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Thread started 07/21/07 10:53pm

chewymusic

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NY Sunday Times story about Prince!

The link: http://www.nytimes.com/20...l?ref=arts

The Story:

The Once And Future Prince
New York Sunday Times
July 22, 2007

I’VE got lots of money!” Prince exults in “The One U Wanna C,” a come-on from his new album, “Planet Earth” (Columbia). There’s no reason to disbelieve him. With a sponsorship deal here and an exclusive show there, worldwide television appearances and music given away, Prince has remade himself as a 21st-century pop star. As recording companies bemoan a crumbling market, Prince is demonstrating that charisma and the willingness to go out and perform are still bankable. He doesn’t have to go multiplatinum — he’s multiplatform.

Although Prince declined to be interviewed about “Planet Earth,” he has been highly visible lately. His career is heading into its third decade, and he could have long since become a nostalgia act. Instead he figured out early how to do what he wants in a 21st-century music business, and clearly what he wants is to make more music. Despite his flamboyant wardrobe and his fixation on the color purple, his career choices have been savvy ones, especially for someone so compulsively prolific.

Like most pop stars, he goes on major tours to coincide with album releases, which for Prince are frequent. But he also gets out and performs whenever he chooses. Last year he took over a club in Las Vegas and renamed it 3121, after his 2006 album “3121,” which briefly hit No. 1 and spawned multiple conflicting theories about the significance of the number. He started playing there twice a week for 900 people at $125 a ticket. In February he had an audience in the millions as the halftime entertainment for the Super Bowl. He has gone on to play well-publicized shows at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood for a few hundred people paying $3,121 per couple, and another elite show last weekend in East Hampton for about $3,000 per person.

Meanwhile Verizon put Prince in commercials that use “Guitar,” another song from “Planet Earth,” as bait for its V Cast Song ID service, making the song a free download to certain cellphones. On July 7 Prince introduced a perfume, 3121, by performing at Macy’s in Minneapolis.

In Britain he infuriated retailers by agreeing to have a newspaper, The Mail on Sunday, include the complete “Planet Earth” CD in copies on July 15. (The album is due for American release this Tuesday.) Presumably The Mail paid him something in the range of what he could have earned, much more slowly, through album sales. British fans have remunerated him in other ways. On Aug. 1 he starts a string of no fewer than 21 sold-out arena concerts, 20,000 seats each, at the O2 (formerly the Millennium Dome) in London at the relatively low ticket price of £31.21, about $64. The O2 ticket price also includes a copy of the album; Prince did the same thing with his tour for “Musicology” in 2004. Those “Musicology” albums were counted toward the pop charts, which then changed their rules; the “Planet Earth” albums will not be. But fans will have the record.

Prince’s priorities are obvious. The main one is getting his music to an audience, whether it’s purchased or not. “Prince’s only aim is to get music direct to those that want to hear it,” his spokesman said when announcing that The Mail would include the CD. (After the newspaper giveaway was announced, Columbia Records’ corporate parent, Sony Music, chose not to release “Planet Earth” for retail sale in Britain.) Other musicians may think that their best chance at a livelihood is locking away their music — impossible as that is in the digital era — and demanding that fans buy everything they want to hear. But Prince is confident that his listeners will support him, if not through CD sales then at shows or through other deals.

This is how most pop stars operate now: as brand-name corporations taking in revenue streams from publishing, touring, merchandising, advertising, ringtones, fashion, satellite radio gigs or whatever else their advisers can come up with. Rare indeed are holdouts like Bruce Springsteen who simply perform and record. The usual rationale is that hearing a U2 song in an iPod commercial or seeing Shakira’s face on a cellphone billboard will get listeners interested in the albums that these artists release every few years after much painstaking effort.

But Prince is different. His way of working has nothing to do with scarcity. In the studio — he has his own recording complex, Paisley Park near Minneapolis — he is a torrent of new songs, while older, unreleased ones fill the archive he calls the Vault. Prince apparently has to hold himself back to release only one album a year. He’s equally indefatigable in concert. On the road he regularly follows full-tilt shows — singing, playing, dancing, sweating — with jam sessions that stretch into the night. It doesn’t hurt that at 49 he can still act like a sex symbol and that his stage shows are unpredictable.

