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Thread started 07/03/19 10:51am

Doozer

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Tom Moon: That Time Prince Wrote a Letter…

Tom Moon has an article published on Medium.com July 3, 2019, reacting to the letter Prince supposedly wrote him in 1994 as a response to his critical review of Come in Rolling Stone. The letter was recently sold at auction for $11,000.

My wife and I interviewed Tom on our podcast as part of our coverage of Come. We asked Tom about this letter and he had never seen it. He is unsure it is a response to his Rolling Stone review of Come, which can read here: https://www.rollingstone....ome-185860

His thoughts are great as always, particularly when venturing into the realm of music ownership, once again a hot topic thanks to Taylor Swift.

Read the full story here:

https://medium.com/@moonj...7ebd887896

The letter being discussed, side 1:

29054576_1.jpg?v=8D55D1E36B72ED0



The letter was auctioned off here:

https://www.icollector.co..._i29054576


Full text of Prince's handwritten letter:

There is joy in repetition if one looks 4 joy. There can also be tension & discord. It's all up 2 the beholder. Every note—be it voice or instrument, every sound—be it human or inhuman is produced according 2 the way the producer feels. Many things contribute 2 that feeling. The climate, the time of day, the day itself. Dance music seems 2 find it's way into the studio during the weekend. The moon, the stars, everything plays a part. And there are no accidents. Tears are more believable when u can't hold them back. Here—music is made out of necessity. It's a fact a life. Just like breathing. The voice inside tells u when there is a song 2 be born. All children are born beautiful. How they are perceived by others may be another matter indeed. Much like an unborn child—A song is never conceived whole. That would be like taking dictation. Pleasure comes from not knowing what your baby's character will be like. Pleasure comes from the nurturing process. Whatever we are… whatever we make. On the days when Camille records, children are born without conscience or inhibition. It is important however 2 allow Camille his 'voice.' He hasn't been around lately. Positivity & negativity are always very close. The seeds we sow are the flowers that grow. Things are coming 2 a head. And not just 4 this generation. Believe that after it does there will be peace 4 a long time. Maybe not 4 everyone but 4 most. Hopefully more than not.

[Edited 7/3/19 10:58am]

Check out The Mountains and the Sea, a Prince podcast by yours truly and my wife. More info at https://www.facebook.com/TMATSPodcast/
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Reply #1 posted 07/03/19 11:04am

jfenster

very level-headed

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Reply #2 posted 07/03/19 11:59am

TrivialPursuit

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It's weird that Moon refers to "Space" as ".exhibit[ing] so little creativity." He says he wonders if that song (and "Loose!") wasn't created in between/during catnaps in the studio.

I suppose as a Prince fan, it's always a little tough to stay objective. It also feels harsh to state that "Space" is as medicore as he claims. For me, it's a highlight on the record. The letter, allegedly written to Moon, certainly shows just how much Prince felt passionate about Come, and the personal nuances on the album.

At least he didn't set the review on fire.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #3 posted 07/03/19 12:56pm

Doozer

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Tom explains his thoughts more regarding the "laziness" he perceived in the songwriting on Come in our interview with him. He's quite positive when it comes to Prince as an artist and felt like he was purposefully holding back.

Our full interview with him can be found here, in the episode titled "Phases of the Moon":

https://www.forgeaudio.ne...nd-the-sea

He remains unconvinced that this letter is a response to his review of Come.

TrivialPursuit said:

It's weird that Moon refers to "Space" as ".exhibit[ing] so little creativity." He says he wonders if that song (and "Loose!") wasn't created in between/during catnaps in the studio.

I suppose as a Prince fan, it's always a little tough to stay objective. It also feels harsh to state that "Space" is as medicore as he claims. For me, it's a highlight on the record. The letter, allegedly written to Moon, certainly shows just how much Prince felt passionate about Come, and the personal nuances on the album.

At least he didn't set the review on fire.

Check out The Mountains and the Sea, a Prince podcast by yours truly and my wife. More info at https://www.facebook.com/TMATSPodcast/
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Reply #4 posted 07/03/19 1:33pm

macaylasdad

why did Prince always talk in "circles"?? Makes no sense.

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Reply #5 posted 07/03/19 2:00pm

SoulAlive

I hate to say this,but I agreed with Tom's review of the Come album.There a few great moments on that album,but much of it feels lazy and uninspired,imo.We all know that Prince can do better than that.

