt, it's on.
But when you're really close, these kinds of things become petty. It's
just fun, 'cause performing should be fun and you should have that. It
should be loose. I really like seeing some of the groups that are
performing now. The one thing I like about Wu Tang and some of those
groups is they have that same kind of like attitude. They look like
they're just having fun and I like that. That's where I come from,
just that loose... and when it starts getting too uptight, that's not
my thing and I let other people do that.

G: Let's talk about the deal with CBS. How did that deal come to be?
You just sent some demos and they said, "Let's do this."?

AC: Basically yeah. It took a while. I spent some time after I came
off the tour doing the Prince thing. I took basically a year off and
had a baby, well I didn't have the baby, my girlfriend had a baby, and
did that whole thing and wanted to spend some time with my little girl
and I just chilled. I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do,
'cause when you're in a band, like Prince's thing, people make
comparisons. You have to find a way how to break out of that, and the
one thing that I figured that I wanted to do was I really wanted to be
an underground artist. I wasn't interested in being a big sensation,
'cause I kind of lived that through the Prince group. That was like a
pretty big rock group. So I was able to kind of fulfill that dream. I
wanted to be more underground and just be able to do what I wanted,
'cause I was really into Devo at the time and all that electronic type
stuff. So I really got into that. So I thought, what I'm going to do
is, I'm going to do something a little different, 'cause Prince is
doing this over there. I was gonna come out and do The Time thing,
what The Time wound up doing. I don't know if you know it or not, but
I was involved in putting together The Time originally.

G: Yeah, let's talk about that real quick. You were around when The
Time recorded their first album. Tell me how you were influential in

AC: Well actually I'm on some of that, too, as well, playing bass. But
what happened, at the time we were trying to put some things together.
I was trying to put some other groups together. I put "The Girls"
group together. I put together a couple of other groups, just trying
to make some money 'cause being just in Prince's band, I really wasn't
making that much money, nothing against him, but I just wasn't making
that much money. I was living with him, living at my mom's crib and
doing that whole thing, and it just wasn't a whole lot of money, and I
saw him and he was coming up. He had his own crib, had a nice ride,
and I'm like, "Wait a minute!" (laughs) Then I saw him turning down
productions, offers from like Diana Ross and some other people, and
this is like good money, and I'm like going, "Wait a minute, man,
let's just do some of this." So finally I said, "Let's just put
together a group. If you don't want to do any of these people, let's
put together a group and try to find somebody that you can really be
involved," 'cause I would have done it myself but I didn't have a
name, and at the time if you didn't have a name, people are gonna look
at you like you're crazy. So he said, "Why don't you guys put together
a group?" And I talked to Morris and he was at the time playing with
Flyte Tyme and had Alexander O'Neil singing lead vocals and I said to
Morris, "Why don't you put together a group so we can get something
happening at the side?" and he started trying to put his thing
together and got those fellows together. He wasn't originally going to
sing lead, he was gonna play drums, 'cause Morris actually played. So
when we got time after we came back off one of the tours, we started
working with them and we kind of had a fallout because some of the
songs that I had -- that they wanted to use for The Time stuff -- I
was gonna use for this girl group that I was working with. So we had a
fallout about wanting to use these songs I had, so that was when I was
like, "Hey, you know what, ya'll go ahead and do your thing, I'm gonna
do my thing." So that's how that whole thing went down. And after we
came back from Europe, 'cause the cool thing was that when I was in
FranceÉ 'cause the whole thing with the zoot suit and all that kind of
stuff came from an idea that I saw when I was in France. There was
this guy on French television that was doing this thing. He had on a
zoot suit, this dude was cool, you talk about cool, this dude was
straight up cool. He had on the zoot suit and he had two or three
girls on each side, the music was kind of cool, kind of funky, Basa
Nova-ish kind of thing, and he would sing a little bit in French and
just kind of like groove, and I just thought, man that is so cool,
nobody's doing that. So I thought when I come back to the States I'm
gonna do that, and I called Prince in his hotel room and I said, "Man,
you got to check this dude out," and I had him check the dude out. So
he was like, "Man, it was cool, totally cool." So we went back and
thought that would be kind of the vibe that I was gonna do, right?
(laughs) But when we fell out, I was gonna do it anyway, but he quick
and did The Time and The Time came out and did that thing before I got
a chance to do it. So I didn't do that, so I had to come out with
something totally different. So I came up with the whole electronic
thing and doing that whole futuristic thing, which obviously was
(laughing) very underground.