Through it all he still aims for hit singles. Although he has delved into all sorts of music, his favorite form is clearly the four-minute pop tune full of hooks. But his career choices don’t revolve around squeezing the maximum return out of a few precious songs. They’re about letting the music flow.

Prince gravitated early to the Internet. Even in the days of dial-up he sought to make his music available online, first as a way of ordering albums and then through digital distribution. (He was also ahead of his time with another form of communication: text messaging abbreviations, having long ago traded “you” for “U.”) Where the Internet truism is that information wants to be free, Prince’s corollary is that music wants to be heard.

How much he makes from his various efforts is a closely guarded secret. But he’s not dependent on royalties trickling in from retail album sales after being filtered through major-label accounting procedures. Instead someone — a sponsor, a newspaper, a promoter — pays him upfront, making disc sales less important. Which is not to say that he’s doing badly on that front: “3121” sold about 520,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and “Musicology,” with its concert giveaways, was certified multiplatinum.

Prince ended a two-decade contract with Warner Brothers Records in 1996 after a very public falling out with the label. During the mid-1990s he appeared with the word “Slave” painted on his face and said the label was holding back material he wanted to release. For a while he dropped the name Prince — which was under contract to Warner Brothers and Warner/Chappell Music — for an unpronounceable glyph; when the contracts ran out, he was Prince again. And since leaving Warner Brothers he has been independent. He owns his recordings himself, beginning with a three-CD set called “Emancipation” from 1996. He has released albums on his own NPG label and Web site or has licensed them, one by one, for distribution by major labels, presumably letting them compete for each title. Over the past decade he has had albums released through EMI, Arista, Universal and Sony.

The idea behind long-term recording contracts is that a label will invest in building a career. But Prince (in part because of Warner Brothers’ promotion) has been a full-fledged star since the ’80s. So now a label’s main job for him is to get the CDs into stores.

Prince also experimented with having fans subscribe directly to receive his music online, which turned out to be a better idea in theory than in execution. After five years he quietly shut down his NPG Music Club in 2006. Still, his Web site (which is now 3121.com) usually has a rare recording or two for streaming or downloading. Why not? There’s plenty more.

“Planet Earth” is a good but not great Prince album. Unlike “3121,” which built many of its tracks around zinging, programmed electronic sounds, “Planet Earth” sounds largely handmade, even retro. “In this digital age you could just page me,” Prince sings in “Somewhere Here on Earth,” a slow-motion falsetto ballad. “I know it’s the rage but it just don’t engage me like a face-to-face.”

Prince, as usual, is a one-man studio band — drums, keyboards, guitars, vocals — joined here and there by a horn section or a cooing female voice. This time he leans toward rock rather than funk. Serious songs begin and end the album. It starts with “Planet Earth,” an earnest environmental piano anthem with an orchestral buildup, and winds up with the devout “Lion of Judah” and with “Resolution,” an antiwar song. In between, Prince flirts a lot, playing hard-to-get as he rocks through “Guitar” (“I love you baby, but not like I love my guitar”) and promising sensual delights in the upbeat “One U Wanna C” and the slow-grinding “Mr. Goodnight.” There’s also a catchy, nutty song about a model, “Chelsea Rodgers,” who’s both hard-partying and erudite; Prince sings that she knows about how “Rome was chillin’ in Carthage in 33 B.C.E.”