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Reply #6 posted 07/03/19 2:05pm

Ugot2shakesumt
hin

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It's all subjective of course, But, as someone who dislikes most of Princes 90's music, I have to say that Tom was off the mark where it comes to Come. Most reviews were off the mark where it comes to Come.

I think time has been kinder to Come than most of princes 90's music.
And In the end, time is the best barometer and the last word on .....everything.

Persistent Turd is the shit.
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Reply #7 posted 07/03/19 2:08pm

WhisperingDand
elions

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macaylasdad said:

why did Prince always talk in "circles"?? Makes no sense.

I'm interested if the gimmick will be shed aside or simply turned up to 11 on his incomplete autobiography.

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Reply #8 posted 07/03/19 2:12pm

WhisperingDand
elions

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Ugot2shakesumthin said:

It's all subjective of course, But, as someone who dislikes most of Princes 90's music, I have to say that Tom was off the mark where it comes to Come. Most reviews were off the mark where it comes to Come.

I think time has been kinder to Come than most of princes 90's music.
And In the end, time is the best barometer and the last word on .....everything.

The reviews of Come are brutal.

Me and my friend used to get into hearing every Prince record, reading about every Prince record. We would constantly talk about how great Come is, and I think that's because any text relating to the record makes it sound like it's the worst album ever recorded.

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Reply #9 posted 07/03/19 2:23pm

dodger

Being a big fan of the era I don’t agree with Tom’s review but I do agree with his thoughts about being unconvinced the letter is a response to it.
.
Would Prince be referring to himself as Camille in 94
[Edited 7/3/19 14:27pm]
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Reply #10 posted 07/03/19 2:47pm

PeteSilas

macaylasdad said:

why did Prince always talk in "circles"?? Makes no sense.

ya, hate to say it but he couldn't communicate without the gibberish, kinda sad really, especially as he got older. It was part of his image thing but it was plain stupid after we were all adults. In one of Owen Husney's recent interviews he points out how Prince had changed when he met him in the late 80's, superstardom has a way of doing that and it has a way of trapping the poor men who finally get it.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #11 posted 07/03/19 4:42pm

Ugot2shakesumt
hin

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WhisperingDandelions said:



Ugot2shakesumthin said:


It's all subjective of course, But, as someone who dislikes most of Princes 90's music, I have to say that Tom was off the mark where it comes to Come. Most reviews were off the mark where it comes to Come.

I think time has been kinder to Come than most of princes 90's music.
And In the end, time is the best barometer and the last word on .....everything.



The reviews of Come are brutal.

Me and my friend used to get into hearing every Prince record, reading about every Prince record. We would constantly talk about how great Come is, and I think that's because any text relating to the record makes it sound like it's the worst album ever recorded.



Well, cliques and echo chambers. Every group of critics travels in circles that loves the smell of their own farts. Its always fashionable to shit on anyone when they’re down regardless of the quality of the work. And it was easy to shit on Prince in 90’s.
Persistent Turd is the shit.
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Reply #12 posted 07/03/19 7:00pm

macaylasdad

PeteSilas said:

macaylasdad said:

why did Prince always talk in "circles"?? Makes no sense.

ya, hate to say it but he couldn't communicate without the gibberish, kinda sad really, especially as he got older. It was part of his image thing but it was plain stupid after we were all adults. In one of Owen Husney's recent interviews he points out how Prince had changed when he met him in the late 80's, superstardom has a way of doing that and it has a way of trapping the poor men who finally get it.

He was trying to sound "deep" and it didn't work... like when he said he was retiring...he was ggoing to look for the "ladder"... just sounded stupid. Prince should of just said, "look, I am tired and I am taking time off"...

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Reply #13 posted 07/03/19 9:38pm

WhisperingDand
elions

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Ugot2shakesumthin said:

WhisperingDandelions said:

The reviews of Come are brutal.

Me and my friend used to get into hearing every Prince record, reading about every Prince record. We would constantly talk about how great Come is, and I think that's because any text relating to the record makes it sound like it's the worst album ever recorded.

Well, cliques and echo chambers. Every group of critics travels in circles that loves the smell of their own farts. Its always fashionable to shit on anyone when they’re down regardless of the quality of the work. And it was easy to shit on Prince in 90’s.

After we actually heard the record me and my friend both noted that none of the reviews for Come actually contained much at all about what the actual music sounded like. But they all got like 2-3 paragraphs on the "Prince 1958-1993" album art, the name change, and the phrase "contractual obligation" strewn about.

