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Thread started 08/22/10 9:50am

GiGi319

Final part of German Rolling Stone interview added

Here is the final part of the RS article, I would have posted it earlier but sometimes my job interferes with my Prince projects and I hate when that happens:-D

Hot-Sacred-And On A Higher Plane

How Prince the lonely King of Minneapolis wants to save the world with the power of music.

To answer a delicate question: Yes, even the stalls in the guest bathrooms of Paisley Park are purple! Purple like the 'Purple Rain' and the album cover of '1999'; Purple like the doman (coat) and the bull-fighter-style-pants the owner of PP used to wear, when he made love to his audience in the prime of his career.

Purple like the stripes and logos he had painted on the front wall of one of his rented estates in West-Hollywood in the spring of 2006. Which resulted in a law-suit by the owner of the estate, basket ball player Carlos Boozer - who surely would have liked to be consulted when Prince chose the colors for the house paintings.

PP was built in 1987 in Chanhassen and functions as main office, sound studio, and 'castle of lust' ('Lust Schloss'). In comparison to his colorful estate in California, PP looks plain; more like a 'Baumarkt' (German version of Home Depot or Lowes)

The front of the building is left blank, no letters, not even a banner of the symbol that functioned as Prince's name for a while. Not even a hint of the color purple - there is nothing secretive or mysterious about the place. Only 4 years ago the studios of PP could be rented by almost everyone. Phone numbers, technical data and a virtual tour can still be found on the internet, even though the phone numbers are no longer in service and haven't been in a long time.

Great exotic and extravagant parties used to be hosted here and everyone who had no plans for the night and lived in the area was invited. Until Prince decided to pack his purple suitcase in the spring of 2006 and moved to Los Angeles. He also took his fan club off the internet and opened a night club in Vegas. The following year he spent the sommer performing in London and also experienced a few adventures far away from home.

It might come as a surprise to many music fans that the 52 year old Prince Rogers Nelson is still around - he just released the 20ten Album and is touring Europe.

Prince the eccentric, the little hell cat of funk/sex/pop is one of the greatest superstars. His style belongs somewhere between 'punk' and 'techno'. He is some kind of a 'Michael Jackson for really cool people' and he has sold more than 100 million records. The genius and cult that surrounds Prince seems aloof and absurd at times.

He stuck with this concept ahd harvests consistently the fruit of his labor as a result. Nobody is ever able to entirely grasp his concept. None of his ideas good or bad, are predictable.

Even after the 27th or 28th or 29th Prince album, fans still get excited about his latest creation. Insiders know that Prince has returned to his home town Minneapolis. He is back at PP where the parking lot has been swept, the furniture has been dusted and the scented candles have been lit once again. 'Admission is easy, just say u believe', he sang the song in 1985 that gave the building its name. But to get admitted one needs to have at least an invitation. Film maker Kevin Smith had a story to tell when he was asked by Prince to film a documentary and spent a week at PP. Smith allegedly didn't get to see much of Prince while filming there. He did however receive strict instructions by the master since Prince seemed to be able to listen in on every conversation with the help of hidden microphones that were strategically placed throughout PP. Some might shake their heads in desbelief but wouldn't we be disappointed if Prince the eccentric would all of a sudden act on cue, logically and predictable and decided to paint the bathroom stalls in PP black or white?

So far the Rolling Stone interview is to take place as scheduled. We had known the approximate day and time of the interview for weeks. Friday was out of the question, we were told - then last minute news from Prince's camp on Thursday. The interview would take place Friday after all, regardless of what we have been told earlier.

After we arrive at St. Paul International Airport we receive more details from Prince's assistant. We would be picked up at the Holiday Inn in Chanhassen at the appointed time. As usual there are no cameras or any recording devices allowed at PP. To bring a note book seems to be ok, but even taking notes seems to give Prince a stomach ache. He would rather see it if one would remember whatever is being discussed; he wants one to capture the vibe without the help of a note book.

What happens then can only be described as crazy and bizarre and can only be told - like Kevin Smith did -in the 1st person. An adventerous essay titled :"The afternoon I spent with Prince"

It doesn't matter who you will meet in Minneapolis. Everyone has a Prince story and is eager to tell it when asked.

