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Forums > Prince: Music and More > PIONEER PRESS INTERVIEW: When Prince calls, you answer. And the experience is dazzling.
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Thread started 05/16/13 12:05pm

serpan99

PIONEER PRESS INTERVIEW: When Prince calls, you answer. And the experience is dazzling.

When Prince calls, you answer. And the experience is dazzling.

By Amy Nelson
Updated: 05/16/2013 01:45:27 PM CDT
.
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When Prince's people call late on a workday afternoon and ask if you can be on a plane in a few hours to fly to Colorado to see him perform and interview him, what do you do?

.

First, you wonder who's trying to prank you. Then, you say yes. Which is what I did this week.

.

And the whole adventurous, surreal chain of events was so perfectly Prince, I couldn't have imagined it any other way.

.

Here's what Minnesota's quirky superstar is like, as experienced through my 12-hour whirlwind tour:

.

First, he's impulsive. A calm yet bemused public-relations person left a voice message about 4 p.m. Monday admitting, "I know this is last-minute, but ... ."

.

It was. Prince wanted to invite someone from this newspaper to see his final show in Denver that night, starting in a few hours, before he returns to the Twin Cities to play two concerts May 25 at the Myth. I'm guessing he decided earlier that day about the invitation, and she was scrambling to make it happen. (Most press invites are planned months in advance.)

.

My return call to her started, "Hey, is this is legitimate?" It was.

.

Our pop music writer, Ross Raihala -- the logical choice to cover Prince -- wasn't available. So without any information on where we were staying, what we were doing or even when we were returning home, my colleague, videographer C.J. Sinner, and I showed up at the airport just as our flight information was texted to me. Prince may be a free spirit, but I want credit for throwing caution to the wind.

.

Second, he's elusive. Prince rarely gives interviews. That, and the last-minute nature of the trip, was why I was skeptical meeting the man was going to happen. The way the night unfolded reinforced my doubts. After landing in Denver, we went to the hotel for few minutes to get our itineraries, which didn't specify when the interviews would happen, and then to Ogden Theatre for the 11:30 p.m. concert. Hoping to catch Prince before the show, we learned he was back at his hotel and we would meet him at the after-party. Until he appeared onstage about 11:40 p.m., I still had my doubts I would see him that night -- I was still waiting for someone to turn to me with a camera, smirk and say, "Gotcha!"

.

The high-energy, sonically tight show (read my review at twincities.com) ended about 1 a.m., when, surprise, we got word the after-party was not going to start for a few hours as Prince and his band were editing a video in his hotel suite. But at 4 a.m., after I had interviewed his band, talked with his house manager, chatted up the sound guys, heck, even asked the bartenders who had never met him what they knew, Prince arrived with his security at the lounge, circled us up and held court.

.

At this point, I had been up nearly 24 hours, which added to the this-can't-be-happening feeling that I was, in fact, interviewing Prince. (Along with being elusive, he's protective of his image, and no photography, audio recording or note-taking was allowed, dashing all of C.J.'s hopes for compelling video.)

.

Third, he's positive. The hourlong interview was a round-table "shoot-the-breeze"-style conversation with journalists led by Prince as he called in his manager or band members to elaborate. The stream-of-consciousness discussion included his influences, his current collaborations, his hopes for his band -- bassist Ida Nielsen, guitarist Donna Grantis and drummer Hannah Ford. As the leader and mentor to 3rdEyeGirl, he seemed to genuinely want to help and promote his proteges -- to share his knowledge, learn from them and see them succeed. "They are the future," he said, pointing to the band. During the concert earlier that night, he told the audience, "These are strange times in America now -- we've got to try to get along" and "I can't argue with anyone anymore, I'm too happy, too blessed."

.

Still, he redirected the conversation away from Minnesota's historic vote on gay marriage that happened earlier that day and talked instead about living in the moment, which explains the impulsiveness. He was introspective, admitting, "I was nervous, too" the night he introduced and first played with 3rdEyeGirl in January at Minneapolis' Dakota Jazz Club. The four have now played 34 shows and are completely comfortable together. The one time Prince turned negative was when he discussed lip-sync performers popular today, indicating they may be popular but they're not musicians.