Although Columbia probably thinks otherwise, how the album fares commercially is almost incidental. With or without the CD business, Prince gets to keep making music: in arenas, in clubs, in the studio. Fans buy concert tickets, companies rent his panache, pleasure is shared. It’s a party that can go on a long time.

thumbs up!
"Hyperactive when I was small, Hyperactive now I'm grown, Hyperactive 'till I'm dead and gone"
__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ ___

"Midnight is where the day begins"
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Reply #1 posted 07/24/07 3:48am

sillyme

this is the best article about Prince I have read in a loooong time. The guy actually kindda knows what he wrote about!!

really nice smile
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Reply #2 posted 07/24/07 4:59am

violett

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nice! smile
heart
vi star
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Reply #3 posted 07/24/07 5:08am

Scandalous69

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Very nice and elaborate!

biggrin

Thanx for this!
"When I want to hear good music, I write it myself"
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Reply #4 posted 07/24/07 5:25am

DaveT

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"Rare indeed are holdouts like Bruce Springsteen who simply perform and record."


Nice to see "The Boss" getting some props on that front. Looking forward to Springsteens next project as well....rumour has it he's getting together with the E-Streeters again!! biggrin
www.filmsfilmsfilms.co.uk - The internet's best movie site!
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Reply #5 posted 07/24/07 5:26am

justcoco

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Love that article, it surfaced a couple of days ago here.. smile))

totally worth being posted 4 times.. hehehehe

http://www.prince.org/msg/7/235630

http://www.prince.org/msg/7/235713

http://www.prince.org/msg/7/235822

http://www.prince.org/msg/7/235879
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Reply #6 posted 07/24/07 6:33am

TikiColadas

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Fantastic article, I think people are starting to get PRINCE.
Dad. Cartoonist. Illustrator. TOPPS Star Wars and Walking Dead Illustrator. Film Illustrator. JEDI. PRINCE Fan. www.theartofprince.com

www.jonathancaustrita.com
www.theartofprince.com
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Reply #7 posted 07/24/07 7:31am

Tremolina

But Prince is confident that his listeners will support him, if not through CD sales then at shows or through other deals.



I do hope so! lol
If true, that was a long time coming. Not so long ago he was still harassing fans with uptight lawyers over minor copyright violations. But it sure looks like he is finding many new ways of getting paid and starting to drop the idea of getting paid for every single copy and public performance. Good for him, good for the fans, not so good for the music conglomarates.
razz razz
[Edited 7/24/07 7:33am]
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Reply #8 posted 07/24/07 11:59am

Vannelli

WOW!!! biggrin
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Reply #9 posted 07/24/07 3:21pm

AlphabetS

That is truly a well informed and excellent article. The guy knows his stuff. Prince is big news at the moment. Is it just me, or is there something strange about all this press interest when for me, nothing has ever changed. Its always been interesting, innovative and exciting. Even through the odd dodgy album! During the "Slave" phase, people I knew, and especially the press in the UK, used to think he had gone mad. I corrected those I knew, and explaine=d what he was doing, but they never got it. Maybe now they will.

We knew he was right and what it was all about. Look at it another way; George Michael's dispute robbed him of making music at his creative peak. Prince wanted to make more music, wasn't allowed to, so became "Symbol". Whose ahead of his time there then? I remember watching Prince and the NPG perform "Get Wild" on TV in the 1990's and "Symbol" had his face covered and would not speak. Mayte did it for him. He wasn't being Prince, as he felt, quite rightly, that he didn't own Prince or could express himself correctly, which was through making music prolifically.

Stopping Prince making music is like telling a writer with the greatest imagination in the world he cannot write an article, short story or book until you tell him "its the right time". It wouldn't be allowed in literature; why should it in music? Some bands struggle to make a new album, but do so due to their contractual commitments. The little genius wants to release music constantly, he has a never ending supply. If people like it and it sells, great, if they don't, that OK. Let's release another one. And so on. The thing is, it doesn't matter, just release it, it should be heard. In literature terms, Prince is not a novel writer, he is the guy who writes the magazine articles or short stories, some of which are great and some you disagree with. But you should never stop him writing while its interesting. And it always has been. And if he was to write a classic novel, it would be called Sign O the Times. Does anyone believe if Prince took several years off like most bands between albums he would not come back with a killer? But does anyone really want him to go away for 4 years? Of course not. All power to him I say.