The girl from the coffee shop who was never really a Prince fan but was dragged by her sister to one of the PP parties, says:"We had to wait for hours in the parking lot when all of a sudden the gates opened. And I stood so close to him.

The Egyptian cab driver, who has been waiting for a customer at the airport hands me the phone number of his cousin Mohammed. "Ask him about Prince. Prince used to visit my cousin's restaurant often back in the day. Most of the time all he would order was coffee for 50 cent and hot water and more hot water. He would hang out there with his friends but Prince was everything but a paying customer. And 2 years later...I open the news paper and can't believe my eyes. There is that Prince guy!"

We take the Minnesota Highway #5 from Minneapolis to Chanhassen a small town outside the city-limits where Prince owns 12 estates nestled between parks and lakes and sometimes Prince forgets to pay the taxes on time for those estates.

"In the 70's when we moved here from Egypt, everything around here was farmland", says Mohammed on the phone. "And soon everyone around here seemed to love my Gyros sandwiches. If you start with nothing and then you make it, you can be proud of yourself. Just like Prince... he used to be a nobody and then...boom!" Mohammed tells me to ask Prince to come and visit his restaurant again. "He ows me that!" Mohammed says.

"First of all: Everyone claims to be my cousin," says Prince when I give him Mohammed's message in the atrium of PP. "And second: I don't even drink coffee!" The 3 background singers Shelby J., Liv Warfield and Elisa Fiorillo start to laugh and giggle whenever Prince says something remotely funny and then they would carry on with their conversation. Around the corner in Studio B sits a journalist from Belgium who is listening to the new album. No one else is there! No staff in sight, no body guard, no personal assistant. PP seems big, empty and quiet; even with the purple carpets, the sun patterns, the seat-cushions that are shaped like lotus flowers, the tables with golden legs and assessories that remind me of a girl's room from the 80's.

PP is bright and well lit but still seems somewhat creepy.

"Where are you from?" asks Prince. "From Berlin", I say. He replies:"I love to go to Berlin to buy clothes and furniture." "Soon you will be there for a concert", I mention.

"Well...who knows..." Prince says with a grin on his face. Puzzled I tell him that many tickets have already been sold. All of a sudden he stares at me and the non-chalant tone in his voice is gone. "How fast did the tickets sell?" Look out! You're dealing with Prince the business man now, who dewsn't seem to be purple behind his ears. Those who praise Prince usually focus on his extraordinary musical talent. But when you meet him in person you realize: Of course is this man so very cuccessful because he is also very smart and unbelievably good looking! One might be distracted from those facts by his blazing guitar solos, the excellent jazz/funk harmonies and the brilliant lyrics. Even though he is only about 5'3" he doesn't really seem short but appears to be perfectly proportioned. He is wearing a turquoise shirt, a white sleeveless jacket, white pants, white linen shoes and a butterscotch face. He looks like he just stepped out of a fairy-tale, where he was just lying down with his harem of oh so very young and beautiful Latin girls.

He is drinking out of a plastic cup one of those 'strawberry-watchamacallits' of course without alcohol. And then he smoothly gestures that he is ready for the interview! And we all know that an interview with Prince doesn't happen very often.

Here we go: "Mr. Prince, how are you doing this? Or better: How do you meet people who have wrong expectations?" "I have no idea, only very seldom do I allow strangers into my circle of friends."

"How does it feel when someone with your artistic perfection only seems to get praise from the critics when you sound like you sounded back in the day?" "Is that so?" he asks while raising his eyebrows in an almost lascivious way. "Doesn't matter. Other people's expectations are not relevant to me in any way! For the simple fact that I am not a part of the music industry anymore. My world doesn't work like this. I have different standards. Only recently a man from the music business asked me:'Why don't you let someone else produce your album?' And I say: 'Good idea! And who might this someone else be?" I don't need things like that just for publicity."

"Maybe Andre 300 from Outkast," I suggest. Prince looks amused. "Nothing against Andre, He's a good rapper. But the question is: Is he also a musician?"

