independent and unofficial
Prince fan community
Forum jump
Forums > Prince: Music and More > Prince talks...about music
« Previous topic  Next topic »
Page 1 of 2 12>
  New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
Author

Tweet     Share

Message
Thread started 03/17/14 10:46am

OldFriends4Sal
e

avatar

moderator

Prince talks...about music

There are a lot of interviews that I've read over the years with Prince where he talks about the creation of his music, how he sees and hears music, how music or the lack of it defined developed his sound or people and thing that inspired his music/songs etc and outside of the 1980s interviews, it's the only thing I can say I love read or hearing him talk about

.

I'm going to share a bunch if U don't mind

#ALBUMSSTILLMATTER
That's what U want, TRANSCENDENCE. When that happens, O Boy -Prince 2015
https://www.youtube.com/w...nm2Qq6QTFs
#IDEFINEME
“Strong people define themselves; weak people allow others to define them.” ― Ken Poirot
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #1 posted 03/17/14 10:52am

OldFriends4Sal
e

avatar

moderator

CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL (1976)


(What follows is a transcript of Prince's very first interview. It appeared in his high school newspaper on February 16, 1976. It is accompanied by a picture of a young afro-clad Prince sitting at a piano.)


Prince plays by ear. "I've had about two lessons, but they didn't help much. I think you'll always be able to do what your ear tells you, so just think how great you'd be with lessons also," he said.

"I advise anyone who wants to learn guitar to get a teacher unless they are very musically inclined. One should learn all their scales too. That is very important," he continued.

Prince would also like to say that his band is in the process of recording an album containing songs they have composed. It should be released during the early part of the summer.

"Eventually I would like to go to college and start lessons again when I'm much older."

#ALBUMSSTILLMATTER
That's what U want, TRANSCENDENCE. When that happens, O Boy -Prince 2015
https://www.youtube.com/w...nm2Qq6QTFs
#IDEFINEME
“Strong people define themselves; weak people allow others to define them.” ― Ken Poirot
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #2 posted 03/17/14 11:01am

iZsaZsa

avatar

chair
What?
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #3 posted 03/17/14 11:26am

OldFriends4Sal
e

avatar

moderator


Will the little girls understand?
By Bill Adler

Snaking out from the wings toward center stage at the Ritz, prancing like a pony with his hands on his hips and then flinging a clorine kick with a coquettish toss of his head, Prince is androgyny personified. Slender and doe-eyed, with a faint pubescent mustache, he is bare-chested beneath a gray, hip-length Edwardian jacket. There's a raffish red scarf at this neck, and he's wearing tight black bikini briefs, thigh-high black leg-warmers and black-fringed go-go boots.

"We basically got all the new music and dances three months late, so I just decided that I was gonna do my own thing. Otherwise, when we did split Minneapolis, we were gonna be way behind and dated. The white radio stations were mostly country, and the one black radio station was really boring to me. For that matter, I didn't really have a record player when I was growing up, and I never got a chance to check out Hendrix and the rest of them because they were dead by the time I was really getting serious. I didn't even start playing guitar until 1974."

It took Prince six months alone in the studio to concoct his 1978 debut album, because, he says, "I was younger then." Prince required six weeks. He controlled the making of both records, but notes that they were "overseen" by record company and management representatives. Dirty Mind, however, was made in isolation in Minneapolis. "Nobody knew what was going on, and I became totally engulfed in it," he says. "It really felt like me for once."

ROLLING STONE, FEBRUARY 19, 1981

#ALBUMSSTILLMATTER
That's what U want, TRANSCENDENCE. When that happens, O Boy -Prince 2015
https://www.youtube.com/w...nm2Qq6QTFs
#IDEFINEME
“Strong people define themselves; weak people allow others to define them.” ― Ken Poirot
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #4 posted 03/17/14 11:48am

OldFriends4Sal
e

avatar

moderator



INTERVIEW * MAY 1997

THE ARTIST
By Spike Lee

SLee: Do you ever think that you have been cursed? That you can't stop the music in your head?

The Artist: Sometimes it is a curse, but it's also a blessing. It's a gift that I am completely grateful for. That's why I keep [making music], because I don't want to be ungrateful for the gift.