[Edited 7/3/19 21:38pm]

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Reply #14 posted 07/03/19 9:44pm

WhisperingDand
elions

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PeteSilas said:

macaylasdad said:

why did Prince always talk in "circles"?? Makes no sense.

ya, hate to say it but he couldn't communicate without the gibberish, kinda sad really, especially as he got older. It was part of his image thing but it was plain stupid after we were all adults. In one of Owen Husney's recent interviews he points out how Prince had changed when he met him in the late 80's, superstardom has a way of doing that and it has a way of trapping the poor men who finally get it.

Remember when like every other org'er back in the day used to try and co-opt his cryptic writing style as their own?

If U C the fruit of elektra 2 its essence will U B where eye C U 2nite b4 the dawn?


Glad that kind of faded out. I swear Prince lyrics written like that take me like, two hours to read and fully process.

[Edited 7/3/19 21:45pm]

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Reply #15 posted 07/04/19 6:06am

lurker316

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I remember a magazine interview with Prince back in the early '90s where he mentioned that the next two albums he was releasing to fulfill his WB contract were Come and The Gold Experience. The interview said that Prince himself didn't seem overly excited about Come and thought that The Gold Experience was more original.

I remember that coloring my own percention when I bought the albums. If Prince thought TGE was better than Come, of course I was going to think so as well.

Of course Prince's mood at the time of the interview may have been due to the fact that, for him, Comes was already old news while TGE was fresh.

Anyway, I'm going to try to find that interview so I can cite it...




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Reply #16 posted 07/04/19 7:15am

Dalia11

macaylasdad said:

why did Prince always talk in "circles"?? Makes no sense.


Geminis men tend to do that and his Moon was in Pisces. Gemini, Pisces and Sagittarians are mutable signs. They tend to have two side/personalites, are changeable, adaptable with their thinking, words, careers and so on. Prince also had Mercury in Gemini. Mercury rules communication, writing, the intellect.
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Reply #17 posted 07/04/19 7:18am

PennyPurple

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If Tom has never seen the letter, where was it and who sold it at auction?

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Reply #18 posted 07/04/19 7:31am

Dalia11

I understand that it is the Music Critics job to b overy critical of songs. Also, it is their opinion. The music critics who are musicians would have a different opinion, not be so critical and would be open-minded, etc. That is why I do not read music reviews, care what they think about songs. I just buy the albums from the many artists that I am a fan of. I like different genres of music also.
[Edited 7/4/19 7:33am]
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Reply #19 posted 07/04/19 9:01am

Ugot2shakesumt
hin

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Dalia11 said:

I understand that it is the Music Critics job to b overy critical of songs. Also, it is their opinion. The music critics who are musicians would have a different opinion, not be so critical and would be open-minded, etc. That is why I do not read music reviews, care what they think about songs. I just buy the albums from the many artists that I am a fan of. I like different genres of music also. [Edited 7/4/19 7:33am]


And sometimes an artist is in that strange in between. The ABBA Bee Gees zone. Where the critics and public loves you and pretends to hate you. The space where it seems it's cool to knock someone.

and I do love ABBA and the Bee Gees. I love songs by artists who get knocked by the zeitgeist. And that's ok.

But where it comes to critics, they do listen to shitload of music. And I don't think it's possible for a circle not to be an echo chamber of some sort.. We all need someways to help distill all the new artists and music and get some of it up to the masses. Word of mouth, critics, sales, airplay, it's all part of the distillery.

[Edited 7/7/19 11:23am]

Persistent Turd is the shit.
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Reply #20 posted 07/04/19 9:50am

barnswallow

I mark one vote 'very level-headed' and another 'why does Prince talk in "circles" - makes no sense'.

I like the cryptic language. It makes me think. He's describing his creative process. How lucid is the creative process? Often, it comes from a dream or some such, he said. After performing, he pointed to the sky because he felt something of the creative force came from outside himself, correct? I checked up on the lyrics of 'Joy in Repetition' and then went bouncing off to the album I've been listening to recently, Crystal Ball, where I luckily correctly recollected that the lyrics I wanted to find are in the song '2morrow'.

...

On a deep blue sea I wanna be swept away
With U I could pass the time of every night and every day (All
time)
Never remembering the songs 2 sing, let alone what notes 2 play
I'm gonna die of my love 4 U, baby

Stay with me 2night, my dear
But please don't hold me tight cuz I fear
My heart just might feel joy instead of sorrow 2morrow

I don't wanna be happy - not 2morrow (not 2morrow)
(The most beautiful girl in the world)
I'd rather cry 2morrow

2morrow is the day I say after 2day
That U and I can play like we wanna
With under garments thrown, the seed can be sown
Slippery in the sauna (Oh)

...

