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Thread started 11/14/15 2:46am

funksterr

Who are the bandmembers that had the greatest effect on Prince

Who are some of the influential Prince bandmembers? I'm not thinking of his heroes, but the people that worked for him in the studio, on tour, etc, that did important stuff that is sometimes overlooked?

1. Morris Day - As we know one of Prince's many talents is the ability to mimic other people. Prince likes to get in the mindset, as he sees it anyway, of someone else and play out the character while composing. To me, this is a key reason why so many of his projects are exciting and interesting or the opposite. Anyway, no one in Prince's career even comes close to contributing as much as Morris. There aren't many Associated Artists with 2 good Prince albums, let one 4, and a decent unreleased 5th. Add to that his starring role in Purple Rain, where he literaly carries the whole movie, Graffiti Bridge, the Oak Tree/Don't Wait For Me/ Mechanical Emotion/Fishnet years where he continued to serve as a counter-point to Prince, his drumming and programming across several Prince songs ands projects.


2. Jesse Johnson - I think Prince copped his swagger in a key way. Jesse is STILL the most underrated Prince-influence of all time. History says Jesse copied Prince, and maybe he did in terms of arrangement and production-styles, but then again a lot of that is rooted in the way Jesse did his thing before Prince developed the Minnapolis Sound, so it's kind of similar in how Rick James copied Prince, after Prince copied Rick James. Part of what drives this idea for me is when Jesse said, "Prince liked the way I played bass on the and, instead of the one". That quote may be more imprtant than it seems.


3. Clare Fischer - just shows what Prince can do with great talent. The Clare songs are what ultimately seperates Prince from every other funk band around, and the funny thing is that Clare Fischer did the strings for everybody else too. Yet, Prince got a more interesting result out of him than anybody.

Anyway, who do you think also played an imprtant role?

[Edited 11/14/15 2:46am]

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Reply #1 posted 11/14/15 4:19am

Wowugotit

WENDY & LISA

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Reply #2 posted 11/14/15 6:37pm

terrig

Wowugotit said:

WENDY & LISA


Yup, that was some magic rt there smile

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Reply #3 posted 11/14/15 7:15pm

UncleJam

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Once again, Wendy and Lisa...

Make it so, Number One...
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Reply #4 posted 11/15/15 2:15pm

madhouseman

Wendy & Lisa is the most obvious answer. According to most around him, they altered how he saw music, but I'd also add two other to the list:

ERIC LEEDS: without him, there wouldn't have been Madhouse or The Family or much of the sax based music post 1985. He paved the way to add jazz into Prince's music. Obviously Prince was familiar with jazz because his father's influence, but Leeds pushed that sound and it was never the same after he started working with him.

SHEILA E.: Once Prince started working with Sheila, the importance of live drumming and latin rhythms were obvious. Sheila's drumming on the SOTT tour took the band in a new direction and away from the coldness of The Revolution and ushered in the live feel to Prince's music on Lovesexy. Bobby was great for what he did, but Sheila was arguablly one of the best drummers in music at the time and helped expand his sound drastically. She is also one of the only successful solo artists that has been listed as a protege, probably because she had a solid career/reputation before working with Prince.

There are probably more who influenced him, but those examples stood out above the pack.

[Edited 11/15/15 14:16pm]

[Edited 12/11/15 13:49pm]

[Edited 12/11/15 13:50pm]

My book PRINCE and The Purple Rain Era Studio Sessions 1983-1984 was released in November 2017. (https://www.amazon.com/Prince-Purple-Rain-Studio-Sessions/dp/1538105497/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8) or go to https://www.facebook.com/...s/10915961
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Reply #5 posted 11/15/15 8:27pm

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Wendy & Lisa

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Reply #6 posted 11/16/15 6:42pm

UncleJam

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madhouseman said:

Wendy & Lisa is the most obvious answer. According to most around him, they altered how he saw music, but I'd also add two other to the list:

Eric Leeds: without him, there wouldn't have been Madhouse or The Family or much of the sax based music post 1985. He paved the way to add jazz into Prince's music. Obviously Prince was familiar with jazz because his father's influence, but Leeds pushed that sound and it was never the same after he started working with him.