G: Tell me about this song, "Living In the New Wave." How'd you come
up with this one?

AC: Well, I really wanted to do something different. I knew people
were going to compare me to the Prince thing, and there was a lot of
rumors out that we had a lot of animosity between us, and people
thought that I was jealous, which was completely wrong, and all kinds
of other stuff. I just wanted to do something, whether it was big or a
flop, I really didn't care. I just wanted to do something original. If
nothing else, I could be respected for being original, which I was
definitely original. So I thought I'm going to come up with something
completely different. I'm gonna make a statement. So I did. I came up
with "Living In the New Wave," which totally set me apart from the
whole Time thing which was out and Prince's thing which was out and
set a whole different side to the whole Minneapolis sound that was
created back in that time period.

G: Who were some of the people that were early inspirations for you in
your hometown?

AC: Well, Sonny Thompson is one of 'em. I mean, you talk about someone
who could play the guitar, he's left handedÉ I mean some of the
memories that I have growing up and being able to see some of these
bands. There's a guy named Joe Lewis, oh monster drummer! I just used
to sit and watch him, I would be just mesmerized because he would just
rock, man, and I was almost hypnotized 'cause dude was just on beat.
It was a whole different thing. That time in my life was one of the
best times in my life, 'cause that was what really gave me the love
for doing what I do, because I was able to really, really understand.
They got to a point in their craft that few people get to and I was
able to see that and I think I was so influenced by it, that it
inspired me to push harder and push my band harder, 'cause I used to
push the band and really try to get to that next phase, 'cause at the
time we were just a young band and a lot of people in the band weren't
taking it that seriously, and for me it's a life thing. This is what I
do. I've never worked a job in my life. Music is all I've ever done.
That's the way luckily, knock on wood, the way it's been for me, so I
always push my other band members and try to get them into that frame
of mind. I would always tell them, "We're gonna be famous, we're gonna
be big!" They thought I was crazy and it didn't quite happen (laughs)
the wayÉ it wound up being a little bit different, but we did wind up
doing good. I'm still glad to see things worked out, even though it
wound up getting kind of fragmented and broken off. But I'm really
proud of everybody, from Prince to Morris to Jimmy, Terry, all of
those guys, 'cause I know those guys so well and we've been involved
in things before we were famous, after people knew who we were. They
really wound up being really cool people. Sometimes it's really easy
for people to get attitudes and get stuck up and really, really kind
of bogus from just being famous. You make a lot of money and then you
turn into a different person and a lot of people do that. In some
cases it's happened to some people that I know, but I think all in all
I think that they've kept their heart and really their respect for
each other who kind of helped them even though they may not give the
credit, but at least they have the love, and I appreciate that.

G: Tell me about the 1984 release "The Girls" on Columbia Records. Was
this part of your contract to put another group together?

AC: Oh no, no, no. That was kind of a nightmare actually, I have to
say. That album came out because, as I said, I put a girl group
together 'cause I was trying to find something to do to give myself
some extra cash and I put them together when I was still in Prince's

G: Yeah, but there were some jams on this album. Tell me about
"S-e-s-e-x." What made you want to bust out with this one?

AC: Well, once again I wanted to be different. I think when you strive
to be different, you strive to break barriers, and I had done that
song a long timeÉ in fact I did that song before Vanity 6 had come out
and once I did that, everybody was like rushing to put a group out
before they came out. Like I said, I was trying to get them a deal and
then once again Prince,'cause he had his thing with Warner Brothers,
he was able to get Vanity out before my girl group came out, so it
seemed like my girl group came after them, which wasn't quite how it
worked out. But the bottom line is, listen to that "S-e-s-e-x," listen
to the keyboard parts and some of the other parts on there and listen
to some of the other things that came out shortly after that, like
(singing) "Do-do-do-do, do-do" [synth line to Jam & Lewis' "What Have
You Done For Me Lately"] Some of that Minneapolis stuff (singing)
"What have youÉ," it's like a lot of similarities in a lot of things
that are happening. But I think we all come from the same town and I
think we all listen to the same stuff. I think we all learn from each

G: It really wasn't a Prince sound, it was a Minneapolis sound right?