Looking up in PrinceVault, basic tracking for 'Joy in Repetition' was in 1986; for '2morrow' was in 1996.

It's interesting to me, the themes that pop up here or there and what he's trying to say.

I think in the letter, he's throwing the guy some circular thinking deliberately to be cryptic. And, to throw shade of a sort... to explain what the creative process is like for himself. It's both a gift to Moon and a slight.

One of the baffling things about Prince is that he was like some sort of conduit. The creativity came from him, was uniquely him and yet he didn't entirely experience it that way, apparently.

And, since I love to bounce around to thoughts swirling in my head, here's a quote from Duane Tudahl's book that I recently read. From Bobby Z:

"You'd go to sleep and you'd wake up and the guy had a song written, recorded and mixed. People don't understand, there's just no way to understand. It's not like anything you've ever seen creatively. It's literally from another place, from another world and that's why we're still talking about Leonardo Da Vinci and that's why they'll be talking about Prince years from now because he is one of those guys. It was this constant churning of creativity, recording and writing and it baffles the imagination."

[Edited 7/4/19 9:52am]

Yeah, and love the letter and seeing the handwriting. Thanks for sharing.

[Edited 7/4/19 9:54am]

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Reply #21 posted 07/04/19 10:08am

TrivialPursuit

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PennyPurple said:

If Tom has never seen the letter, where was it and who sold it at auction?


It's in the description, "From the collection of Prince's assistant Therese Stoulil and accompanied by a letter of provenance."

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #22 posted 07/04/19 1:26pm

PeteSilas

WhisperingDandelions said:

PeteSilas said:

ya, hate to say it but he couldn't communicate without the gibberish, kinda sad really, especially as he got older. It was part of his image thing but it was plain stupid after we were all adults. In one of Owen Husney's recent interviews he points out how Prince had changed when he met him in the late 80's, superstardom has a way of doing that and it has a way of trapping the poor men who finally get it.

Remember when like every other org'er back in the day used to try and co-opt his cryptic writing style as their own?

If U C the fruit of elektra 2 its essence will U B where eye C U 2nite b4 the dawn?


Glad that kind of faded out. I swear Prince lyrics written like that take me like, two hours to read and fully process.

[Edited 7/3/19 21:45pm]

some of them still do it.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #23 posted 07/04/19 1:29pm

PeteSilas

I get it, he was talented but the fonts and shit made him look stupid. someone who had hacked into prince's computers or something in the 90's saw a prequel letter to be released about his battle with warners, the man said it was absent all the fonts and the gibberish it was normal speak like "I signed this contract when I was 18, just a kid" and how prince revised it for the public and how it lost it's power with all the gibberish and fonts put in the final version.

barnswallow said:

I mark one vote 'very level-headed' and another 'why does Prince talk in "circles" - makes no sense'.

I like the cryptic language. It makes me think. He's describing his creative process. How lucid is the creative process? Often, it comes from a dream or some such, he said. After performing, he pointed to the sky because he felt something of the creative force came from outside himself, correct? I checked up on the lyrics of 'Joy in Repetition' and then went bouncing off to the album I've been listening to recently, Crystal Ball, where I luckily correctly recollected that the lyrics I wanted to find are in the song '2morrow'.

...

On a deep blue sea I wanna be swept away
With U I could pass the time of every night and every day (All
time)
Never remembering the songs 2 sing, let alone what notes 2 play
I'm gonna die of my love 4 U, baby

Stay with me 2night, my dear
But please don't hold me tight cuz I fear
My heart just might feel joy instead of sorrow 2morrow

I don't wanna be happy - not 2morrow (not 2morrow)
(The most beautiful girl in the world)
I'd rather cry 2morrow

2morrow is the day I say after 2day
That U and I can play like we wanna
With under garments thrown, the seed can be sown
Slippery in the sauna (Oh)

...

Looking up in PrinceVault, basic tracking for 'Joy in Repetition' was in 1986; for '2morrow' was in 1996.

It's interesting to me, the themes that pop up here or there and what he's trying to say.

I think in the letter, he's throwing the guy some circular thinking deliberately to be cryptic. And, to throw shade of a sort... to explain what the creative process is like for himself. It's both a gift to Moon and a slight.

One of the baffling things about Prince is that he was like some sort of conduit. The creativity came from him, was uniquely him and yet he didn't entirely experience it that way, apparently.