SLee: I know you guys like to keep it all mysterious, but I know there is a creative process to how you write a song. It might now be the same thing all the time, though.

The Artist: Yes, it is different all the time. The main way that something comes is fully completed. And the fun part is just listening. When I'm writing, sometimes the pen just goes. I'm not in charge and I'm almost listening outside of it. That's when I realize that we all have to start looking at life as a gift. It's like listening to a color and believing that these colors have soulmates and once you get them all together the painting is complete.

#ALBUMSSTILLMATTER
That's what U want, TRANSCENDENCE. When that happens, O Boy -Prince 2015
https://www.youtube.com/w...nm2Qq6QTFs
#IDEFINEME
“Strong people define themselves; weak people allow others to define them.” ― Ken Poirot
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #5 posted 03/17/14 12:07pm

iZsaZsa

avatar

Do you remember if he ever mentioned that (hearing a song completed in his head) before 1984?
What?
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #6 posted 03/17/14 12:30pm

Se7en

avatar

I remember hearing/reading back in the 90s that he was recording a finished song every day. Whether that was hype or not, who knows.

.

Even one finished song a week is quite an accomplishment!

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #7 posted 03/17/14 12:30pm

OldFriends4Sal
e

avatar

moderator

iZsaZsa said:

Do you remember if he ever mentioned that (hearing a song completed in his head) before 1984?

If anyone else knows please share, I'll scan all the pieces I have, I have a LOT

#ALBUMSSTILLMATTER
That's what U want, TRANSCENDENCE. When that happens, O Boy -Prince 2015
https://www.youtube.com/w...nm2Qq6QTFs
#IDEFINEME
“Strong people define themselves; weak people allow others to define them.” ― Ken Poirot
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #8 posted 03/17/14 12:37pm

OldFriends4Sal
e

avatar

moderator

THE ELECTRIFYING MOJO (1985)


On the eve of his birthday in 1985, Prince gave a surprise interview to legendary Detroit disc jockey the Electrifying Mojo. He had never offered a live radio interview before.

MOJO: It's absolutely my favorite, without question. Tunes like "Around The World In A Day," "Paisley Park." What type of mood were you in when you recorded that album?

PRINCE: Yeah, I sorta had an f-you attitude, meaning that I was making something for myself and my fans. And the people who supported me through the years -- I wanted to give them something and it was like my mental letter. And those people are the ones who wrote me back, telling me that they felt what I was feeling.

MOJO: It's been said that when you're working -- you work on the road, you carry your studio around with you, you get up in the middle of the night, you get an idea for a tune and you get up and go do it -- there's just no such thing as Prince being off from work. Some people have even called you the workaholic, ever-movin' one-man storm. Is that true?

PRINCE: The thing is that when you're called, you're called. I hear things in my sleep; I walk around and go to the bathroom and try to brush my teeth and all of the sudden the toothbrush starts vibrating! That's a groove, you know.

MOJO: You know it!

PRINCE: You gotta go with that, and that means drop the toothbrush and get down to the studio or get to a bass guitar, quick! My best things have come out like that. To me, making a song is like a new girl walking in the room...you never know what's going to happen 'til all the things come together, and there she stands! And she says, "Hi! You want to take a bite of this orange?" And you bite it, and it's cool, and I send it to you. You know?

MOJO: What's your favorite instrument? You play them all....

PRINCE: No, listen...it depends on the song, it depends on the color. They all sound differently. It's very strange, I try to stay original in my work and a lot of sounds have been used now, and I'm looking for new instruments and new sounds and new rhythms. I got a lot of suprises...I don't want to give them all away.

MOJO: You've done hard rock. You've done some of the most sensuous --

PRINCE: No, we've just scratched the surface with all that stuff. There's so many sounds, it's limitless.

MOJO: Some people say you probably have in your secret vault...in the Prince music vault, about 500 tunes that you've done that you haven't even considered using yet...that you could put out an album for the next twenty years, two a year --

PRINCE: Naw, not that many...320 to be exact. Not 500. (laughs)

MOJO: 320 songs? That have never been released.