Prince gets up and walks to a different room with garden-view. There is a big picture of the 'Rainbow Children' cover on the wall, then there is a big black sustom-made piano that is shaped like a big black tongue. "Whenever I listen to todays music," he starts preaching after he sits himself in front of the piano (which by the way seems to be the only kind of chair that keeps him actually sitting down for longer than 5 minutes) "...all this popular 80's dance-stuff-revival...everything is so flat, so simple, so predictable. The same old synthesizers, the same old arrangements."

He starts to improvise, it sounds like afternoon/night club music. "You have to create your own harmonies! Wendy and Lisa taught me that." The 2 used to be the most critical and crucial center of his 80's band 'The Revolution'. Even though Prince is known as somewhat of a control freak, he allowed Wendey and Lisa to contribute to the band with their creativity. "There are only a few musicians that are really open-minded. I work with musicians only by the way: Do you know hoe to play the congas? Do you know Esperanza Spalding? Write down her name, she is brilliant!"

He continues to play a medley of different songs while he talks. While I'm trying to balance myself on a lotus flower shaped seat cushion right next to the piano, I am watching Prince lose himself in his music.

"You see, this is sacred to me!" he shouts "Music is supposed to free the spirit and bring you to a higher level. Trying to get higher and staying there. If music starts to lose its drive; if it sounds flat and predictable" - he moves his hand in a downward gesture - "...then I lose interest immediately. Without music the world would be a stagnant place!"

Right at that moment, as if on cue, the 2 muses enter the room. They carry files with sheets of music, fesembling a rehearsal for the church choir. And then it starts: the old single b-side 'How come u don't call me anymore?' 'Lean on me', 'Que sera sera', 'nothing compares 2 u', 'Diamonds and pearls', and for fun in between he plays the theme song of the 'Adams Family'. The singers harmonize like black angels and the air trembles. Prince gives instructions, ghe next time to sing it this or that way, and the make notes of everything. And then the slightly authoritarian tone changes quickly into enthusiasm again "How can one hear this and not book a European tour immediately?", he exclaims."If you have money on you, please throw it now!"

Then he accepts requests, and in the excitement of the situation I can only think of 'The Arms of Orion' from the Batman soundtrack, instead of one of the beautiful piano ballads like 'Sometimes it snows in April' or 'When 2 r in Love'. "That is not from me," jokes Prince, "the joker wrote that! Did you know that the album was originally supposed to be a duet with Michael Jackson and myself? He as Batman and I as the joker!"

He only vaguely remembers the song, plays the beginning, doesn't know the words. "Write it down!" he says to Live as if to a secretary, "we have to practise this!"

The most complicated thing of all about Prince is his strange relation to the past and future, to time in general. He avoids answers to questions about activities from the past, and he won't specify about plans in the future. Both with the same reasoning: He lives strictly in the here and now, in the presence. He doesn't even want to say much about his curren CD '20ten' which by the way reminds one in a lovely way of the old synthesizer and cords of his 'Dirty-Funk'-time. He has long since made new music, " a new system which will be ready for the public earliest in winter". His notes that lay on the mixing pult in Studio B, full of unknown song titles, give some indication: 'Star (Sweet Dreams)', 'Back in the Day', 'Waiting'.

Two events are probably resposible for what one might find strange and incomprehensible about Prince, however much one loves him. First of all his conversion to the Jehova Witnesses, influenced by his friend base player Larry Graham. There are witnesses who say he showed up at their door step with the 'Watchtower'. He visits the service in the Kingdom Hall in St. Paul. And when he starts to talk about God and Planet Earth then it really gets, let's say, 'complex'.

The second factor: the famos fight with thre record company Warner Brothers, whose publication politics and PR work he felt to be a coercion.

