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Thread started 09/28/19 11:50pm

TrivialPursuit

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One Song - Prince's Leap Into Religiosity

I've mentioned before that I had an article (now more of an essay) coming about Prince's jump into uber-religiosity. While there were different markers about his maneuvering into that arena, I use the 2000 track "One Song" as proverbial ground zero.

The article will (finally) publish today, Sept 29, at 12pm ET (GMT -4). It'll be on my Medium page, in full. It's long, almost 13,000 words. I give a larger setup to the track, then break down - in segments - the 6-minute monolog at the beginning.

It's just a different view, a different take on JW, Graham, etc. I'm not saying it's 100% true, it's just - what I think is - a really good roadmap to understanding what JW meant to him and possibly why he flexed so hard adopting it into his life and music.

The following is a sort of disclaimer at the end of the article that lets loose any possible preconceived notions or attempts at pontification on my part or the reader's.

This article was based on how I perceived Prince’s beliefs for, roughly, the last two decades of his life. I believe that “One Song” was a jumping point for him and an official call to arms. The change was gradual but steady and evident. The article incorporates some mutual beliefs I shared with him and challenged others. I purposely kept them ambiguous as to who believed what, and that it was just a general idea not held by anyone necessarily. Many times, I argue his side rather than a simple rebuttal of his ideologies. My goal was not to support or debunk his religious claims in his music. Rather, I attempted to argue his side more than my own or any other opposing point of view. I purposely used bible references since he stated he was reading the bible more, although it was the New World Translation, which is exclusively used by Jehovah’s Witnesses and is considered less than perfect by any other Christian group. All other biblical quotes were traditional protestant and evangelical translations. Ultimately, I believe the article falls somewhere in the middle, hopefully revealing some of Prince’s truths. I hope that you remain where you were at the beginning of the article — albeit with more information — left to make your own decisions on Prince’s religious stance and how it influenced his day to day life. And yours.


Thanks ahead of time for reading. I hope you enjoy it.

Mods, please leave this in P:M&M. It covers specific parts of Prince's career before and after "One Song", not just his JW beliefs.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #1 posted 09/29/19 2:49am

mk456

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I like when I see this song mentioned - 'One song' - a beautiful song indicating Prince's intelligence and spiritual progression/awareness. Its almost 20 years since the video song recording - I remember some of the words resonating with me back then i played it over and over (I also remember the love4oneanother website of that time- which reminds me of alt.music.prince even further back in those years before prince.org existed).

<p>

Prince realised God exists and we each are a soul in a body - individual yet part of the spiritual whole - we are not the body - its a spiritual journey. George Harrison also realised this on his spiritual journey - songs such as 'My Sweet Lord'. George became a Hare Krishna which is based on the Hindu/Vedic scriptures. Whether we are JW, Christian, Hindu or whatever individual path we may be on - I believe we are all on a spiritual journey to learn and reconnect with the one God. Being overly focused on materialism is a distraction.

<p>

I believe Prince's song 'Way back home' indicates his desire to be (back home) with God.

<p>

Nice article I skipped through it - the point about illusions in society is relevant - Prince obviously saw through some of these illusions - many more people are doing so - this current time of illusions and lies is also described in the Bible and in ancient text the Bhagavad Gita as Kali Yuga.

Peace and God Bless.

[Edited 9/29/19 3:48am]

God Bless Prince
(I've been on prince.org on and off since 1998. This is my 3rd or 4th username as I forgot passwords. Previous usernames were mgck01, sledgemcpeak. Peace to all here)
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Reply #2 posted 09/29/19 6:46am

herb4

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Very interesting, well written and thought out piece but, like a lot of Prince's assertions around this time, I glossed over a fair amount of it. Religion bores me to death.

I never much minded Prince's personal journey or his friendship with Larry but I DID mind how his message seemed to go from one of inclusion, personal independence and freedom, togetherness and doing your own thing to a more "my way/one way or the highway" thing. It went from all an inclusive party to things like splitting your audience into 2 sides during a PP celebration and a weird sort of misogony that, in some ways, was more off putting than much of the sexual objectification in his earlier work.

I always wondered if Prince didn't become more fervent with this stuff partly due to the loss of his father but that happened in August, 2001. Also, Amir died in 1996 so perhaps that accelerated it a bit. Makes sense but according to Mayte he was already knee deep in Larry's dogma by then so I don't know.