PRINCE: Mmm-hmm.

MOJO: It's been rumored that they all sound different, that's probably why each album you release is just a little bit different.

PRINCE: Yeah. They don't ALL sound different. There's a couple times I copied myself.

MOJO: It's alright to copy yourself.

PRINCE: You think you hit on something, right! You try to do it again...ya know? (both laugh) I try not to do that too much. If I do, then it's usually someone around, Wendy or Lisa, who says, "Hey, man, I've heard that. Put it away." And it goes away. And we don't hear from that song for a while. Mojo, guess what? We're all going to see Purple Rain tonight.

#ALBUMSSTILLMATTER
That's what U want, TRANSCENDENCE. When that happens, O Boy -Prince 2015
https://www.youtube.com/w...nm2Qq6QTFs
#IDEFINEME
“Strong people define themselves; weak people allow others to define them.” ― Ken Poirot
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #9 posted 03/17/14 12:40pm

OldFriends4Sal
e

avatar

moderator

Se7en said:

I remember hearing/reading back in the 90s that he was recording a finished song every day. Whether that was hype or not, who knows.

.

Even one finished song a week is quite an accomplishment!

wow, 1 song a week if done well is definately an accomplishment

#ALBUMSSTILLMATTER
That's what U want, TRANSCENDENCE. When that happens, O Boy -Prince 2015
https://www.youtube.com/w...nm2Qq6QTFs
#IDEFINEME
“Strong people define themselves; weak people allow others to define them.” ― Ken Poirot
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #10 posted 03/17/14 12:43pm

iZsaZsa

avatar

OldFriends4Sale said:



iZsaZsa said:


Do you remember if he ever mentioned that (hearing a song completed in his head) before 1984?

If anyone else knows please share, I'll scan all the pieces I have, I have a LOT




Thanks, no hurry. smile
What?
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #11 posted 03/17/14 12:46pm

iZsaZsa

avatar

Se7en said:

I remember hearing/reading back in the 90s that he was recording a finished song every day. Whether that was hype or not, who knows.


.


Even one finished song a week is quite an accomplishment!


nod But I mean, when Prince said that in 1997 was he being honest about himself? Or did he borrow the idea? Amadeus was released in 1984, and he loved the film. Hearing songs finished in your head sounds, like, cool! lol
What?
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #12 posted 03/17/14 1:18pm

LewArcher

iZsaZsa said:

Se7en said:

I remember hearing/reading back in the 90s that he was recording a finished song every day. Whether that was hype or not, who knows.

.

Even one finished song a week is quite an accomplishment!

nod But I mean, when Prince said that in 1997 was he being honest about himself? Or did he borrow the idea? Amadeus was released in 1984, and he loved the film. Hearing songs finished in your head sounds, like, cool! lol

I'm like 99% he was being honest. The story or song or painting is already finished and we just give shape to it. That's the artistic process. Sure, sometimes the giving shape part can be tough... one might lack the vocabulary... or skill with a specific instrument... or nuance/subtlety of expression... or pure talent to "interpret" an artistic gift the way one feels is optimal, but that's the process in my experience, and the experience of artists I'm close to or have been close to. If you've ever heard the saying that a sculptor makes a sculpture of an elephant not by "creating" an elephant, but by seeing the elephant within a chunk of clay and then just removing everything that is not an elephant, that's the same principle. I think Prince is an extraordinarily amazing, special artist... but IMO this specific part of his creative process is actually common and applies to most artists who are sincere and devoted to their work.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #13 posted 03/17/14 1:30pm

iZsaZsa

avatar

LewArcher said:



iZsaZsa said:


Se7en said:

I remember hearing/reading back in the 90s that he was recording a finished song every day. Whether that was hype or not, who knows.


.