Long live the king of innovation. Here's to the next 20 years+ of the genius leading the way into new unexplored musical territories, in the studio, on stage and in the boardroom (where let's face it, the table simply has to be a big symbol).

Roll on Friday the 3rd August. I'll be there. Who is going?
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Reply #10 posted 07/24/07 4:20pm

cuzzani

Right words. This man understand the new musical era.From Buenos Aires a big hug to everyone.
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Reply #11 posted 07/24/07 4:56pm

Kissmequick

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justcoco said:

Love that article, it surfaced a couple of days ago here.. smile))

totally worth being posted 4 times.. hehehehe

http://www.prince.org/msg/7/235630

http://www.prince.org/msg/7/235713

http://www.prince.org/msg/7/235822

http://www.prince.org/msg/7/235879



lol - thanks for the mention. I was like didn't I do that two days before? Oh well, one love all.
pray God bless everyone. NO exceptions. pray
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Reply #12 posted 07/24/07 5:28pm

PurpleRain747

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Interesting...seems that every time Prince makes a bold move they all have 2 catch up later 2 understand his tactics! Prince is a genius in every respect!!! Thank u 4 the article. biggrin
[Edited 7/24/07 17:28pm]
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Reply #13 posted 07/24/07 9:13pm

meow85

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AlphabetS said:

That is truly a well informed and excellent article. The guy knows his stuff. Prince is big news at the moment. Is it just me, or is there something strange about all this press interest when for me, nothing has ever changed. Its always been interesting, innovative and exciting. Even through the odd dodgy album! During the "Slave" phase, people I knew, and especially the press in the UK, used to think he had gone mad. I corrected those I knew, and explaine=d what he was doing, but they never got it. Maybe now they will.

We knew he was right and what it was all about. Look at it another way; George Michael's dispute robbed him of making music at his creative peak. Prince wanted to make more music, wasn't allowed to, so became "Symbol". Whose ahead of his time there then? I remember watching Prince and the NPG perform "Get Wild" on TV in the 1990's and "Symbol" had his face covered and would not speak. Mayte did it for him. He wasn't being Prince, as he felt, quite rightly, that he didn't own Prince or could express himself correctly, which was through making music prolifically.

Stopping Prince making music is like telling a writer with the greatest imagination in the world he cannot write an article, short story or book until you tell him "its the right time". It wouldn't be allowed in literature; why should it in music? Some bands struggle to make a new album, but do so due to their contractual commitments. The little genius wants to release music constantly, he has a never ending supply. If people like it and it sells, great, if they don't, that OK. Let's release another one. And so on. The thing is, it doesn't matter, just release it, it should be heard. In literature terms, Prince is not a novel writer, he is the guy who writes the magazine articles or short stories, some of which are great and some you disagree with. But you should never stop him writing while its interesting. And it always has been. And if he was to write a classic novel, it would be called Sign O the Times. Does anyone believe if Prince took several years off like most bands between albums he would not come back with a killer? But does anyone really want him to go away for 4 years? Of course not. All power to him I say.

Long live the king of innovation. Here's to the next 20 years+ of the genius leading the way into new unexplored musical territories, in the studio, on stage and in the boardroom (where let's face it, the table simply has to be a big symbol).

Roll on Friday the 3rd August. I'll be there. Who is going?




I know what you mean. What Prince is doing now is more less what he's always done. The antics that got him laughed out of a room 10 or 15 years ago is now gaining him praise from all corners. I can't help but think some of the love he's gotten recently is retroactive and maybe even sparked by a touch of guilt; "Oh shit, the little dude was right about the industry. Sorry, man. Here's an award."
"A Watcher scoffs at gravity!"
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Reply #14 posted 07/24/07 9:54pm

Snap

The idea behind long-term recording contracts is that a label will invest in building a career. But Prince (in part because of Warner Brothers’ promotion) has been a full-fledged star since the ’80s. So now a label’s main job for him is to get the CDs into stores.