When you take a step back and look at it, you can really see how Prince built and cultivated "Prince World" so much that it unsurprisingly muddied his world view a bit. I honeslty think he was rather lonely, much of it by his own design or manufactured by his upbringing. Even though he was famous and surrounded by a lot of people, many were sychophants and yes men who probably rarely challenged him or his rules. He'd lost 2 wives and one child and by the end was consciously surrounding himself with younger artists.

Good point about him "chasing the high" of creating songs and how that's partly why he was so prolific.

Lastly, in one of the photos you posted you can clearly see the fatigue and lack of sparkle in his eyes that I refuse to attribute solely to old age. You can see this in several photos of him over his last 5 years or so and I see someone not feeling well a lot of times. It's not just the first hint of bags under them but a flatness to them that I've seen many times before unfortunately. Sometimes in the mirror TBH.

EDIT:
2 marriages, not 3. Fixed

[Edited 9/29/19 11:33am]

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Reply #3 posted 09/29/19 9:16am

luv2tha99s

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He lost three wives? Who was the third?
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Reply #4 posted 09/29/19 9:38am

TrivialPursuit

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luv2tha99s said:

He lost three wives? Who was the third?


That's an easy typo, and we both know it.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #5 posted 09/29/19 9:43am

TrivialPursuit

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herb4 said:

Very interesting, well written and thought out piece but, like a lot of Prince's assertions around this time, I glossed over a fair amount of it. Religion bores me to death.

I never much minded Prince's personal journey or his friendship with Larry but I DID mind how his message seemed to go from one of inclusion, personal independence and freedom, togetherness and doing your own thing to a more "my way/one way or the highway" thing. It went from all an inclusive party to things like splitting your audience into 2 sides during a PP celebration and a weird sort of misogony that, in some ways, was more off putting than much of the sexual objectification in his earlier work.

I always wondered if Prince didn't become more fervent with this stuff partly due to the loss of his father but that happened in August, 2001. Also, Amir died in 1996 so perhaps that accelerated it a bit. Makes sense but according to Mayte he was already knee deep in Larry's dogma by then so I don't know.

When you take a step back and look at it, you can really see how Prince built and cultivated "Prince World" so much that it unsurprisingly muddied his world view a bit. I honeslty think he was rather lonely, much of it by his own design or manufactured by his upbringing. Even though he was famous and surrounded by a lot of people, many were sychophants and yes men who probably rarely challenged him or his rules. He'd lost 2 wives and one child and by the end was consciously surrounding himself with younger artists.

Good point about him "chasing the high" of creating songs and how that's partly why he was so prolific.

Lastly, in one of the photos you posted you can clearly see the fatigue and lack of sparkle in his eyes that I refuse to attribute solely to old age. You can see this in several photos of him over his last 5 years or so and I see someone not feeling well a lot of times. It's not just the first hint of bags under them but a flatness to them that I've seen many times before unfortunately. Sometimes in the mirror TBH.


Good points (and you did typo 3 wives, not 2, haha).

His health was declining to some extent in those last couple/three years. I think the pain killers were working him over. They'll wreck a body head to toe. No amount of makeup or fringe can hide that shit. Unlike others, I don't think he had a death wish. I do think he was growing tired of the pills and how they played havoc on his body. He was strong and agile before, but I've no doubt he was feeling the effects of 57, an athletic lifestyle to that point, and drug addiction. He probably didn't feel great about himself or what he was doing, knowing he was a hypocrite in some ways by taking these things and preaching about being vegan and not doing drugs or drinking, etc. I mean, it happens. We forgave him for that. It's still just a human. And if his fragile humanity ever showed through the most, it was probably 2009-2016. (I remember him looking particularly out of sorts during "Ol' Skool Company" on The Tonight Show.)

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #6 posted 09/29/19 9:47am

mk456

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This is a complicated subject open to misinterpretation so im trying to choose my words carefully. Dogma can be a dangerous thing as Gods teachings have in some instances been twisted by man via religious institutions that make authoritarian statements or altered/misinterpreted/mistranslated holy scriptures. Imho the thing to bear in mind about the term 'Religion' is that each of the many 'Religions' is in many ways in todays world the 'institution' that claims to represent those teachings - it is the manmade organisation - and sometimes the manmade twisting of Gods teachings has occurred.