Even one finished song a week is quite an accomplishment!



nod But I mean, when Prince said that in 1997 was he being honest about himself? Or did he borrow the idea? Amadeus was released in 1984, and he loved the film. Hearing songs finished in your head sounds, like, cool! lol


I'm like 99% he was being honest. The story or song or painting is already finished and we just give shape to it. That's the artistic process. Sure, sometimes the giving shape part can be tough... one might lack the vocabulary... or skill with a specific instrument... or nuance/subtlety of expression... or pure talent to "interpret" an artistic gift the way one feels is optimal, but that's the process in my experience, and the experience of artists I'm close to or have been close to. If you've ever heard the saying that a sculptor makes a sculpture of an elephant not by "creating" an elephant, but by seeing the elephant within a chunk of clay and then just removing everything that is not an elephant, that's the same principle. I think Prince is an extraordinarily amazing, special artist... but IMO this specific part of his creative process is actually common and applies to most artists who are sincere and devoted to their work.


Awesome! Thanks! smile
What?
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #14 posted 03/17/14 1:43pm

Se7en

avatar

iZsaZsa said:

LewArcher said:

I'm like 99% he was being honest. The story or song or painting is already finished and we just give shape to it. That's the artistic process. Sure, sometimes the giving shape part can be tough... one might lack the vocabulary... or skill with a specific instrument... or nuance/subtlety of expression... or pure talent to "interpret" an artistic gift the way one feels is optimal, but that's the process in my experience, and the experience of artists I'm close to or have been close to. If you've ever heard the saying that a sculptor makes a sculpture of an elephant not by "creating" an elephant, but by seeing the elephant within a chunk of clay and then just removing everything that is not an elephant, that's the same principle. I think Prince is an extraordinarily amazing, special artist... but IMO this specific part of his creative process is actually common and applies to most artists who are sincere and devoted to their work.

Awesome! Thanks! smile

Sometimes I equate Prince's songs with paintings too.

.

For example, someone might see several Mondrian lineart paintings or Monet lily paintings and immediately think "They look the same!". Apply this to similar Prince songs like TMWU/RB or even closer siblings like OTC/Satisfied.

.

Same goes for Pollack's paint drip paintings -- someone might think "Ugh, I hate that. How is this guy an artist? It looks like it took 5 minutes to do". Apply this to polarizing or generally unliked songs like Hot Summer/Cause & Effect/etc.

.

For every Prince song, there is talent and artistry infused in it. Even universally-hated Purple & Gold. Not all songs are winners (and not all paintings are winners) but all are an expression of art. Not all art creations are commercially viable.

[Edited 3/17/14 13:43pm]

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #15 posted 03/17/14 1:56pm

chriss

avatar

OldFriends4Sale said:

iZsaZsa said:

Do you remember if he ever mentioned that (hearing a song completed in his head) before 1984?

If anyone else knows please share, I'll scan all the pieces I have, I have a LOT

Wow! sounds good, will you be posting them?

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #16 posted 03/17/14 2:01pm

iZsaZsa

avatar

Se7en said:



iZsaZsa said:


LewArcher said:



I'm like 99% he was being honest. The story or song or painting is already finished and we just give shape to it. That's the artistic process. Sure, sometimes the giving shape part can be tough... one might lack the vocabulary... or skill with a specific instrument... or nuance/subtlety of expression... or pure talent to "interpret" an artistic gift the way one feels is optimal, but that's the process in my experience, and the experience of artists I'm close to or have been close to. If you've ever heard the saying that a sculptor makes a sculpture of an elephant not by "creating" an elephant, but by seeing the elephant within a chunk of clay and then just removing everything that is not an elephant, that's the same principle. I think Prince is an extraordinarily amazing, special artist... but IMO this specific part of his creative process is actually common and applies to most artists who are sincere and devoted to their work.



Awesome! Thanks! smile


Sometimes I equate Prince's songs with paintings too.


.


For example, someone might see several Mondrian lineart paintings or Monet lily paintings and immediately think "They look the same!". Apply this to similar Prince songs like TMWU/RB or even closer siblings like OTC/Satisfied.


.


Same goes for Pollack's paint drip paintings -- someone might think "Ugh, I hate that. How is this guy an artist? It looks like it took 5 minutes to do". Apply this to polarizing or generally unliked songs like Hot Summer/Cause & Effect/etc.


.