Sheila E.: Once Prince started working with Sheila, the importance of live drumming and latin rhythms were obvious. Sheila's drumming on the SOTT tour took the band in a new direction and away from the coldness of The Revolution and ushered in the live feel to Prince's music on Lovesexy. Bobby was great for what he did, but Sheila was arguablly one of the best drummers in music at the time and helped expand his sound drastically. She is also one of the only successful solo artists that has been listed as a protege, probably because she had a solid career/reputation before working with Prince.

There are probably more who influenced him, but those examples stood out above the pack.

[Edited 11/15/15 14:16pm]

Strong, valid points. nod

Make it so, Number One...
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Reply #7 posted 11/17/15 7:01am

paulludvig

funksterr said:

Who are some of the influential Prince bandmembers? I'm not thinking of his heroes, but the people that worked for him in the studio, on tour, etc, that did important stuff that is sometimes overlooked?


1. Morris Day - As we know one of Prince's many talents is the ability to mimic other people. Prince likes to get in the mindset, as he sees it anyway, of someone else and play out the character while composing. To me, this is a key reason why so many of his projects are exciting and interesting or the opposite. Anyway, no one in Prince's career even comes close to contributing as much as Morris. There aren't many Associated Artists with 2 good Prince albums, let one 4, and a decent unreleased 5th. Add to that his starring role in Purple Rain, where he literaly carries the whole movie, Graffiti Bridge, the Oak Tree/Don't Wait For Me/ Mechanical Emotion/Fishnet years where he continued to serve as a counter-point to Prince, his drumming and programming across several Prince songs ands projects.



2. Jesse Johnson - I think Prince copped his swagger in a key way. Jesse is STILL the most underrated Prince-influence of all time. History says Jesse copied Prince, and maybe he did in terms of arrangement and production-styles, but then again a lot of that is rooted in the way Jesse did his thing before Prince developed the Minnapolis Sound, so it's kind of similar in how Rick James copied Prince, after Prince copied Rick James. Part of what drives this idea for me is when Jesse said, "Prince liked the way I played bass on the and, instead of the one". That quote may be more imprtant than it seems.



3. Clare Fischer - just shows what Prince can do with great talent. The Clare songs are what ultimately seperates Prince from every other funk band around, and the funny thing is that Clare Fischer did the strings for everybody else too. Yet, Prince got a more interesting result out of him than anybody.

Anyway, who do you think also played an imprtant role?

[Edited 11/14/15 2:46am]



Agree with 1 and 3. Much more influential than W&L.
The wooh is on the one!
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Reply #8 posted 11/17/15 8:32am

databank

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Past the early collaborators I think some later ones shouldn't be underestimated:

SONNY & MICHAEL: Most likely inspired Prince to explore plainfully his rock potential with The Undertaker then C&D and other tracks such as Endorhinmachin. Prince never ceased releasing or playing barebone rock ever since, from The War to Planet Earth, Lotusflow3r and Montreux 2009 to 3EG, etc., while before rock was something he'd do on a song but would never apply to a whole album or show.

MBN & THE HORNHEADS: Again it seems suddenly having a full horn section inspired Prince to create more sophisticated arrangement and more soulful R&B. Try and imagine prince or Goldnigga or NPS without horns: those albums wouldn't have happened (or at least would have been entirely different).

KIRK JOHNSON: His 1994 remixes pushed Prince to adopt the so-called "plastic sound" and totally rethink his vision of drum programming and the use of synth. This influence went far beyond 2001: up until AOA we can feel Kirk's influence, to the point that there are probably more Prince songs today with this approach to beatmaking than with the classic linn drum mpls sound. Kirk changed P's music forever and in that sense may be the most influencial bandmember ever.

JOHN BLACKWELL: IIRC the discovery of John Blackwell alone was the reason why Prince decided to record a more traditional funk album (TRC), dropped High and Peace altogether, paused his "plastic sound" experiments and embarked into 2 years of intensive jazz funk in 02-03, and a more organic sound that could still be felt all thoughout the following tours and albums.