<p>

In reality the religious organisation/institution is not God - in the song 'One song' Prince also makes this distinction between what is manmade and what is not. Manmade institutions including religious organisations contain the very real possibility of individuals or groupings of individuals that are narcisisistic or control/power driven the same as any other organisation be it political, corporate or otherwise. I have experienced this. That said there are many well intentioned fine individuals in religious organisations also. Imho the thing is not to confuse Gods teachings with a manmade instition.

<p>

The dogmatic trap (imho) that some people and religious organisations fall into is to assert that their religion or path is the only path 'allowed by God' and that God exists 'only for their particular religion' and not for anyone else. I dont know anything about Prince's relationship with LGraham - I never warmed to LG but I got the impression in his music that in his last years Prince moved/evolved beyond that phase.

Peace.

God Bless Prince
(I've been on prince.org on and off since 1998. This is my 3rd or 4th username as I forgot passwords. Previous usernames were mgck01, sledgemcpeak. Peace to all here)
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Reply #7 posted 09/29/19 11:16am

herb4

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oops my bad. Yes 2 marriages not 3.

edit

And I don't care who you are, the minute you start offering that you have some sort of divine insight into "the truth" that's infallable, preordained and absolute, you have hit a dead end and, usually, all you're doing after that point is trying to convince YOURSELF under the guise of trying to help, guide and lead others. Thinking you've discovered something new in ancient texts written by men that claim not only divine ispiration, but divine insight and direct communication from God is folly.

Problem is, the way it's set up, the only people who can say for SURE one way or the other are fucking dead, which is pretty clever design when you think about. I mean, churches, preachers, pastors and televangelists enrich themselves while they're alive and convince their followers that the promise of salvation and paradise awaits YOU in another life. All while enjoying tax free status and a presumed sense of respect, dignity and piety that's very often unearned.

Rigid theocracy seemed to fly in the face of everything I ever liked about Prince and I can see how it was off putting to some. It was off putting to me but not enough to overpower the music or his greatness live, which always interested me. SO when I listened to TRC and One Song, I mainly just dug around for who was playing what and how the songs worked, not my musical hero telling me or anyone else how to live life.

Most people like to think they "speak the truth" and "tell it like it is" but once you think you have the answers, you stop asking questions. I prefer to take security in the idea that there I things I don't know and never will rather than prescribe them to ancient doctrines and supersticious fables. I have especially strong suspicion of people who tell me they divined thier truths from some sacred tome filled with tales of magic, miracles and talking animals.

But, hey, you guys do you. Make some songs and an album about it. Talk about on Sinbad. Go nuts. I'd appreciate it if you stopped constantly knocking on my door to tell me about it and "share your insights" though. Fuck off with that. It's a little bit rude.


[Edited 9/29/19 11:33am]

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Reply #8 posted 09/29/19 12:15pm

violetcrush

herb4 said:

oops my bad. Yes 2 marriages not 3.

edit

And I don't care who you are, the minute you start offering that you have some sort of divine insight into "the truth" that's infallable, preordained and absolute, you have hit a dead end and, usually, all you're doing after that point is trying to convince YOURSELF under the guise of trying to help, guide and lead others. Thinking you've discovered something new in ancient texts written by men that claim not only divine ispiration, but divine insight and direct communication from God is folly.

Problem is, the way it's set up, the only people who can say for SURE one way or the other are fucking dead, which is pretty clever design when you think about. I mean, churches, preachers, pastors and televangelists enrich themselves while they're alive and convince their followers that the promise of salvation and paradise awaits YOU in another life. All while enjoying tax free status and a presumed sense of respect, dignity and piety that's very often unearned.

Rigid theocracy seemed to fly in the face of everything I ever liked about Prince and I can see how it was off putting to some. It was off putting to me but not enough to overpower the music or his greatness live, which always interested me. SO when I listened to TRC and One Song, I mainly just dug around for who was playing what and how the songs worked, not my musical hero telling me or anyone else how to live life.

Most people like to think they "speak the truth" and "tell it like it is" but once you think you have the answers, you stop asking questions. I prefer to take security in the idea that there I things I don't know and never will rather than prescribe them to ancient doctrines and supersticious fables. I have especially strong suspicion of people who tell me they divined thier truths from some sacred tome filled with tales of magic, miracles and talking animals.

But, hey, you guys do you. Make some songs and an album about it. Talk about on Sinbad. Go nuts. I'd appreciate it if you stopped constantly knocking on my door to tell me about it and "share your insights" though. Fuck off with that. It's a little bit rude.