For every Prince song, there is talent and artistry infused in it. Even universally-hated Purple & Gold. Not all songs are winners (and not all paintings are winners) but all are an expression of art. Not all art creations are commercially viable.



[Edited 3/17/14 13:43pm]


I'm so very impressed by it. Completed songs, "Like taking dictation from God". I mean really. pray
What?
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #17 posted 03/17/14 2:04pm

iZsaZsa

avatar

chair
What?
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #18 posted 03/17/14 2:20pm

lwr001

OldFriends4Sale said:


Will the little girls understand?
By Bill Adler

Snaking out from the wings toward center stage at the Ritz, prancing like a pony with his hands on his hips and then flinging a clorine kick with a coquettish toss of his head, Prince is androgyny personified. Slender and doe-eyed, with a faint pubescent mustache, he is bare-chested beneath a gray, hip-length Edwardian jacket. There's a raffish red scarf at this neck, and he's wearing tight black bikini briefs, thigh-high black leg-warmers and black-fringed go-go boots.

"We basically got all the new music and dances three months late, so I just decided that I was gonna do my own thing. Otherwise, when we did split Minneapolis, we were gonna be way behind and dated. The white radio stations were mostly country, and the one black radio station was really boring to me. For that matter, I didn't really have a record player when I was growing up, and I never got a chance to check out Hendrix and the rest of them because they were dead by the time I was really getting serious. I didn't even start playing guitar until 1974."

It took Prince six months alone in the studio to concoct his 1978 debut album, because, he says, "I was younger then." Prince required six weeks. He controlled the making of both records, but notes that they were "overseen" by record company and management representatives. Dirty Mind, however, was made in isolation in Minneapolis. "Nobody knew what was going on, and I became totally engulfed in it," he says. "It really felt like me for once."

ROLLING STONE, FEBRUARY 19, 1981

Hey, i know BIll Adler from my DefJam days....He never said it interviewed Prince...

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #19 posted 03/18/14 12:15pm

OldFriends4Sal
e

avatar

moderator

chriss said:

OldFriends4Sale said:

If anyone else knows please share, I'll scan all the pieces I have, I have a LOT

Wow! sounds good, will you be posting them?

yes I will

#ALBUMSSTILLMATTER
That's what U want, TRANSCENDENCE. When that happens, O Boy -Prince 2015
https://www.youtube.com/w...nm2Qq6QTFs
#IDEFINEME
“Strong people define themselves; weak people allow others to define them.” ― Ken Poirot
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #20 posted 03/18/14 12:40pm

Bambi82

avatar

iZsaZsa said:

chair

yeahthat I love these informative threads even though they eat up hours of my time.

Everybody stop on the 1...GOOD GOD! Uhh!
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #21 posted 03/18/14 2:36pm

3rdeyedude

avatar

Bambi82 said:

iZsaZsa said:

chair

yeahthat I love these informative threads even though they eat up hours of my time.

ditto!!

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #22 posted 03/18/14 5:51pm

babynoz

This is good because his creative process is so interesting. I've read some of these but it's good to have them under one topic.

I will never forget watching him at a soundcheck. He hears absolutely everything no matter how subtle and it's fascinating to watch him work. cool

Prince, in you I found a kindred spirit...Rest In Paradise.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #23 posted 03/19/14 5:40am

OldFriends4Sal
e

avatar

moderator


Los Angeles Times 7/14/96

0{+^
THE INTERVIEW

By Elysa Gardner

Positivity, not sex

So he could use a hit album right now, to remind folks that there's a reason we all began suffering his antics in the first place. True to its title, "Chaos and Disorder" rocks hard, but it's also typically eclectic, with passages of wistful guitar-pop and lithe funk. The artist cites a rather unexpected point of reference in explaining his approach to the album.

"Someone told me that Van Halen did their first record in a week," he says. "That's what we were going for -- spontaneity, seeing how fast and hard we could thrash it out. It was done very quickly, and we achieved what we wanted to achieve in that period of time."

He adds that he's always "had good relationships with women -- much better than I have with men." He continues to populate his band with female musicians, and he repeatedly brings up the name of R&B maverick Me'Shell Ndegeocello, with whom he seems to have formed a sort of mutual admiration society.