And, since I love to bounce around to thoughts swirling in my head, here's a quote from Duane Tudahl's book that I recently read. From Bobby Z:

"You'd go to sleep and you'd wake up and the guy had a song written, recorded and mixed. People don't understand, there's just no way to understand. It's not like anything you've ever seen creatively. It's literally from another place, from another world and that's why we're still talking about Leonardo Da Vinci and that's why they'll be talking about Prince years from now because he is one of those guys. It was this constant churning of creativity, recording and writing and it baffles the imagination."

[Edited 7/4/19 9:52am]

Yeah, and love the letter and seeing the handwriting. Thanks for sharing.

[Edited 7/4/19 9:54am]

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #24 posted 07/04/19 1:41pm

Dalia11

Dalia11 said:

macaylasdad said:

why did Prince always talk in "circles"?? Makes no sense.


Geminis men tend to do that and his Moon was in Pisces. Gemini, Pisces and Sagittarians are mutable signs. They tend to have two side/personalites, are changeable, adaptable with their thinking, words, careers and so on. Prince also had Mercury in Gemini. Mercury rules communication, writing, the intellect.


Geminis also likes jokes, shocking people, telling white lies. They do not always reveal how they really feel about things. Often contradictory. It depends on which side of the Gemini double personality/twin is talking.
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Reply #25 posted 07/04/19 5:26pm

jdcxc

“Come” is a good album and any critic who slams “Space” needs his Rock Critic credential ripped up and his ass kicked. Talk about LAZY...
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Reply #26 posted 07/04/19 7:08pm

barnswallow

I didn't mean to be making the obvious point that he was talented even though I did end with that Bobby Z quote. I don't know why I threw that in there. I just read it last night and was taken with it. I guess I see what you're saying, a more cynical view than my plain reading of the letter as a description of his creative process. So, you see this letter as him playing a public persona, intentionally cryptic, using tautologies (that word's a stretch for me, but maybe it applies here). Thanks for the info about the 'prequel letter'. I definitely see how that could make someone read this letter differently. I guess I like to think of a more guileless Prince but, from many accounts, no one really knew who he was and people's experiences of him were quite different from one another. Hmmmm....

PeteSilas said:

I get it, he was talented but the fonts and shit made him look stupid. someone who had hacked into prince's computers or something in the 90's saw a prequel letter to be released about his battle with warners, the man said it was absent all the fonts and the gibberish it was normal speak like "I signed this contract when I was 18, just a kid" and how prince revised it for the public and how it lost it's power with all the gibberish and fonts put in the final version.

[Edited 7/4/19 19:09pm]

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Reply #27 posted 07/06/19 3:11pm

bigtimefan

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TrivialPursuit said:

PennyPurple said:

If Tom has never seen the letter, where was it and who sold it at auction?


It's in the description, "From the collection of Prince's assistant Therese Stoulil and accompanied by a letter of provenance."

I wonder why Therese Stoulil had it, not that I know who she is, but I would assume she was told to mail it. And instead kept it all these years??? I can't imagine what it must have been like for Prince to take the time to correspond, give direction and most likely doesn't know it didn't get done/mailed. Thieves in the Temple.

Eventually every cloud runs out of rain.
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Reply #28 posted 07/06/19 4:05pm

PennyPurple

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bigtimefan said:


I wonder why Therese Stoulil had it, not that I know who she is, but I would assume she was told to mail it. And instead kept it all these years??? I can't imagine what it must have been like for Prince to take the time to correspond, give direction and most likely doesn't know it didn't get done/mailed. Thieves in the Temple.

That's what I was thinking too, just didn't want to be the one to say it. biggrin

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Reply #29 posted 07/07/19 7:58am

TrivialPursuit

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bigtimefan said:

I wonder why Therese Stoulil had it, not that I know who she is, but I would assume she was told to mail it. And instead kept it all these years??? I can't imagine what it must have been like for Prince to take the time to correspond, give direction and most likely doesn't know it didn't get done/mailed. Thieves in the Temple.


That's 100% assumption on your part. You accuse someone of being dishonest for the years she worked for him. I never understood why fans try to sell out or bash one of his employees in an attempt to lift him higher. It's just short-sighted and ill-informed. You don't know diddly about why Therese had that letter. Maybe he aborted sending it out. Maybe he left it somewhere and never gave her direction on what to do with it. You can't tell me you'd not save a million things if you had the chance to work for Prince. So stop with the hyperbole. It's unbecoming to you.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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