Let's now see if JOSH WELTON welton has a lasting impact on P's music or if this is just a short phase.

I would also add ANDY ALLO for one thing: for the first time (with the notable exception of Larry's GCS 2000 in 98 and, to some extent, Ingrid's tracks in 89-90) Prince put himself in the skin of a producer in the classic sense of the term, i.e. he worked on, arranged and produced someone else's songs and tried and serve this artist's potential instead of shaping a puppet artist to sing on a Prince album. However, Superconductor like GCS 2000 still sounded 100% like a Prince album but the ramifications of this can now be felt with Judith' Back In Time, where Prince again took on this approach except that this time he did NOT make her album sound like a typical Prince album, and instead adopted a more generic approach to the sound he gave the album. Obviously it worked since many have praised the record, and it's more likely than any past Prince production to appeal to casual nu-soul listeners who'd be irritated by P's sound but will find Judith' record more to their taste. Again, let's see if Prince does it again with further artists, but for the first time ever he can be said to act as a producer in the classic sense of the term.

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #9 posted 11/17/15 8:36am

databank

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^My point above is not to undermine the influence of P's early collaborators but to highlight the point that P's career is always seen through the magnification of his career's first decade, which in fact represents only a quarter of his career as a whole (so far). A LOT has happened since 1988, or even 1995, that is often ignored by fans and critics alike but besides debates regarding whether the quality of post 80's music was consistant with what came before, I think it is interesting to try and analyze P's legacy from a more global perspective.

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #10 posted 11/17/15 12:25pm

OldFriends4Sal
e

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paulludvig said:

funksterr said:

Who are some of the influential Prince bandmembers? I'm not thinking of his heroes, but the people that worked for him in the studio, on tour, etc, that did important stuff that is sometimes overlooked?

1. Morris Day - As we know one of Prince's many talents is the ability to mimic other people. Prince likes to get in the mindset, as he sees it anyway, of someone else and play out the character while composing. To me, this is a key reason why so many of his projects are exciting and interesting or the opposite. Anyway, no one in Prince's career even comes close to contributing as much as Morris. There aren't many Associated Artists with 2 good Prince albums, let one 4, and a decent unreleased 5th. Add to that his starring role in Purple Rain, where he literaly carries the whole movie, Graffiti Bridge, the Oak Tree/Don't Wait For Me/ Mechanical Emotion/Fishnet years where he continued to serve as a counter-point to Prince, his drumming and programming across several Prince songs ands projects.


2. Jesse Johnson - I think Prince copped his swagger in a key way. Jesse is STILL the most underrated Prince-influence of all time. History says Jesse copied Prince, and maybe he did in terms of arrangement and production-styles, but then again a lot of that is rooted in the way Jesse did his thing before Prince developed the Minnapolis Sound, so it's kind of similar in how Rick James copied Prince, after Prince copied Rick James. Part of what drives this idea for me is when Jesse said, "Prince liked the way I played bass on the and, instead of the one". That quote may be more imprtant than it seems.


3. Clare Fischer - just shows what Prince can do with great talent. The Clare songs are what ultimately seperates Prince from every other funk band around, and the funny thing is that Clare Fischer did the strings for everybody else too. Yet, Prince got a more interesting result out of him than anybody.

Anyway, who do you think also played an imprtant role?

[Edited 11/14/15 2:46am]

Agree with 1 and 3. Much more influential than W&L.

Dp 1 2 3 actially have influence though
.
With Morris Day I would say he came into the official camp the same time Lisa Coleman came in and as Lisa reported Prince had those two in the studio a lot together

.

Clare Fischer, was never really in the band, there was definately inspiration, but Clare usually came after the fact.