"Me'Shell and me are like this," he says, holding two fingers together. "She's really quiet and soft-spoken, but when she picks up an instrument.... Musicians, when they really communicate, don't have to talk. They just play."

#ALBUMSSTILLMATTER
That's what U want, TRANSCENDENCE. When that happens, O Boy -Prince 2015
https://www.youtube.com/w...nm2Qq6QTFs
#IDEFINEME
“Strong people define themselves; weak people allow others to define them.” ― Ken Poirot
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #24 posted 03/19/14 5:45am

OldFriends4Sal
e

avatar

moderator

babynoz said:

This is good because his creative process is so interesting. I've read some of these but it's good to have them under one topic.

I will never forget watching him at a soundcheck. He hears absolutely everything no matter how subtle and it's fascinating to watch him work. cool

reading about how music and the creative process happens is one thing. But like your experience at the soundcheck, I love hearing/reading those stories or the actual studio happenings, I think it's why I love those 'boots' of him and the band in the studio recording or creating ie Desire,Feline, Screams of Passion etc

Prince & the Revolution rehearsing

#ALBUMSSTILLMATTER
That's what U want, TRANSCENDENCE. When that happens, O Boy -Prince 2015
https://www.youtube.com/w...nm2Qq6QTFs
#IDEFINEME
“Strong people define themselves; weak people allow others to define them.” ― Ken Poirot
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #25 posted 03/19/14 9:21am

brookinz

OldFriends4Sale said:

There are a lot of interviews that I've read over the years with Prince where he talks about the creation of his music, how he sees and hears music, how music or the lack of it defined developed his sound or people and thing that inspired his music/songs etc and outside of the 1980s interviews, it's the only thing I can say I love read or hearing him talk about

.

I'm going to share a bunch if U don't mind

I'm enjoying this, please keep sending! I'm a relatively new fan, so I don't have all of these

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #26 posted 03/19/14 9:29am

brookinz

To me, making a song is like a new girl walking in the room...you never know what's going to happen 'til all the things come together, and there she stands! And she says, "Hi! You want to take a bite of this orange?" And you bite it, and it's cool, and I send it to you. You know?

How completely bad ass is this!?!

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #27 posted 03/19/14 12:04pm

OldFriends4Sal
e

avatar

moderator

brookinz said:

OldFriends4Sale said:

There are a lot of interviews that I've read over the years with Prince where he talks about the creation of his music, how he sees and hears music, how music or the lack of it defined developed his sound or people and thing that inspired his music/songs etc and outside of the 1980s interviews, it's the only thing I can say I love read or hearing him talk about

.

I'm going to share a bunch if U don't mind

I'm enjoying this, please keep sending! I'm a relatively new fan, so I don't have all of these

I definately will.

#ALBUMSSTILLMATTER
That's what U want, TRANSCENDENCE. When that happens, O Boy -Prince 2015
https://www.youtube.com/w...nm2Qq6QTFs
#IDEFINEME
“Strong people define themselves; weak people allow others to define them.” ― Ken Poirot
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #28 posted 03/19/14 12:08pm

Bambi82

avatar

OldFriends4Sale said:

Prince & the Revolution rehearsing

I love "17 Days" from this rehearsal so much. I love the rehearsals and sounchecks, too. I just love watching how they interact with each other and watching Prince in command. I always loved watching he and Wendy together. It saddens me that they are no longer friends. neutral

Everybody stop on the 1...GOOD GOD! Uhh!
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #29 posted 03/19/14 12:14pm

OldFriends4Sal
e

avatar

moderator

This article is one from the beginning of beginnings leading 2 the early demos, and Prince's 1st record deal. This one involves Moon and Prince and we see Prince really in his 1st studio experience learning how to work the engineering board

Prince
The Early Years: Creating the Minneapolis Myth

By Steve Perry
Musician, August 1986

His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people—his imagination had never really accepted them as his parents at all. The truth was that Jay Gatsby of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself. He was a son of God—a phrase which, if it means anything, means just that—and he must be about his father's business, the service of a vast, vulgar and meretricious beauty. So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end... but his heart was in a constant, turbulent riot. The most grotesque and fantastic conceits haunted him in his bed at night. A universe of ineffable gaudiness spun itself out in his brain.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