His appearance with the word 'Slave' written on his face and the strange symbol name made him look like a weirdo for some time, but it did cover up the fact that Prince was the only one back then who saw the truly visionary picture. 'As soon as the internet functions fully, the music industy has a big problem', he said already in 1995. Then he sold the 'Crystal Ball' box in 1997 on the net, and had his own download shop form 2001 with 'NPG music club'. The fans did have a lot of problems with various websites, the latest with the abo service 'Lotusflow3r', which deducted fees even after having been shut down. But that does not change the fact that Prince was totally correct. He also gives away his CDs free sometimes. It does not matter to him that a lot of people, who are still stuck in the old system, are angry about that.

Later in the PP kitchen, Prince starts a monologue about his second favorite topic (aside from God): "To make a breakthrough - what does that mean nowadays anyway? No one is interested in hit singles any longer. Everyone's releasing music, everything's available for free. If at all, then one can stand out with personality. And by mastering the real vocabulary of music. Erykah Badu, D'Angelo, Jill Scott, they were perfect from the beginning, they did not need any record company to build them up. Jimi Hendrix had London in the bag before he even released a single album. There is no reason for young artists to throw themselves at the fee of the so-called gatekeepers."

And in order to chike off any doubt, Prince walks over to the flatscreen tv, on which a Bette Davis movie is running in silent mode, zaps through the hard disc recorder until he finds a recording of a Letterman show. The he fast forwards to the excellent performance of Janell Monae which he plays at high volume. She is easily recognizable as a Prince favorite, and he says: "Look at her, her eyes are wide open!"

The easy-going-friendliness might be quite a strenuous effort for him. His hyperactive hospitality could be an act for themedia with which he covers up his bashfulness. (the Daily Mirror interview too place suspiciously similar). But the high-spirited enthusiasm he displays while watching that video is for real. And I imagine Prince as he sits in his empty PP and watches music videos, invents chords, and learns new music which is given to him by the Lord. Maybe that's exactly what the artist Prince does.

He is definitely not on the internet. To answer the question whether there will be a new online presence after all the terminated fanclub projects, he sounds irritated as he says: "The internet is over with. Do you remember the time when MTV suddenly was no longer cool, but rather old? That's what's happening with the net. We have been there from the beginning, won a lot of awards - and now it is time for something new. I don't need to discuss my opinion with the entire world. I learn nothing by sitting in front of a computer screen - I only learn from real people. A few days agao I had some guests; we shared a meal and talked about the planet, about problems and how they can be solved. That's how I communicate with the world!"

Is it possible that there could come a day when he won't do any more records or go on tour, and will just put his stage up somewhere - like in London for 21 nights - and will let the people come to him, those who want to hear his music? "Look, in your head you already live in the year 2020", Prince calms me down, tn the trained bariton of a wise guru. "I live in the presence".

To get a very dood idea of what it is like to live in the past, one only needs to visit the 'Hard Rock Cafe' in Minneapolis. Who wants to eat apple pie there has to watch videos of Led Zeppelin, Poison or Foreigner. The Prince showcase is on the first floor. Behind glass: the colorful paisley boots, the turquoise overall, leather gloves with lace, etx. A 'Sign O' The Times' guitar which was supposed to go into production but was never sent out due to problems with the pickup. A letter which Prince wrote in June of 1984 to his fan Annalisa the Great, congratulating her on her highschool graduation:'I was hopeless in school. I was 2 busy to listening 2 the grass grow'

Nothing in this museum is younger than the 80's. And even when one tends to rather put on the pure-joy album 'Parade' than the changeable 1999 release 'Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic', one can get really mad because of all the lazy Prince nostalgia. The man is alive, we have seen him!

The girl in the cafeteria explains that there once was a special pen with a purple cartridge, but that it was sold out. She was also never interested in Prince. She just wanted to be an actress.

Seh is pretty much the only one in town with that lack of enthusiasm. In 2008, the Minnesota History Center in neighboring St. Paul put together an exhibition that featured the most important people in the history of the past 150 years of the state Minnesota, and Prince - the oral sex and masturbation expert, who led Tipper Gore to found the office that controls song lyrics in 1985 - got an overwhwlming amount of nominations. A girl gave as a reason that she was always pitied for being a hick at her east coast college., until she told people that Minneapolis was the location where 'Purple Rain' was filmed. Someone else commented on the nomination:"He made Americans aware that we even exist."