[Edited 9/29/19 11:33am]



I think you are on point with your thoughts here. Prince went from more of a questioning and gentle persuasion about his Christian beliefs within his earlier music to very hardline preaching once he became focused on the JW faith. I think much of that had to do with the “witnessing” requirement of the group. What better way to reach large numbers than to “speak” the beliefs in the songs? He was also talking about it as well.
*
I think the grief over the death of his Son left him very vulnerable and looking for answers. You or someone had stated he was deep into JW with Larry prior to his Son’s death, however, Prince and Larry discussed how they met in ‘98-‘99 interviews and they stated they met while Prince was on the JOTY tour. Prince invited Larry to play at one of his after shows - I think in TN. Larry mentioned JW (no doubt part of his witnessing) and they began having discussions. Not long after that Prince asked him to move to MN to continue teaching him about JW - probably sometime in ‘97-‘98. Prince seemed to be fully into the JW beliefs by 1998 based on his interviews that year and some songs.
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Reply #9 posted 09/29/19 12:57pm

TrivialPursuit

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herb4 said:


And I don't care who you are, the minute you start offering that you have some sort of divine insight into "the truth" that's infallable, preordained and absolute, you have hit a dead end and, usually, all you're doing after that point is trying to convince YOURSELF under the guise of trying to help, guide and lead others. Thinking you've discovered something new in ancient texts written by men that claim not only divine ispiration, but divine insight and direct communication from God is folly.

Problem is, the way it's set up, the only people who can say for SURE one way or the other are fucking dead, which is pretty clever design when you think about. I mean, churches, preachers, pastors and televangelists enrich themselves while they're alive and convince their followers that the promise of salvation and paradise awaits YOU in another life. All while enjoying tax free status and a presumed sense of respect, dignity and piety that's very often unearned.

Rigid theocracy seemed to fly in the face of everything I ever liked about Prince and I can see how it was off putting to some. It was off putting to me but not enough to overpower the music or his greatness live, which always interested me. SO when I listened to TRC and One Song, I mainly just dug around for who was playing what and how the songs worked, not my musical hero telling me or anyone else how to live life.



I definitely wanted to touch on that in the essay, about how his and Graham's "you can cut that how you want, but it's the truth" was exclusionary, and segregated his fans into autonomous people and sycophants. I also agree that arguing about religion is immediately a dead-end conversation, much like arguing about race.

I wouldn't have really cared about his religious beliefs shifting from "Love God, love life, lovesexy" to stauros had it on infiltrated his music to such an extreme degree. I think that's why I put "uber" and "leap" into the essay. It was almost comically exaggerated. The honeymoon phase of his newfound beliefs lasted much longer than any of us anticipated.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #10 posted 09/29/19 1:19pm

Doozer

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herb4 said:

Very interesting, well written and thought out piece but, like a lot of Prince's assertions around this time, I glossed over a fair amount of it. Religion bores me to death.

I never much minded Prince's personal journey or his friendship with Larry but I DID mind how his message seemed to go from one of inclusion, personal independence and freedom, togetherness and doing your own thing to a more "my way/one way or the highway" thing. It went from all an inclusive party to things like splitting your audience into 2 sides during a PP celebration and a weird sort of misogony that, in some ways, was more off putting than much of the sexual objectification in his earlier work.

I always wondered if Prince didn't become more fervent with this stuff partly due to the loss of his father but that happened in August, 2001. Also, Amir died in 1996 so perhaps that accelerated it a bit. Makes sense but according to Mayte he was already knee deep in Larry's dogma by then so I don't know.

When you take a step back and look at it, you can really see how Prince built and cultivated "Prince World" so much that it unsurprisingly muddied his world view a bit. I honeslty think he was rather lonely, much of it by his own design or manufactured by his upbringing. Even though he was famous and surrounded by a lot of people, many were sychophants and yes men who probably rarely challenged him or his rules. He'd lost 2 wives and one child and by the end was consciously surrounding himself with younger artists.

Good point about him "chasing the high" of creating songs and how that's partly why he was so prolific.

Lastly, in one of the photos you posted you can clearly see the fatigue and lack of sparkle in his eyes that I refuse to attribute solely to old age. You can see this in several photos of him over his last 5 years or so and I see someone not feeling well a lot of times. It's not just the first hint of bags under them but a flatness to them that I've seen many times before unfortunately. Sometimes in the mirror TBH.