The real story of Prince's musical origins is less dramatic if no less intriguing. As a teenager in North Minneapolis, he played in a succession of youthful funk bands: Grand Central Junction (later the personnel shifted and the name was shortened to Grand Central), then Champagne—a band of future all—stars that featured Prince on guitar, Morris Day on drums, and Andre Cymone on bass. When it came time for Champagne to cut a demo tape, they went to MoonSound, a small recording studio in a gentrified South Minneapolis neighborhood, nestled amid the area lakes. MoonSound was operated by Chris Moon, a British-born twenty-four-year-old mover and shaker who landed in Minneapolis in his teens. A born entrepreneur, he recorded everything from rock bands to ad jingles in his home-made studio, and promoted an nccasional rock concert on the side. Moon's easy enthusiasm, gracious British manner, and zeal to make a buck made for a diverse career; over the years he's had his hand in advertising, professional photography, and real estate.

When I met Moon in late 1984 he was putting together a book about his days with Prince. We collaborated on the project until Moon dropped out of sight. I was told later that he tried to sell the rights to the unpublished book and some unreleased Prince tapes to Prince's mangement company.

At last report, Moon could still be seen cruising around town in his DeLorean.

Prince's self-conception, like Gatsby's, began at seventeen. Near the end of the Champagne demo sessions, Moon said he started to notice the little guitarist with the big Afro. Prince R. Nelson never said anything, just did his job well and stayed out of the way. One day Moon approached Prince with a proposition: How would he like to write and record songs together, with any profits from the relationship split fifty-fifty?

Moon, who couldn't play music but dreamed of becoming a top forty songwriter anyway, chose Prince as a partner for reasons that turned out richly ironic. Quite simply, he liked Prince because he played his guitar well and didn't seem to have much of an ego. That suited Moon, who essentially wanted a talented pushover to take whatever musical direction he gave.

At first, acccrding to Moon, that was how it worked. Prince spent an hour on city buses each day en route to the studio, where he would play the music he had written to accompany Moon's lyrics. If Moon didn't like what he heard, he sent Prince away to try again. Soon they started to lay down basic tracks. To Moon's surprise, the kid could play a number of instruments besides the guitar. Bigger surprises were yet to come.

As Prince gained confidence, he started to struggle for control. First he wanted to play all the instrumental tracks, including drums, his weakest suit at the time. When Moon suggested diplomatically that Prince on bass accompanied by a drummer might make for a tighter rhythm track, Prince called Moon a liar and demanded: "You don't think I can do it, do you?" Soon he began to resent Moon's requests for additional takes on instrumental or vocal tracks. "You can't even play anything," he said once. "Why should you be able to tell me what to do?"

According to Moon the conflicts were rarely direct. Instead, a power struggle developed, with the two constantly testing each other's limits. It started over recording issues. Once, in recording a song called "Aces," Prince flatly refused to repeat a track Moon didn't like. He sulked around the studio until he sensed that Moon wouldn't budge, then declared: "Okay this time—but only because you own the studio!"

The rifts caused by their differences in age, race, and background grew deeper over the months, owing both to Prince's resentment and Moon's callow, patronizing attitudes.

"Look at everything you've got here," Prince said, casting his eyes around the studio. "It was all just given to you."

Moon responded with a line straight out of Horatio Alger: He had worked hard to build the studio, anyone who wanted it badly enough could do the same, the world was fair to everyone in time... and so on. It isn't hard to imagine the contempt a kid from North Minneapolis must have felt for such middle class platitudes; he answered with a word that ended more than one discussion between the two:

"Liar!"

The power struggle that started over recording matters soon extended to the entire relationship. Prince never asked Moon for anything, but occasionally he made flat demands: a dollar for bus fare, five dollars, ten dollars. Once the patrician Moon took it upon himself to teach him a lesson. He threw a $5 bill on the ground and told Prince that if he wanted the money, he'd have to stoop to get it. Prince wheeled and left the studio.