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Reply #11 posted 11/17/15 12:28pm

OldFriends4Sal
e

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it is hard to disregard those foundational years and the people in the band(s) from 1978-1987
So much that came afterward in direct and indirect ways are the result of the effects of what happened in Prince's camp more specifically in the 1981-1987 yrs

#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?
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Reply #12 posted 11/17/15 1:32pm

Graycap23

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Sonny T (bass)

Shelia E

Eric Leeds

W&L

FOOLS multiply when WISE Men & Women are silent.
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Reply #13 posted 11/22/15 10:15am

woogiebear

funksterr said:

Who are some of the influential Prince bandmembers? I'm not thinking of his heroes, but the people that worked for him in the studio, on tour, etc, that did important stuff that is sometimes overlooked?

1. Morris Day - As we know one of Prince's many talents is the ability to mimic other people. Prince likes to get in the mindset, as he sees it anyway, of someone else and play out the character while composing. To me, this is a key reason why so many of his projects are exciting and interesting or the opposite. Anyway, no one in Prince's career even comes close to contributing as much as Morris. There aren't many Associated Artists with 2 good Prince albums, let one 4, and a decent unreleased 5th. Add to that his starring role in Purple Rain, where he literaly carries the whole movie, Graffiti Bridge, the Oak Tree/Don't Wait For Me/ Mechanical Emotion/Fishnet years where he continued to serve as a counter-point to Prince, his drumming and programming across several Prince songs ands projects.


2. Jesse Johnson - I think Prince copped his swagger in a key way. Jesse is STILL the most underrated Prince-influence of all time. History says Jesse copied Prince, and maybe he did in terms of arrangement and production-styles, but then again a lot of that is rooted in the way Jesse did his thing before Prince developed the Minnapolis Sound, so it's kind of similar in how Rick James copied Prince, after Prince copied Rick James. Part of what drives this idea for me is when Jesse said, "Prince liked the way I played bass on the and, instead of the one". That quote may be more imprtant than it seems.


3. Clare Fischer - just shows what Prince can do with great talent. The Clare songs are what ultimately seperates Prince from every other funk band around, and the funny thing is that Clare Fischer did the strings for everybody else too. Yet, Prince got a more interesting result out of him than anybody.

Anyway, who do you think also played an imprtant role?

[Edited 11/14/15 2:46am]

#2: I feel that They BOTH learned from each other (Jesse was already wearing Pink and had Pink amps b4 Prince was wearing Purple). But in My heart of hearts, Jesse is THE ONE Guitar Player that scares the sh*t outta Prince!!!!

#1: If U saw the OG 7ven Documentary, Morris Day is STILL mad that Prince didn't make HIM the Drummer of His Band, even going IN on Bobby Z slightly after His heart attack ("Bobby Z couldn't f**k w/Me on His BEST day!!"). But, as much as I LOVE Alexander O'Neal, I CANNOT imagine Him as the Lead Singer of The Time, And Morris would've been FIRED due 2 P changing Bands!!!

#3: The colors Clare Fischer's Strings gave P's Music (and side Projects).........WOW!!!!!

cool

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Reply #14 posted 11/22/15 2:29pm

carlluv

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Dez Dickerson
why in God's name do u wanna make me cry
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Reply #15 posted 11/22/15 3:28pm

JoeyC

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No Andre ?

I understand that he was in the band for only a short time but IMO, Prince was definitely influenced by Andre's style(and vice versa).

And don't get me started on the musical influence that Andre had on Prince(again, vice versa), before they became famous.

Anyway, good posts. Databank's(#8) especially, got me thinking in a different way.

[Edited 11/22/15 15:29pm]

Rest in Peace Bettie Boo. See u soon.
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Reply #16 posted 11/23/15 1:32pm

Miles

databank said:

KIRK JOHNSON: His 1994 remixes pushed Prince to adopt the so-called "plastic sound" and totally rethink his vision of drum programming and the use of synth. This influence went far beyond 2001: up until AOA we can feel Kirk's influence, to the point that there are probably more Prince songs today with this approach to beatmaking than with the classic linn drum mpls sound. Kirk changed P's music forever and in that sense may be the most influencial bandmember ever.

A brave statement around here and I like your neutral stance on the matter. I agree with you that, for better and for worse, Kirk is probably the most influential Prince collaborator on P's sound of the post-80s era.