.

He talked of his friendships and artistic work with Janelle Monae and complimented talent ranging from Questlove to Jimi Hendrix. During a discussion about Monae's new single with Erykah Badu, "Q.U.E.E.N.," he playfully confused me by asking what I knew about Freddy Mercury. "I just got schooled by Prince," I thought.

.

He said he "learned the Bible" from Sly and the Family Stone's Larry Graham, an influence for his Revolution. He advised the journalists: "Your words matter" (so be careful). His manager, Julia, later showed the video he was editing, for "FixUrLifeUp," a call to self-improvement with lyrics like "Don't worry about what the crowd does/Just worry about being good at what you love."

.

Fourth, he's polished. Like most entertainers, Prince has the look. He had changed from a form-fitting, black-and-white geometric-patterned shirt and black pants to a form-fitting turquoise jumpsuit with bell sleeves and those sleep-mask sunglasses around his neck. He was wearing eyeliner to great effect and is not wearing a wig, as some have indicated. He's fit, trim, demure and smells like patchouli. He carried a bedazzled scepter that he tapped on the ground as he talked, befitting his royal name. This was no cane a 54-year-old Prince needed to steady himself -- his dance moves a few hours earlier proved that. It was a bandleader's staff.

.

Fifth, he's impressive. Prince has been called a musical genius, a talented artist, the consummate musician. He's eccentric, eclectic, electric and entertaining. I've tweeted before how many bands visiting the Twin Cities mention Prince or play one of his songs as a tribute. A cover band, Princess, featuring actress Maya Rudolph, played First Avenue in March.

.

Reactions from people when they learn I met him this week range from asking if they can touch my hand to holding up a crowd in the elevator to tell me her computer passwords are all Prince lyrics. They want to tell me their favorite song, the late nights they spent at Paisley Park, the friend of the friend of the friend who also once met him. They want to know what he's like, which is why I wrote this.

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My 12-hour tour with Prince was exhausting but exhilarating. And if his people call again, I'll say yes.

.

Amy Nelson is features editor at the Pioneer Press. Follow her at twitter.com/amypioneerpress

cool

[Edited 5/16/13 12:07pm]

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Reply #1 posted 05/16/13 12:45pm

love2thenines2
003

Thanx 4 sharing but this interview is uninteresting as usual ....are we talking about MUSIC...his future projects (REAL ONES)...NO!!

pffff

[Edited 5/16/13 13:10pm]

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Reply #2 posted 05/16/13 12:54pm

MIRvmn

avatar

yes indeed a very boring and that he doesn't allow audio recording and note taking at the interview is beyond me
[Edited 5/16/13 12:56pm]
We are living in Orwell's 1984
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Reply #3 posted 05/16/13 1:33pm

ufoclub

avatar

serpan99 said:

"He was wearing eyeliner to great effect and is not wearing a wig, as some have indicated. "

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Reply #4 posted 05/16/13 1:43pm

RodeoSchro

avatar

Wish I could have seen the look on his face when Amy Nelson (no relation, I'm sure LOL) said, "Oh - and I brought CJ from the paper with me"!

Second Funkiest White Man in America

P&R's paladin
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Reply #5 posted 05/16/13 1:54pm

Gohi

RodeoSchro said:

Wish I could have seen the look on his face when Amy Nelson (no relation, I'm sure LOL) said, "Oh - and I brought CJ from the paper with me"!

Different CJ.

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Reply #6 posted 05/16/13 2:04pm

purple1968

MIRvmn said:

yes indeed a very boring and that he doesn't allow audio recording and note taking at the interview is beyond me [Edited 5/16/13 12:56pm]

He does not allow recording because someone pressed a interview into a record and sold it. I actually have they record. Prince mentioned this once in an interview so I can see his reason for not being recorded. In addtion, why are you so interested in hearing his interview from a newspaper or magazine.

The public would not have access to the reporter recording and we do hear him talk when he goes on T.V. which he has done a few dozens times since the end of the Musicology tour.