AC: Oh yeah, definitely a Minneapolis sound. To call it a Prince
sound, 'cause Prince obviously made a lot of stuff famous for
Minneapolis but I think that I made a lot of noise. I think that Jimmy
and Terry made a lot of noise. I think there's a lot of people still
coming out nowÉ Next is making a lot of noise, I think Mint Condition,
who I actually worked with early in their career, is making a lot of
noise. There's a lot of groups that are making a lot of noise, that to
call it just a Prince sound and to call Minneapolis "Prince town" and
stuff like that is really kind of not that cool. I think we all
appreciate his contribution to, not just hit the sound of Minneapolis,
but the sound that he's been able to kind of influence all around the
world, so I think everybody owes a debt of gratitude to where he was
coming from, but I think that a lot of us had a lot to do with kind of
making up part of that sound. I think if you take any of the equations
away, if you take me out of that equation, it's not going to be the
same Minneapolis sound that people were familiar with, and if you take
any of the components away from it, it's going to change (laughs)
quite drastically.

G: Now who came out first, was it the "Mary Jane Girls," "Vanity" or
"The Girls"? Who had the idea first?

AC: I don't know. I know that the girl group I put together was put
together before Vanity 6. That I know for sure 'cause actually at the
time, before they came out, Vanity and I was going out.

G: Wow. Did you meet Vanity before Prince did?

AC: No, I didn't meet her before he did, but I went out with her
before he did. 'Cause I had gotten invited to, they had a Minneapolis
Music Award, and I usually don't go to award shows 'cause I don't
really believe too much in all that kind of stuff, but I went to this
award show 'cause my mom kind of sweated me and she said, "You really
gotta go, you really gotta go." So I went. If my mom asks me to do
something, I mean I love her so much, anything she'd ask me to do, I'm
gonna do without even questioning it. So I went. I went in tore-up
jeans (laughs), I think some Indian boots and just looking like
completeÉ like I'm just here to do this for my mom (laughs) So I got
there and I saw this girl that I could not believe, and I saw Morris
and I said, "Hey man, who is she?" And he told me who she was and he
said that Prince was working with her, and I said, "Well, is he going
out with her?" and he said, "Naw," so I was like ok.

G: So moms was a big influence on your career right?

AC: Oh absolutely! Definitely. She was like our biggest fan, my
biggest fan. She was all of our biggest fan. She was always right
there, always pushing people to let us play places. She also let us
record and rehearse down in the basement. I mean that's the only place
we could rehearse. If you don't got no place to rehearse (laughs) you
can't have no band, you can't learn. We couldn't rehearse at any of
the otherÉwe wound up rehearsing at one of my percussionist's place
sometimes. We couldn't rehearse at Prince's place so we only had my
mom's place. So that's where we learned and got our whole thing

G: What was it like in the '80s going to all these television shows.
Was it a good feeling?

AC: It was a great feeling. The difference was, 'cause I did a lot of
these things being in Prince's group, I did so many things and it was
really, really, really popular. So doing these things on my own was
cool because it was doing my own thing. Not that I didn't really enjoy
what I was doing with Prince, 'cause I had a blast, 'cause to be
honest ,I liked being in a band better than I liked the solo thing. So
the solo thing, it's all on you and I like being surrounded by a lot
of people and just having fun, and when you're on your own, it's just
you. So there's definitely a difference, but I still had fun. I would
always have fun anytime I was doing a gig. I would get into what I was

G: In 1985 you came out with "A.C." and you collaborated with Prince
on "Dance Electric," but why or what happened to make you get together
with him and collaborate once again?

AC: Well actually that was a thing he came up with. He called me up, I
was in the studio and he called me up and said, "Listen man, I got
this song that I think we should really hook up and we should do
this." And he played it to me over the phone and I said, "Yeah, that
sounds like something that's right up my street." So he flew to L.A.
and we hooked up. I was already in the studio working on my album and
he came and brought me the masters. We sat down, listened to it and
hung out, and he kind of gave me the whole run down on itÉ where he
was coming from with the track, and so he actually left it there and
just said, "Do what you feel. Do what you do." So I kind of did my
thing to it.