As said before: everyone here has a Prince story. From the Egyptioan fast food owner, to the bar owner, who saw him in highschool talent shows and later put the concrete on the driveway when PP was built. From Natalie, whose friend once had a fling with Prince and who can be seen dancing in a certain video, to Lisa, whose uncle collects exotic animals and delivered a few birds for the the late night parties in Chanhassen.

The artist himself, born in 1958 to a jazzmusic couple in the north of the city, who has always lived in the surrounding area, except for a short time in LA, cultivates a surprising local patriotism in his otherwise so glamorous and spiritual work. For the local football team, the Vikings (team color: purple!) he recently wrote a hymn. And in the untitled bonus track on his new CD '20ten' he calls himself son 'from the heart of Minnesota'. He calls Minneapolis 'Funkytown.'

Even the waiter at Bunker's, a redneck by appearance, is really happy when asked about the popstar. The place in the ware house district smells like buttered popcorn on Saturday afternoon, you can see baseball instead of Lettermann. One can hardly imagine a more striking contrast to the vegan paradise PP. "Just last week he performed here again," the guy raves. "When Dr. Mambo's Combo are here he sometimes hoins them on stage as a guest. That is incredibly great every time!" Some members of the Bunker's club band used to play in Prince's group NPG, that's where the connection comes from.

Then suddenly a phone is brought, the waiter had just called his friend J.D. Stelle, who knows the artist since the 70's and has sung background vocals with him. "Prince is a man true to his convictions," explains Steele, "and at the moment he sees more sense and purpose in his life than ever before. His heart and his mind have such an active exchange, as is hardly ever found with any other person."

It seems like we are going around town asking the citizens how they feel about the ominous king who resides lonely in his castle right outside the city-limits. Nobody - and I mean nobody has something bad to say about Prince in spite of the fact that only few have actually seen him in years.

"He makes sure that people somehow notice his presence," says Dustin Meyer a long-time DJ of Prince's entourage, who is now part of the local night-club "Envy". There used to be the famous PP parties. Meyer used to receive the unannounced phone call usually around midnight and 2 hours later PP was filled to capacity by young people who didn't hesitate to party with Prince until 5 o'clock in the morning. "Sure, he is weird at times - he acts that way deliberately to keep the mystery alive." Why did he move to LA in 2006? "Don't know - but he returned, didn't he. He always comes back to Minneapolis."

"There is a good chance that Prince might stop by at the 'Envy' tonight', speculates Meyer. He will let us know. Meanwhile the 'Cabooze', the club that is located downtown, is getting ready for the family reunion. The heroes of the 'Minneapolis Sound' are rehearsing on stage: Dez Dickerson, Mike Scott, Tommy Barbarella, Dr. Matt Fink, Sonny T., Tony M. All of them have played in Prince's band at some point. Some longer than others. They call the yearly concert. "Family Reunion" which seems somewhat nostalgic. They gather to make sure that their presence is still known in Minneapolis to this very day. The musicians of the local music-scene stay in touch even if the head of the band will probably be a no-show. "You never know", somebody says "he might stop by tonight! He always shows up when least expected."

"He sees me more often than I see him", jokes heavyset ex-NPG-drummer Michael Bland who plays now for Jonas-Brother Nick and is a member of the Bunker's band. "If Prince shows up here, he usually comes through the kitchen entrance and sits somewhere in the back. And later someone will mention that Prince was here and I go 'Oh...cool!' A few years ago at New York's club 'Nell', Bland witnessed how intrusive fans can get. "That's one of the reasons why Prince came back from LA. There people focus on your private life for the wrong reasons. Here in Minneapolis he can buy his groceries without a bodyguard. Man, we're in Minnesota, no need for a bodyguard here!"

When the show starts with cunnilingus-fellatio-number 'Head' we actually spot an all decked out Prince impersonator. 'Head' song from the 'dirty mind' era, the Minneapolis Sound blueprint with Dr. Fink's wicked synthesizer solo.

Prince himself banned numbers like 'Head' from his playlist for religious reasons. Those kind of numbers can only be heard when Prince is not present. I wonder how Prince would like this show. I think he might be bored as a by stander but would enjoy to be on stage.