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Reply #7 posted 05/16/13 2:24pm

SuperSoulFight
er

^Yes. I know. It happened. But then at least we know what he said! And that's better than just having to trust the journo's memory.
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Reply #8 posted 05/16/13 2:26pm

KoolEaze

avatar

ufoclub said:

serpan99 said:

"He was wearing eyeliner to great effect and is not wearing a wig, as some have indicated. "

I think that was the most interesting and important part. lol

" I´d rather be a stank ass hoe because I´m not stupid. Oh my goodness! I got more drugs! I´m always funny dude...I´m hilarious! Are we gonna smoke?"




http://kooleasehvac.com/
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Reply #9 posted 05/16/13 2:41pm

OldFriends4Sal
e

avatar

moderator

During the concert earlier that night, he told the audience, "These are strange times in America now -- we've got to try to get along" and "I can't argue with anyone anymore, I'm too happy, too blessed."

*

That could be the reply to legalized gay marriage in minni

#IDEFINEME #ALBUMSSTILLMATTER

A Liar Shall Not Tarry In My Presence

What's the matter with your life
Is poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U 'round?
Did he put your million dollar check
In someone else's box?
Tell me, what's the m
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Reply #10 posted 05/16/13 3:02pm

2elijah

avatar

KoolEaze said:

ufoclub said:

serpan99 said:

"He was wearing eyeliner to great effect and is not wearing a wig, as some have indicated. "

I think that was the most interesting and important part. lol

Yes, and hopefully that will satisfy the inquiries about that in this thread:

http://prince.org/msg/7/397291

FEARLESS
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Reply #11 posted 05/16/13 3:13pm

IstenSzek

avatar

serpan99 said:

we got word the after-party was not going to start for a few hours as Prince and his band were editing a video in his hotel suite.

.

falloff falloff falloff falloff falloff falloff falloff

and true love lives on lollipops and crisps
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Reply #12 posted 05/16/13 10:17pm

serpan99

Gohi said:

RodeoSchro said:

Wish I could have seen the look on his face when Amy Nelson (no relation, I'm sure LOL) said, "Oh - and I brought CJ from the paper with me"!

Different CJ.

.

Indeed...but why bring a videographer hmmm

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Reply #13 posted 05/17/13 5:19am

serpan99

IstenSzek said:

serpan99 said:

we got word the after-party was not going to start for a few hours as Prince and his band were editing a video in his hotel suite.

.

falloff falloff falloff falloff falloff falloff falloff

.

At least they got French fries and soda while waiting 4 Prince 2 show up 4 the conversation... party giggle

.

.

.

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Reply #14 posted 05/17/13 5:34am

KeithyT

avatar

What has that one french-fry (is that the correct singular? We say chip over here lol ) made an escape bid?

Just somewhere in the middle,
Not too good and not too bad.
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Reply #15 posted 05/17/13 5:52am

RodeoSchro

avatar

Gohi said:

RodeoSchro said:

Wish I could have seen the look on his face when Amy Nelson (no relation, I'm sure LOL) said, "Oh - and I brought CJ from the paper with me"!

Different CJ.



Yeah, I know. That was the joke.

Second Funkiest White Man in America

P&R's paladin
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Reply #16 posted 05/17/13 6:17am

2020

avatar

Thanks for sharing Serp! Also glad to see ya back Twitter! Keep em coming!!!
The greatest live performer of our times was is and always will be Prince.

Remember there is only one destination and that place is U
All of it. Everything. Is U.
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Reply #17 posted 05/17/13 6:51am

SchlomoThaHomo

avatar

God, this article is 95% the writer's experience and 5% interview. What a waste. Did he not say anything else worth printing or did she forget it all?
"That's when stars collide. When there's space for what u want, and ur heart is open wide."
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Reply #18 posted 05/17/13 7:08am

IstenSzek

avatar

SchlomoThaHomo said:

God, this article is 95% the writer's experience and 5% interview. What a waste. Did he not say anything else worth printing or did she forget it all?

they talked for 2 hours lol

but i notice that often in the more recent interviews. i guess prince still has the power

to bedazzle people. they just sit there completely overwhelmed and somehow only a

few tidbits of what was said actually make it into print lol

and true love lives on lollipops and crisps
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Reply #19 posted 05/17/13 7:27am

Sassey

It seems every year he's giving the same type of interviews where he's not saying anything worth printing and the writers who are so star-struck and willing to jump at a moment's notice, put up with his immature, exhausting behavior, and he rarely says anything worthwhile. He has too many Yes people around him and from what she wrote, Amy Nelson doesn't mind being another one Prince can add to his list.