However, I feel that Kirk brought less individuality to Prince's music, which made it sound more like generic, 'commercial' r&b and hip hop of the time. That may have been Prince's intention, but I can't help but imagine how some of the stronger songs on Emancipation for example, might sound with a more live-sounding production a la The Morning Papers and 3 Chains o' Gold.

Then, on the other hand, I sometimes daydream what a clever dance remixer might make of New World, The Human Body and Slave, as the first two at least imo have potential to be 'bangin' dance tracks.

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Reply #17 posted 11/24/15 1:34pm

KoolEaze

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It´s interesting to see some of the not so obvious and not so often mentioned bandmembers listed in this thread, like for example Kirk Johnson, a very controversial figure among Prince fans (I like Kirk a lot but I understand why some fans despise him to this day).

I think Sonny, Michael and Morris (Hayes) , and of course Kirk Johnson, often get overlooked when it comes to being an influence on Prince.

And influence or effect often goes way beyond musical contributions.

" 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?"




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Reply #18 posted 11/24/15 9:11pm

homesquid

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Wendy And Lisa.

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Reply #19 posted 11/27/15 12:21pm

nextedition

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Tony M: he introduced Prince to hiphop and changed his whole sound. Without him there would be no D&P, Symbol album and the rest of the 90's output is all influenced by that.

Ingrid chavez: her opening lines made the whole Lovesexy album work.

Cat: she was the main attraction on his best tours: sign of the times and lovesexy. She also recorded the best rap in his entire carreer.

Jerome Benton: he made the Parade tour and was the main star of Under the cherry moon, which led to the Parade masterpiece and probably Sign of the times.

Bria Valente: she is the only one who recorded a full album with him, which he included to his own release. No other bandmember had archieved this level of inlfuence.


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Reply #20 posted 11/30/15 10:36pm

trax

Is it just me or does Hannah look like Boy George?

Hannah Welton FanPage

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Reply #21 posted 12/01/15 5:53pm

funksterr

woogiebear said:

funksterr said:

Who are some of the influential Prince bandmembers? I'm not thinking of his heroes, but the people that worked for him in the studio, on tour, etc, that did important stuff that is sometimes overlooked?

1. Morris Day - As we know one of Prince's many talents is the ability to mimic other people. Prince likes to get in the mindset, as he sees it anyway, of someone else and play out the character while composing. To me, this is a key reason why so many of his projects are exciting and interesting or the opposite. Anyway, no one in Prince's career even comes close to contributing as much as Morris. There aren't many Associated Artists with 2 good Prince albums, let one 4, and a decent unreleased 5th. Add to that his starring role in Purple Rain, where he literaly carries the whole movie, Graffiti Bridge, the Oak Tree/Don't Wait For Me/ Mechanical Emotion/Fishnet years where he continued to serve as a counter-point to Prince, his drumming and programming across several Prince songs ands projects.


2. Jesse Johnson - I think Prince copped his swagger in a key way. Jesse is STILL the most underrated Prince-influence of all time. History says Jesse copied Prince, and maybe he did in terms of arrangement and production-styles, but then again a lot of that is rooted in the way Jesse did his thing before Prince developed the Minnapolis Sound, so it's kind of similar in how Rick James copied Prince, after Prince copied Rick James. Part of what drives this idea for me is when Jesse said, "Prince liked the way I played bass on the and, instead of the one". That quote may be more imprtant than it seems.


3. Clare Fischer - just shows what Prince can do with great talent. The Clare songs are what ultimately seperates Prince from every other funk band around, and the funny thing is that Clare Fischer did the strings for everybody else too. Yet, Prince got a more interesting result out of him than anybody.

Anyway, who do you think also played an imprtant role?

[Edited 11/14/15 2:46am]

#2: I feel that They BOTH learned from each other (Jesse was already wearing Pink and had Pink amps b4 Prince was wearing Purple). But in My heart of hearts, Jesse is THE ONE Guitar Player that scares the sh*t outta Prince!!!!