Does any record company these days put effort into building anyone's career? They want that one-off album right outta the gate, and if they don't think you have another in ya, then you're out the door! They don't care about artist development no more, or that maybe you have something creatively different to offer this world. They want the big bucks. They have no time for art and could really care less. The only way an artist can really make it these days is to do it on his/her own terms. You may not make "big bucks" but you'll be able to make a decent living doing what you enjoy most.


.
[Edited 7/24/07 21:55pm]
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Reply #15 posted 07/24/07 10:04pm

beautifulone7

chewymusic said:



(He was also ahead of his time with another form of communication: text messaging abbreviations, having long ago traded “you” for “U.”)




I'm glad someone is FINALLY giving him props for this!
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Reply #16 posted 07/24/07 10:55pm

Zxrl25

"Planet Earth" is the best album he made in a LONG time...Its almost as good as the "Gold Experience." It is def the best album since 1995's "Gold." All kinds of crazy sounds Prince is best when he plays his "Guitar." ahaha
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Reply #17 posted 07/25/07 9:48am

dseann

sillyme said:

this is the best article about Prince I have read in a loooong time. The guy actually kindda knows what he wrote about!!

really nice smile



Agreed he "kinda" knows what he wrote about, except the "entering his third decade" foolishness. Prince is entering his fourth decade in the business.
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Reply #18 posted 07/25/07 12:43pm

Loakum

All of this is nice, but I personally hope the alblum don't suck!
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Reply #19 posted 07/25/07 1:16pm

alonso58

dseann said:

sillyme said:

this is the best article about Prince I have read in a loooong time. The guy actually kindda knows what he wrote about!!

really nice smile



Agreed he "kinda" knows what he wrote about, except the "entering his third decade" foolishness. Prince is entering his fourth decade in the business.


As everyone has picked up on, the writer of the article is no slouch. His name is Jon Pareles and he is well respected music critic.


"The Grey Lady's Pop Music Man
Jon Pareles in Conversation

By Steven Ward

Whenever I interview rock writers for this site, I always ask them to name their favorite music critics--writers that make them want to read about pop music. Many of these writers drop the name of Jon Pareles, the pop music critic for the New York Times. Ira Robbins recently called him "by far the finest working critic in America."

Because of accolades like that, I had to find out for myself what makes this guy so great. I was always a great fan of Pareles's work at the New York Times. During the following e-mail interview, Pareles talks about his time as a full-time staffer at Crawdaddy!, Rolling Stone, and the Village Voice before taking over for the late and legendary Robert Palmer at the New York Times.

During the course of the interview, I found (as you will) some of what makes Pareles so special. Some lessons fellow critics might learn: never limit yourself to writing about one genre of music; album liner notes contain just as many enlightening ideas as newspapers and magazines; and writing for a newspaper may be more fun than writing for the monthlies.

So sit back and let one of the masters tell you a thing or two about the Peter Pan profession of rock journalism.


The full interview: http://www.rockcritics.co...reles.html

Other articles he wrote on Prince can be found on the New York Times website (unfortunately, lot of articles come up under Prince so try 'concert' or other words to narrow search) http://topics.nytimes.com...submit.y=6

geek
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Reply #20 posted 07/25/07 1:19pm

Phantasy

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cool
__________________________________________________

+++SOME THINGS ARE BETTER LEFT UNSAID+++
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Reply #21 posted 07/25/07 2:00pm

therapyisback

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Thanks for sharing this article, really enjoyed it.

And, hi Chewy!!! wave biggrin
That's right, you are Divinity
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Reply #22 posted 07/25/07 9:45pm

chewymusic

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omfg Therapy?! wow! wave HI! dancing jig !!wElCoMe bAcK!! dancing jig
"Hyperactive when I was small, Hyperactive now I'm grown, Hyperactive 'till I'm dead and gone"
__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ ___

"Midnight is where the day begins"
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Reply #23 posted 07/26/07 12:25pm

therapyisback

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chewymusic said:

omfg Therapy?! wow! wave HI! dancing jig !!wElCoMe bAcK!! dancing jig


Hi man! Long time no virtual see!! hug

I gotta say, your hair is OFF THE CHISANG my friend!!! headbang How you get it to stay up like that?!