EDIT:
2 marriages, not 3. Fixed

[Edited 9/29/19 11:33am]



Great read on Medium, and thoughtful response by herb4. I disagree, however, that anything in P’s eyes in any photo at the link provided “clearly” shows someone fatigued or lacking any sparkle. I expected to see photos from 2014 forward. He looks great in every photo at that link. Would love to see an example of what herb4 is referring to.

On topic - the OP’s thoughts on One Song are really on point.
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 #11 posted 09/29/19 3:47pm

violetcrush

Nicely written TP. I do agree that it was always the music more than anything else that drove Prince throughout his life, and he was always inspired by a mulititude of things - sex, religion, love, politics, family, friends, events, etc - when writing his lyrics and music. Creating, recording, and performing his music were clearly the priority in his life. The JW period was just another landscape -allbeit a larger one - which influenced his musical output for a period of time.

*

I also agree that by the end of his life - the few years prior to his death - he had come full circle into a more generally spiritual mindset and belief within the Christian faith and not just toward a specific sect.

*

One Song and also TRC definitely seemed to be his first "full throttle" dive into his reciting of his JW beliefs peppered with his feelings about politics and art.

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Reply #12 posted 09/29/19 3:51pm

TrivialPursuit

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Doozer said:


Great read on Medium, and thoughtful response by herb4. ... I expected to see photos from 2014 forward. He looks great in every photo at that link. Would love to see an example of what herb4 is referring to. On topic - the OP’s thoughts on One Song are really on point.


I tried to find photos that were mildly relevant to that section. But with an essay this long, it's helpful to have a photo just to break things up visually. So it was a balance with all those elements. I appreciate the kind words about it.

I would like to know the pics in the story he references, as well. Just out of curiosity.

I really did work a lot on laying out thoughts, expanding on examples and other ideologies to bring points together.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #13 posted 09/29/19 4:06pm

TrivialPursuit

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violetcrush said:

Nicely written TP. I do agree that it was always the music more than anything else that drove Prince throughout his life, and he was always inspired by a mulititude of things - sex, religion, love, politics, family, friends, events, etc - when writing his lyrics and music. Creating, recording, and performing his music were clearly the priority in his life. The JW period was just another landscape -allbeit a larger one - which influenced his musical output for a period of time.

*

I also agree that by the end of his life - the few years prior to his death - he had come full circle into a more generally spiritual mindset and belief within the Christian faith and not just toward a specific sect.

*

One Song and also TRC definitely seemed to be his first "full throttle" dive into his reciting of his JW beliefs peppered with his feelings about politics and art.


I think he held onto his JW beliefs to the end, although he relaxed his level rhetoric in later years. I don't believe that he settled into a more generic Christian structure. His JW beliefs and music post-2000 were concentric to the Kingdom Hall's statutes whether he was at a 5th gear or downshifted to 2nd. The dogma still littered his music, but in lesser quantity.

Thanks for the kind words.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #14 posted 09/29/19 4:32pm

violetcrush

TrivialPursuit said:

violetcrush said:

Nicely written TP. I do agree that it was always the music more than anything else that drove Prince throughout his life, and he was always inspired by a mulititude of things - sex, religion, love, politics, family, friends, events, etc - when writing his lyrics and music. Creating, recording, and performing his music were clearly the priority in his life. The JW period was just another landscape -allbeit a larger one - which influenced his musical output for a period of time.

*

I also agree that by the end of his life - the few years prior to his death - he had come full circle into a more generally spiritual mindset and belief within the Christian faith and not just toward a specific sect.

*

One Song and also TRC definitely seemed to be his first "full throttle" dive into his reciting of his JW beliefs peppered with his feelings about politics and art.


I think he held onto his JW beliefs to the end, although he relaxed his level rhetoric in later years. I don't believe that he settled into a more generic Christian structure. His JW beliefs and music post-2000 were concentric to the Kingdom Hall's statutes whether he was at a 5th gear or downshifted to 2nd. The dogma still littered his music, but in lesser quantity.

Thanks for the kind words.

Fair enough. I do remember reading somewhere that he had been seen attending a Kingdom Hall service January 2016. I guess he just decided to tone down the dialogue in his music. He seemed to be focused, at least to some degree, on the more "new age" spirituality with his Third Eye thing, and his songs were more vague and also more focused on relationships and race.