True... but I think Jesse's influence, in terms of how he carries himself, and his cool laid-back stage demeanor is an important factor. It's part of what's missing from Prince's music and all of his bands, pretty much since Jesse left. I wonder if Prince, ever the chameleon, was channeling Jesse's vibe at the time.

I don't know FOR SURE, or anything, and I definitely could be wrong, but my general recollection is that the 'bass on the and instead of the one' thing, which is key to The Time and Revolution music wasn't happening before Jesse got there either. If Jesse, inspired Prince to write that into his music more then he's a major influence because Prince still does that live.

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Reply #22 posted 12/01/15 5:58pm

funksterr

Does anyone think Morris Hayes, Rosie Gaines, or Levi Seacer are influences? Josh Wheaton, is important because he's produced a ton of Prince music over the last 4 years or so. I know there are other producers that contribute, more or less behind the scenes, but I don't have any names.

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Reply #23 posted 12/02/15 8:09am

vainandy

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Andre Cymone and Dez Dickerson.

Andy is a four letter word.
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Reply #24 posted 12/07/15 2:21pm

RodeoSchro

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I'd have to go with Sonny T., although his biggest influence on Prince was before Prince started his recording career.

The biggest influence on Prince while in one of Prince's band? Hmmmm, Wendy and Lisa are obvious choices, although Lisa was in the band for years before Wendy came around. So maybe I'd go with John Blackwell. I think Prince learned more about drumming from him than he learned about any other instrument from any other musician.

But it's just conjecture. None of us have been in the studio with him. Great question though!

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Reply #25 posted 12/09/15 9:28am

PurpleJedi

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Wowugotit said:

WENDY & LISA

yeahthat

I'm convinced that Prince dissolved the Revolution BECAUSE Wendy & Lisa were influencing HIM as opposed to the other way around.

By St. Boogar and all the saints at the backside door of Purgatory!
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Reply #26 posted 12/10/15 8:25am

paulludvig

funksterr said:

Does anyone think Morris Hayes, Rosie Gaines, or Levi Seacer are influences? Josh Wheaton, is important because he's produced a ton of Prince music over the last 4 years or so. I know there are other producers that contribute, more or less behind the scenes, but I don't have any names.

So how do you know?

The wooh is on the one!
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Reply #27 posted 12/10/15 8:55am

OldFriends4Sal
e

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moderator

PurpleJedi said:

Wowugotit said:

WENDY & LISA

yeahthat

I'm convinced that Prince dissolved the Revolution BECAUSE Wendy & Lisa were influencing HIM as opposed to the other way around.

He was in love with all of them and a real soul connection with Wendy Lisa Susannah and like he said in a 1990 interview he was afraid of loosing them. It's like a person who breaks up with someone because they are afraid the person will eventually leave them...

#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 #28 posted 12/10/15 10:03am

PurpleJedi

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OldFriends4Sale said:

PurpleJedi said:

yeahthat

I'm convinced that Prince dissolved the Revolution BECAUSE Wendy & Lisa were influencing HIM as opposed to the other way around.

He was in love with all of them and a real soul connection with Wendy Lisa Susannah and like he said in a 1990 interview he was afraid of loosing them. It's like a person who breaks up with someone because they are afraid the person will eventually leave them...


whofarted

...yeah...okay...

lol

By St. Boogar and all the saints at the backside door of Purgatory!
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Reply #29 posted 12/10/15 5:50pm

OldFriends4Sal
e

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PurpleJedi said:

OldFriends4Sale said:

He was in love with all of them and a real soul connection with Wendy Lisa Susannah and like he said in a 1990 interview he was afraid of loosing them. It's like a person who breaks up with someone because they are afraid the person will eventually leave them...


whofarted

...yeah...okay...

lol

Well when you look at what he told Susan Rogers when making and destroying the song Wally, then read the 1990 Interview magazine where he talked about being a band leader dual friends(love) and 'what if people leave' etc then listen to his dedication to Susannah Wendy & Lisa (In This Bed I Scream) I believe it is so...
People do this all the time,

#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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