independent and unofficial
Prince fan community
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General information about this site

General Prince FAQ
General questions and answers about the man and his music

Minneapolis FAQ
Info about what to do and see when visiting MPLS

Record Stores FAQ
"Wrecka stows" around the world, and shopping tips FAQ
Helpful hints for the usenet discussion group

Etiquette etc. for the mailing list FAQ

1. General questions

1.1What is (AMP) is an unmoderated Usenet newsgroup for the discussion of the musician Prince, who used to go by an unpronounceable symbol. The usual ASCII representation of his symbol is:

O ( + >

1.2Why wasn't the newsgroup renamed when Prince changed his name?

When he changed his name, it made sense to change the name of the newsgroup. Unfortunately, he chose a name that has no ASCII representation, and Usenet is still an ASCII world.

There were other reasons for leaving as is, one of them has also been mentioned by others: how would new fans/Usenet newbies find> or whatever (or, as has also been suggested)?

And probably the most overlooked reason for leaving alone was purely technical: overwhelmingly, most systems carrying Usenet news are UNIX systems; some of the characters often used to represent the symbol have special meaning to UNIX and should never be used as part of a newsgroup name (or any other file/directory name).

Of course, now that he's once again calling himself Prince, the issue is moot.

1.3Who founded AMP, when and why?

Ron Jarrell created the newsgroup (on behalf of Tim Buck) on May 9th, 1993 as an unmoderated alternative to the Prince Mailing List (which became moderated due to abuse).
(thanks to Raymond Meyll, Tim Carlson)

1.4Does AMP have a charter?

Yes. While reading it, keep in mind that it was written in that short period after Prince's "retirement" but before his name change. At the time, Paisley Park Records was still in operation and Paisley Park Studios was available to the public as a rental facility.

Without further ado, here is Tim Buck's charter for AMP:

Despite the recent press release from Prince saying he is retiring from studio recording, Prince is still an important force in the entertainment industry. His recording label, Paisley Park, will still go on, and he is not going to stop writing music. His album contract with Time-Warner is still valid, and he has enough material for an estimated 50 albums in the vault at Paisley Park. Paisley Park Studios is becoming one of the most popular recording locations for many new and established artists. Prince is still around.

With that introduction, here is, a forum for free-form discussion about Prince, his music, his label Paisley Park, and other artists on Paisley Park. The emphasis is on news about just what is Prince up to (like "When is the new album coming out?", "Who just signed to Paisley Park Records?", etc.) but discussion is welcome on any topic related to Prince.

1.5What other newsgroups exist for discussion of Prince? (

You may find that your news server carries and, but both groups have little-to-no traffic. Why didn't catch on as a "Big Eight" replacement for AMP? Good question.

Although it isn't for discussion per se, alt.binaries.multimedia.prince was created as a place for AMPers to post and retrieve binary files (such as images and sound clips).

German-speaking enthusiasts might enjoy checking out Also, Prince-related posts often appear in

1.6How can I access AMP?

For starters you'll need some sort of access to the Internet. Most of the time Usenet is part of the deal. If your news server doesn't carry AMP, ask the administrator to add it; chances are he/she will be agreeable if you ask nicely. You can choose from a wide variety of programs for reading and posting. One most Windows users already have is Outlook Express, which handles usenet fine.

Failing the above, many Web-based services offer access to Usenet. These services allow you to read and post directly from your Web browser.

2. culture

2.1Can I post about Prince-related merchandise I want to buy/sell/trade?

Go ahead. Such posts are a familiar part of the group. But be advised that you may get flamed if you do something like asking an excessively high price for a common item, or offering for sale pirated copies of officially-released recordings still in print. Generally you will be okay, though.

2.2What can I do to prevent getting ripped off in online transactions?

If you're considering a transaction with an unfamiliar person, you may want to check the Bad Traders list maintained by Rudedog at

2.3What about bootlegs?

Bootleg recordings circulate pretty freely in AMP without interference from anti-bootlegging forces. But they are illegal in most places, so buy/sell/trade them at your own risk.

2.4What are CD-Rs or "CD-R boots"?

CD-Rs (some people omit the hyphen) are recordable compact discs that will play on most standard CD players. CD-Rs are popular among AMPers for making digital copies of bootleg CDs and even creating "homebrew" live/outtake releases.

2.5Who/what are the "Naysayers"?

After people began to complain about the long-delayed release of the Crystal Ball set, Prince'ss website ( displayed a message asserting that "naysayers will eat words on toast when the Ball drops!" Disgruntled fans on AMP immediately dubbed themselves the Naysayers. This highly informal group has been critical of some of Prince's recent business practices and music releases.

3. About this FAQ

3.1Why doesn't this FAQ answer questions about Prince?

The "General Prince FAQ" answers such questions, and to avoid repetition they are not duplicated here. The website is the official home of the General Prince FAQ (and this FAQ as well).

Additionally, the General Prince FAQ is typically posted to, alt.answers and news.answers on a monthly basis.

3.2Is this the only FAQ for AMP?

No. Another FAQ was written in 1994 by Bret Gorsline. He handed it off to Chris Reayoul in early 1995, who in turn passed it on to Raymond Meyll later that year. That FAQ hasn't been updated since late 1995 and is seriously out-of-date. However, it makes for a nice "historical" document.
It's available at