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Reply #1 posted 08/18/09 1:40am


On the subject of Vanity

"Hey man, who is she?" And he told me who she was and he
said that Prince was working with her, and I said, "Well, is he going
out with her?" and he said, "Naw," so I was like ok. -Andre Cymone lick
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Reply #2 posted 08/18/09 1:51am


Great peice i've never seen it before

Love the background stuff on The Dance Electric... Always love background stuff on how songs came to be
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Reply #3 posted 08/18/09 2:12am


He's careful with his words so as not to pull the mask off of Prince too much. But it is clear that Prince routinely plucked Andre's music and ideas without clearly giving him the credit he was due. I wonder how many musician's have had a similar experience with Prince? biggrin
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Reply #4 posted 08/18/09 2:23am



Princes Cousin chaz is Real Cool LOL. When i moved here in 91' i was in the music biz and he introduced me to my lawyer at the time. Homeboy had a killer jumper and we use to run Stevens Park All Day long.
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Reply #5 posted 08/18/09 2:39am


funksterr said:

He's careful with his words so as not to pull the mask off of Prince too much. But it is clear that Prince routinely plucked Andre's music and ideas without clearly giving him the credit he was due. I wonder how many musician's have had a similar experience with Prince? biggrin

His story is not the depicted (BS) as we've come to know through out the years... 'Andre Simone Anderson the bitter and screwed over childhood friend by Prince. You heard from his own lips...and whether he was holding back or not, the man was very clear and open.

What stands out is that he had a daughter and needed to make some bread, so he struck out on his own.

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Reply #6 posted 08/18/09 8:23am


dreamshaman32 said:

Princes Cousin chaz is Real Cool LOL. When i moved here in 91' i was in the music biz and he introduced me to my lawyer at the time. Homeboy had a killer jumper and we use to run Stevens Park All Day long.

Whatever happened to Charles?? He was the man no...
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Reply #7 posted 08/18/09 11:59pm



Thanks for posting that.

I agree strongly that music is a function of your surroundings.
We all want the stuff that's found in our wildest dreams.
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Reply #8 posted 08/19/09 6:20am



MoneyMade said:

I found this on, first posted by Bart Van Hemelen.

Completely forgot about that. wink

But let's give proper credit:

This was posted waaaaay back on the great Prince/ Family
newsletter website...

That's Diana E Dawkins you gotta thank for that. Yet another incredible Prince fan who gave TONS to the community, and all she got back from Prince was scorn (I recall Pierre Igot dissing her, back when he was "working for" Prince). And then she packed it in when Prince began suing fan-sites (and sold a bunch of her memorabilia). Which sort of caused the birth of The Org.
© Bart Van Hemelen
This posting is provided AS IS with no warranties, and confers no rights.
It is not authorized by Prince or the NPG Music Club. You assume all risk for
your use. All rights reserved.
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Reply #9 posted 08/19/09 7:08am


I remember Diana Dawkins! I used to receive her "Prince Family" newsletters every other week.This was in the mid-90s before I got on the Internet,so her newsletters was my primary source for Prince news.I also used to call her hotline.

It's a shame that she shut down her newsletter and hotline,but I guess it was a wise move.Prince would have eventually sued her too shrug
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Reply #10 posted 08/19/09 2:02pm


MoneyMade thank you for posting that. That was a great read. Never read any in-depth Andre interviews before so that was fantastic. Seems like a humble cat.

Last time I saw him was on BET with actor T.C. Carson a few years ago.
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Reply #11 posted 08/21/09 8:25pm


SPYZFAN1 said:

MoneyMade thank you for posting that. That was a great read. Never read any in-depth Andre interviews before so that was fantastic. Seems like a humble cat.

Last time I saw him was on BET with actor T.C. Carson a few years ago.

Anyone know how to get in touch with this cat?

Perhaps he'd like to do some shows.

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Reply #12 posted 08/22/09 1:52am



MoneyMade said:

SPYZFAN1 said:

MoneyMade thank you for posting that. That was a great read. Never read any in-depth Andre interviews before so that was fantastic. Seems like a humble cat.

Last time I saw him was on BET with actor T.C. Carson a few years ago.

Anyone know how to get in touch with this cat?

Perhaps he'd like to do some shows.


Live shows? Unless he has changed his mind, he wasn't too interested in going down that road. But it's been a little bit since I've spoken to him so....Some people wanted me to get in touch with him some months ago for a piece on The Rebels in the magazine WaxPoetic. I called but I had to leave him a message. By the time he got back to me, the article had already been sent to press so... He's hip to this site though. He's been hip to it for a few years. He's said that he comes on here to see what's happening. I told him that he gets much love on here.
SynthiaRose said "I'm in love with blackguitaristz. Especially when he talks about Hendrix."
nammie "What BGZ says I believe. I have the biggest crush on him."
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Reply #13 posted 08/25/09 4:53pm



There's more in that one article than people are gonna get out of Rev. Vanity Matthews' whole book. evillol
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