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Reply #15 posted 09/29/19 4:34pm

PeggyO

Doozer said:

herb4 said:

Very interesting, well written and thought out piece but, like a lot of Prince's assertions around this time, I glossed over a fair amount of it. Religion bores me to death.

I never much minded Prince's personal journey or his friendship with Larry but I DID mind how his message seemed to go from one of inclusion, personal independence and freedom, togetherness and doing your own thing to a more "my way/one way or the highway" thing. It went from all an inclusive party to things like splitting your audience into 2 sides during a PP celebration and a weird sort of misogony that, in some ways, was more off putting than much of the sexual objectification in his earlier work.

I always wondered if Prince didn't become more fervent with this stuff partly due to the loss of his father but that happened in August, 2001. Also, Amir died in 1996 so perhaps that accelerated it a bit. Makes sense but according to Mayte he was already knee deep in Larry's dogma by then so I don't know.

When you take a step back and look at it, you can really see how Prince built and cultivated "Prince World" so much that it unsurprisingly muddied his world view a bit. I honeslty think he was rather lonely, much of it by his own design or manufactured by his upbringing. Even though he was famous and surrounded by a lot of people, many were sychophants and yes men who probably rarely challenged him or his rules. He'd lost 2 wives and one child and by the end was consciously surrounding himself with younger artists.

Good point about him "chasing the high" of creating songs and how that's partly why he was so prolific.

Lastly, in one of the photos you posted you can clearly see the fatigue and lack of sparkle in his eyes that I refuse to attribute solely to old age. You can see this in several photos of him over his last 5 years or so and I see someone not feeling well a lot of times. It's not just the first hint of bags under them but a flatness to them that I've seen many times before unfortunately. Sometimes in the mirror TBH.

EDIT:
2 marriages, not 3. Fixed

[Edited 9/29/19 11:33am]

Great read on Medium, and thoughtful response by herb4. I disagree, however, that anything in P’s eyes in any photo at the link provided “clearly” shows someone fatigued or lacking any sparkle. I expected to see photos from 2014 forward. He looks great in every photo at that link. Would love to see an example of what herb4 is referring to. On topic - the OP’s thoughts on One Song are really on point.

If I may jump in, I wonder if one of the photos Herb4 is referring to is cover photo for the book, "I Would Die 4 u" by Toure.

I also noted the 'flatness' of his eyes in some of the 2015 American Music Award photos.

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Reply #16 posted 09/29/19 4:38pm

PennyPurple

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Good article. Thank you for sharing your work with us.

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Reply #17 posted 09/29/19 4:41pm

violetcrush

Doozer said:

herb4 said:

Very interesting, well written and thought out piece but, like a lot of Prince's assertions around this time, I glossed over a fair amount of it. Religion bores me to death.

I never much minded Prince's personal journey or his friendship with Larry but I DID mind how his message seemed to go from one of inclusion, personal independence and freedom, togetherness and doing your own thing to a more "my way/one way or the highway" thing. It went from all an inclusive party to things like splitting your audience into 2 sides during a PP celebration and a weird sort of misogony that, in some ways, was more off putting than much of the sexual objectification in his earlier work.

I always wondered if Prince didn't become more fervent with this stuff partly due to the loss of his father but that happened in August, 2001. Also, Amir died in 1996 so perhaps that accelerated it a bit. Makes sense but according to Mayte he was already knee deep in Larry's dogma by then so I don't know.

When you take a step back and look at it, you can really see how Prince built and cultivated "Prince World" so much that it unsurprisingly muddied his world view a bit. I honeslty think he was rather lonely, much of it by his own design or manufactured by his upbringing. Even though he was famous and surrounded by a lot of people, many were sychophants and yes men who probably rarely challenged him or his rules. He'd lost 2 wives and one child and by the end was consciously surrounding himself with younger artists.

Good point about him "chasing the high" of creating songs and how that's partly why he was so prolific.

Lastly, in one of the photos you posted you can clearly see the fatigue and lack of sparkle in his eyes that I refuse to attribute solely to old age. You can see this in several photos of him over his last 5 years or so and I see someone not feeling well a lot of times. It's not just the first hint of bags under them but a flatness to them that I've seen many times before unfortunately. Sometimes in the mirror TBH.