By the way, to everone's disappointment, there were no Prince sightings that night. Not at the 'Cabooze' or the 'Envy' or at cousin Mohammed's coffee shop for that matter. Some might think that Prince somehow was able to be part of this while watching the show on one of his monitors at PP. Simply because he's one of them. The stories they tell about Prince that night still sound relevant - more or less - true or not.

The day before while on the way out of PP Prince made a surprising announcement: He would re-decorate and re-open PP to the public. "Like some kind of museum or church?" I ask "Always these trick questions!" One might say PP is some kind of a 'Graceland', a place of well-being, a place to relax. A place built in honor of the artist who is present or not at times. He also mentions he will bring the PP parties back. "We will let the people here know, that we're back in town."

Prince lives 100% in the here and now!

love the one who is Love!
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Reply #1 posted 08/22/10 10:32am

rbrpm

Thanx 4 sharing!Looks like someone dip into the "happy juice" again,life iz here big p join us!biggrin

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Reply #2 posted 08/22/10 10:59am

PurpleLove7

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moderator

Thanks GiGi ...

Peace ... & Stay Funky ...

~* The only love there is, is the love "we" make *~

www.facebook.com/purplefunklover
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Reply #3 posted 08/22/10 11:28am

mayrain

cool I really loved this interview. Thank U wink

Proverbs 23:9
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Reply #4 posted 08/22/10 1:02pm

Bohemian67

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One of the best interviews I've read. Thanks for all the translating. cool

"Free URself, B the best that U can B, 3rd Apartment from the Sun, nothing left to fear" Prince Rogers Nelson - Forever in my Life -
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Reply #5 posted 08/22/10 2:03pm

NouveauDance

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GiGi319 said:

Prince walks over to the flatscreen tv, on which a Bette Davis movie is running

rainbow

Finally, the hardcore confirmation needed to put that matter to rest. Thank you and good night.

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Reply #6 posted 08/22/10 2:07pm

violetskye

mayrain said:

cool I really loved this interview. Thank U wink

EYE'm not his cousin, but eye do like-a-like Cherry Coke!!

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Reply #7 posted 08/22/10 2:59pm

mayrain

violetskye said:

mayrain said:

cool I really loved this interview. Thank U wink

EYE'm not his cousin, but eye do like-a-like Cherry Coke!!

lol

Proverbs 23:9
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Reply #8 posted 08/22/10 3:16pm

Number23

NouveauDance said:



GiGi319 said:


Prince walks over to the flatscreen tv, on which a Bette Davis movie is running



rainbow



Finally, the hardcore confirmation needed to put that matter to rest. Thank you and good night.


smile
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Reply #9 posted 08/22/10 3:59pm

luv4u

Moderator

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Awesome job! Thanks for putting time into this GiGi319. clapping bow

Edmonton, AB - canada
Mod Goddess of the SNIP & BAN Making Moves - OF4S
Ohh purple joy oh purple bliss oh purple rapture!
REAL MUSIC by REAL MUSICIANS - Prince
"I kind of wish there was a reason for Prince to make the site crash more" ~~ Ben
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Reply #10 posted 08/22/10 4:03pm

GiGi319

NouveauDance said:

GiGi319 said:

Prince walks over to the flatscreen tv, on which a Bette Davis movie is running

rainbow

Finally, the hardcore confirmation needed to put that matter to rest. Thank you and good night.

Yep, Prince is into Bette Davis. It was a long kept secret but finally it had to be revealed! biggrin

love the one who is Love!
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Reply #11 posted 08/22/10 4:08pm

GiGi319

Thanks also to dreamer20ten; let's not forget she translated the 3rd part of the interview! woot!

love the one who is Love!
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Reply #12 posted 08/22/10 4:22pm

ecstasy

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Thank u so much 4 the translation!! Love it biggrin smile cool wink lol

Yes, at 19, I finally saw the Revolution, a legendary band. And I talked to Wendy!!! biggrin In addition to seeing Prince, I have now lived life. Thank you Purple People!!
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