biggrin
That's right, you are Divinity
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Reply #24 posted 07/28/07 11:37pm

Diosuni

avatar

justcoco said:

Love that article, it surfaced a couple of days ago here.. smile))

totally worth being posted 4 times.. hehehehe

http://www.prince.org/msg/7/235630

http://www.prince.org/msg/7/235713

http://www.prince.org/msg/7/235822

http://www.prince.org/msg/7/235879


THIS IS ALL THAT rodgers WOULD SEE IN THAT!his fixation on the color purple, his career choices have been savvy ones, especially for someone so compulsively prolific.
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Reply #25 posted 07/28/07 11:50pm

Diosuni

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Snap said:

The idea behind long-term recording contracts is that a label will invest in building a career. But Prince (in part because of Warner Brothers’ promotion) has been a full-fledged star since the ’80s. So now a label’s main job for him is to get the CDs into stores.

Does any record company these days put effort into building anyone's career? They want that one-off album right outta the gate, and if they don't think you have another in ya, then you're out the door! They don't care about artist development no more, or that maybe you have something creatively different to offer this world. They want the big bucks. They have no time for art and could really care less. The only way an artist can really make it these days is to do it on his/her own terms. You may not make "big bucks" but you'll be able to make a decent living doing what you enjoy most.


wAIT 'TILL U SEE THE ATTACK AND BLITZ A BAND FROM THE eAST COAST ARE ABOUT TO DROP ON THE "bizz!".....
No on else has ever thought of this approach, (It's all hush , legal -wise , so I can't let 2 much out, but it's a literal saturation---- wait- then release, approach, that is gonna' turn EVERTHING IN THE"BIDDNESS" ON IT'S ARSE!
THEIR R MAJOR FORCES BEHIND IT , AND THE BAND IS BEYOND DESCRIPTION!
PRINCE WAS CALLED TO KICK IN----BUT, SOME R STILL WAITING 4 HIM, BUT NO ONE NEEDS HIM, B LEAVE ME!
I'LL LET U GUYS AN GALS KNOW WHEN IT BEGINS!
A REAL BAND IS COMING-----TO SET THE"BIDDNESS" ON FIRE!(FIGURATIVELY)!AND IT WILL HAPPEN, I HAVE HEARD BITS AND PIECES OF THIS "BAND " AND LOOK OUT!
SOME BIG FUN COMING! wink

AND THE NAME OF THE BAND WILL BLOW U AWAY!
If I told u that I would b sued!
so..well sorry, 4 now!


.
[Edited 7/24/07 21:55pm]

[Edited 7/28/07 23:53pm]
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Reply #26 posted 07/29/07 10:01pm

chewymusic

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therapyisback said:

chewymusic said:

omfg Therapy?! wow! wave HI! dancing jig !!wElCoMe bAcK!! dancing jig


Hi man! Long time no virtual see!! hug

I gotta say, your hair is OFF THE CHISANG my friend!!! headbang How you get it to stay up like that?!

biggrin


Thank you Therapy. hug
although you know I can't give up my secrets wink

giggle
"Hyperactive when I was small, Hyperactive now I'm grown, Hyperactive 'till I'm dead and gone"
__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ ___

"Midnight is where the day begins"
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Reply #27 posted 07/30/07 1:42pm

therapyisback

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chewymusic said:

therapyisback said:



Hi man! Long time no virtual see!! hug

I gotta say, your hair is OFF THE CHISANG my friend!!! headbang How you get it to stay up like that?!

biggrin


Thank you Therapy. hug
although you know I can't give up my secrets wink

giggle


You style guru you... biggrin

I understand wink
That's right, you are Divinity
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Reply #28 posted 07/31/07 8:47am

orionzdrm

razz "WHERES THE FUNK"?
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Reply #29 posted 07/31/07 1:38pm

Chatou7

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When will they stop talking about the same old news about Prince ?

The era with WB is over and done with !! Get on with the new stuff already !!

mad
Chatou
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