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Reply #20 posted 05/17/13 7:28am

serpan99

KeithyT said:

What has that one french-fry (is that the correct singular? We say chip over here lol ) made an escape bid?

I think Jon wanted 2 save the biggest 4 Prince razz

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Reply #21 posted 05/17/13 11:02am

BobGeorge909

avatar

purple1968 said:



MIRvmn said:


yes indeed a very boring and that he doesn't allow audio recording and note taking at the interview is beyond me [Edited 5/16/13 12:56pm]

He does not allow recording because someone pressed a interview into a record and sold it. I actually have they record. Prince mentioned this once in an interview so I can see his reason for not being recorded. In addtion, why are you so interested in hearing his interview from a newspaper or magazine.



The public would not have access to the reporter recording and we do hear him talk when he goes on T.V. which he has done a few dozens times since the end of the Musicology tour.





No recordings leads to innaccuracies amd misquotes. Both of whkch prince com l lains about.
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Reply #22 posted 05/17/13 1:44pm

purple1968

BobGeorge909 said:

purple1968 said:

He does not allow recording because someone pressed a interview into a record and sold it. I actually have they record. Prince mentioned this once in an interview so I can see his reason for not being recorded. In addtion, why are you so interested in hearing his interview from a newspaper or magazine.

The public would not have access to the reporter recording and we do hear him talk when he goes on T.V. which he has done a few dozens times since the end of the Musicology tour.

No recordings leads to innaccuracies amd misquotes. Both of whkch prince com l lains about.

According to Dez Dickerson he got misquoted back in the day. Taping on no taping misquotes are going to happen.

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Reply #23 posted 05/17/13 8:40pm

nursev

KoolEaze said:

ufoclub said:

I think that was the most interesting and important part. lol

lol

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Reply #24 posted 05/18/13 12:41am

artist76

avatar

nursev said:



KoolEaze said:




ufoclub said:







I think that was the most interesting and important part. lol




lol


Nursey, you're back! I thought of you every time the issue of his hair came up around here. Glad to see you're posting again.
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Reply #25 posted 05/18/13 1:34am

RobotDevil

"Fourth, he's polished. Like most entertainers, Prince has the look. He had changed from a form-fitting, black-and-white geometric-patterned shirt and black pants to a form-fitting turquoise jumpsuit with bell sleeves and those sleep-mask sunglasses around his neck. He was wearing eyeliner to great effect and is not wearing a wig, as some have indicated. He's fit, trim, demure and smells like patchouli. He carried a bedazzled scepter that he tapped on the ground as he talked, befitting his royal name. This was no cane a 54-year-old Prince needed to steady himself -- his dance moves a few hours earlier proved that. It was a bandleader's staff."

lol Well, based on this paragraph, I suspect someone has checked out Prince.org. lol The blatant references to the hair not being a wig, his "scepter" not being an old man cane, the dance moves (obviously in response to the 'hip trouble' discussions), even the remark on how fit and trim he is (I recall in recent months some comments here that Prince was looking a little doughy/soft).

It's this kind of stuff that makes me laugh. He acts like he doesn't care what people think, yet this paragraph reads like propoganda. It's so silly.

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Reply #26 posted 05/18/13 4:17am

NouveauDance

avatar

falloff @ the bit about his wig habit.

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Reply #27 posted 05/18/13 12:53pm

nursev

artist76 said:

nursev said:

lol

Nursey, you're back! I thought of you every time the issue of his hair came up around here. Glad to see you're posting again.

aww-thanks hug lol

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