EDIT:
2 marriages, not 3. Fixed

[Edited 9/29/19 11:33am]

Great read on Medium, and thoughtful response by herb4. I disagree, however, that anything in P’s eyes in any photo at the link provided “clearly” shows someone fatigued or lacking any sparkle. I expected to see photos from 2014 forward. He looks great in every photo at that link. Would love to see an example of what herb4 is referring to. On topic - the OP’s thoughts on One Song are really on point.

Here is Prince at the 2015 AMA's. I guess it is subjective, but I do not think he was looking healthy there. I remember watching at that time and thinking the same thing. He was so thin, and looked very tired or rundown.

*

Related image

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Reply #18 posted 09/29/19 4:46pm

violetcrush

violetcrush said:

Doozer said:

herb4 said: Great read on Medium, and thoughtful response by herb4. I disagree, however, that anything in P’s eyes in any photo at the link provided “clearly” shows someone fatigued or lacking any sparkle. I expected to see photos from 2014 forward. He looks great in every photo at that link. Would love to see an example of what herb4 is referring to. On topic - the OP’s thoughts on One Song are really on point.

Here is Prince at the 2015 AMA's. I guess it is subjective, but I do not think he was looking healthy there. I remember watching at that time and thinking the same thing. He was so thin, and looked very tired or rundown.

*

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Here he is at the Rally For Peace in Baltimore May 2015:

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Reply #19 posted 09/29/19 5:38pm

TrivialPursuit

avatar

PennyPurple said:

Good article. Thank you for sharing your work with us.


Thanks for reading.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
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Reply #20 posted 09/29/19 5:40pm

herb4

avatar

Doozer said:

herb4 said:

Very interesting, well written and thought out piece but, like a lot of Prince's assertions around this time, I glossed over a fair amount of it. Religion bores me to death.

I never much minded Prince's personal journey or his friendship with Larry but I DID mind how his message seemed to go from one of inclusion, personal independence and freedom, togetherness and doing your own thing to a more "my way/one way or the highway" thing. It went from all an inclusive party to things like splitting your audience into 2 sides during a PP celebration and a weird sort of misogony that, in some ways, was more off putting than much of the sexual objectification in his earlier work.

I always wondered if Prince didn't become more fervent with this stuff partly due to the loss of his father but that happened in August, 2001. Also, Amir died in 1996 so perhaps that accelerated it a bit. Makes sense but according to Mayte he was already knee deep in Larry's dogma by then so I don't know.

When you take a step back and look at it, you can really see how Prince built and cultivated "Prince World" so much that it unsurprisingly muddied his world view a bit. I honeslty think he was rather lonely, much of it by his own design or manufactured by his upbringing. Even though he was famous and surrounded by a lot of people, many were sychophants and yes men who probably rarely challenged him or his rules. He'd lost 2 wives and one child and by the end was consciously surrounding himself with younger artists.

Good point about him "chasing the high" of creating songs and how that's partly why he was so prolific.

Lastly, in one of the photos you posted you can clearly see the fatigue and lack of sparkle in his eyes that I refuse to attribute solely to old age. You can see this in several photos of him over his last 5 years or so and I see someone not feeling well a lot of times. It's not just the first hint of bags under them but a flatness to them that I've seen many times before unfortunately. Sometimes in the mirror TBH.

EDIT:
2 marriages, not 3. Fixed

[Edited 9/29/19 11:33am]

Great read on Medium, and thoughtful response by herb4. I disagree, however, that anything in P’s eyes in any photo at the link provided “clearly” shows someone fatigued or lacking any sparkle. I expected to see photos from 2014 forward. He looks great in every photo at that link. Would love to see an example of what herb4 is referring to. On topic - the OP’s thoughts on One Song are really on point.


I tried to go back and link the particular pic that caught my eye but now I guess i'm limited to how often I can read there and need to sign up/register to go back so no thanks. Others have posted some images that reflect what I mean.

I really don't want to start a derail with it but I struggle with addiction myself and eyes never lie. I know exactly what I'm looking at.

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Reply #21 posted 09/29/19 5:42pm

herb4

avatar

PeggyO said:

Doozer said:

herb4 said: Great read on Medium, and thoughtful response by herb4. I disagree, however, that anything in P’s eyes in any photo at the link provided “clearly” shows someone fatigued or lacking any sparkle. I expected to see photos from 2014 forward. He looks great in every photo at that link. Would love to see an example of what herb4 is referring to. On topic - the OP’s thoughts on One Song are really on point.

If I may jump in, I wonder if one of the photos Herb4 is referring to is cover photo for the book, "I Would Die 4 u" by Toure.