Another time, when Moon made himself a drink while they were mixing a track, Prince fixed him with a hard stare and told him not to drink it. And when Moon cancelled a Friday night recording session to go on a date, Prince demanded to know who he was seeing. Moon resisted the question at first—Prince hadn't even met any of his women friends—then relented and told him the woman's name.

"Aw, not her. She's not worth it." He persisted in pleading and cajoling until Moon agreed to cancel the date and go to the studio with him.

Moon noticed the small ways in which Prince evinced a fierce yet fragile pride. Though he had no compunction about demanding to get his way, Prince steadfastly declined even the slightest unsolicited gesture, whether it was a hamburger or a ride home. And Moon learned early on that teaching Prince to use the recording console would be an exercise in subterfuge.

"He was very anxious to learn," Moon recalled, "but you couldn't tell him, 'Look, here's how to do this.' You had to say, 'Uh, Prince, I need some help doing this, could you turn these knobs?'"

Within six months, Prince could handle most of the engineering chores as well as or better than Moon, who had worked with the equipment for five years. Those skills mastered, Prince wanted to be in the studio constantly—alone, if possible. As he came to understand the formula for the pop lyrics Moon was writing, he started to do that for himself, too. Where Moon had been the producer, the lyricist, and the critic in the beginning, Prince gradually absorbed all those functions, until finally it was Moon who was sitting almost idly by, vainly protesting that a bass riff or a vocal track wasn't good enough.

But if he was quickly and vastly outstripped by Prince artistically, Moon still made a lasting impression. Always a shrewd opportunist, he repeatedly emphasized to Prince the importance of marketing himself well. He encouraged him to think in terms of image. Prince began to practice his autograph—what about a heart instead of a dot over the "i"?-and his dance steps, many of which were lifted from early Jackson Five choreography. Moon took credit for counselling Prince to fudge on his age, and not disclose his last name. Moon said he told Prince more than once that the key to success was scoring with the white crossover audience.

The last plank in Prince's emerging persona was nailed down one day when a hung-over Moon locked himself in an ad agency recording studio and wrote a lyric that began: "Angora fur/The Aegean Sea/It's a soft wet love/That you have for me." He took "Soft & Wet" home and showed it to Prince. The song eventually became the first single from Princes first album.

"I told him, 'I think we've got your marketing strategy worked out and a song to go with it. We'll have thousands of thirteen and fourteen year-old girls going crazy over you.' He smiled for once. He liked the idea."

Moon was convinced that "implied naughty sexuality" would put Prince across, especially with adolescent girls. Just how important the advice was to Prince is hard to say. It's scarcely believable that Moon's relatively tame song and suggestion led in a straight line to "Head" and "Darling Nikki." But it is clear that Prince has paid careful attention to his own marketing through the years.

By the end of their nine months together, Prince and Moon had completed the demo tape that would help Prince win his Warner Bros. contract, and Moon had introduced Prince to Owen Husney, his first manager. Moon said Prince's personality changed remarkably over the months, from a shy, introverted kid who could never look anyone in the eye to a budding megalomaniac, full of talent and purpose-who still wouldn't look anyone in the eye. To paraphrase Fitzgerald, he had created just the sort of prince that a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to dream up: manipulative and egocentric, tireless and endlessly inventive.

After he signed with Warners, Prince went to California, where he spent several months working on his first album For You. He stopped calling Moon. Moon, out of naiveté or a failure to grasp what was happening to Prince, continued to believe they would write together. On the few occasions when they did talk in ensuing years, the conversations were cordial but distant, as if a connection had been made and broken long ago. Moon said later that the break seemed altogether routine, on Prince's part, without any lingering malice. And maybe that was so: Prince's eyes were already fixed on the next green light.

#ALBUMSSTILLMATTER
That's what U want, TRANSCENDENCE. When that happens, O Boy -Prince 2015
https://www.youtube.com/w...nm2Qq6QTFs
#IDEFINEME
“Strong people define themselves; weak people allow others to define them.” ― Ken Poirot
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Page 1 of 2 12>
  New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
« Previous topic  Next topic »
Forums > Prince: Music and More > Prince talks...about music