I also noted the 'flatness' of his eyes in some of the 2015 American Music Award photos.


It wasn't. It was near the lower part of the article as I recall but, like I said, I'm not registering through FB or Google just to go find it.

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Reply #22 posted 09/29/19 5:48pm

TrivialPursuit

avatar

herb4 said:


It wasn't. It was near the lower part of the article as I recall but, like I said, I'm not registering through FB or Google just to go find it.


FYI: you can register with email.

In my article, there isn't even one with his afro. So the pics I chose were pre-afro/going natural. There are pics to other articles and one is the Toure book cover (I reviewed the book). Possibly the one you saw?

Anyway, back on track...

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #23 posted 09/29/19 5:53pm

RJP1205

Nice article, thank you for sharing! I think Prince was searching, as we all do, for meaning, for purpose...100% believe in God and believe that is what we are meant to do. It keeps us on the right path. And I don't believe that path will ever be perfect & we need to respect that each person's path is different. It's all about LOVE! 💜
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Reply #24 posted 09/29/19 6:01pm

Strive

Here's my thoughts on your article as I read it.



- I didn't think that the name change was him wanting to be walking art. I think it was more him wanting to escape the pressures/expectations of being "Prince" and the responsiblities that came with it. Similar to how his conversion to JW, while sincere in his mind, was also an act of trying to get Mayte back into a submissive role. Mayte was growing bolder, attempting to put a voice onto what she thought their life should be and the bible was his cudgel to try to get her in line.
- I wouldn't call his relationship with Larry Graham a bromance. Larry was an idol from Prince's childhood and the opportunity to play with him, to say that Larry Graham was in his band, was probably something that tickled him pink. Same as Maceo Parker. Or George Clinton when he was around. All of these men had a personal influence on Prince. George Clinton read Prince sections from Bill Cooper's book, Behold A Pale Horse, and those ideas stayed with Prince for a long time. Whether it was the paranoia expressed on New World or the interview with Travis Smiley where he was openly talking conspiracy theories.
- Like with the last section, Prince's early experiments with the internet around that time can be traced back to Chuck D.

- Notice a pattern? Prince sucked up ideas from all around him. Ideas he liked, he co-opted. Ideas he didn't like, he disregarded. Are the legends above the cause of Prince's ideologic changes or are they the symptom? I'd go with the latter.

- God didn't take a backseat to the Dark Knight and the Joker. He co-opted them. The Future and Dance With The Devil are reflective of this. The Future credited to Bruce Wayne and Dance With The Devil credited to the Joker. The abandoned album Rave Unto The Joy Fantastic and songs for Grafitti Bridge came out of this period. Some of his most on the nose religious songs were written or pulled out of the vault during this period. God took a backseat to commerciality when Grafitti Bridge tanked.

- Prince, despite being baptized in 2003, never came remotely close to fully submitting to JW doctine. He took bits and pieces that he liked but disregarded everything that made him uncomfortable or infringed on his personal/creative freedom. People point to him cutting cursing as a JW thing but, every time he talked about it, it was a business decision. (At that time) He wanted you to leave his concert because he challenged you by not playing Purple Rain or by calling Abraham Lincoln a racist, he didn't want you to leave his concert because you brought kids with you and his crazy ass decided to play Face Down. lol (I also strongly disagree with the idea that everything he did around that period was "proselytizing about his faith". He was provoking you to think...it just wasn't what most wanted to think about. It was out of step with the times and out of step with what most people expected. Ironically I think Cybersingle best summed up his position before he decided to turn the page with The Rainbow Children.)



No offense but I'm not particularly interesting in your interpretation of One Song because I feel like he was clear with the message he wanted to put out there, at the time, and that it stands on its own. God's Kingdom and teachings are the only salvation for humanity. Your actions reflect your alliance. Which one do you represent? Either or. This or that. Do or don't. It's binary. God's Kingdom or Satan's government. Where do you stand? What do you really believe?



It's in line with the Jehovah's Witnesses but it's also not that far away from the Seventh-Day Adventist that Prince was raised on.



“It’s just all expanded,” he says. “Anything I believed then, I believe even more now – it’s just expanded.” [Rolling Stone's lost 2014 interview with Prince]

no yesterday or tomorrow, no better remedy for sorrow
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Reply #25 posted 09/29/19 6:09pm

RJP1205

Also, Matthew 27:37 even in the New World Translation used by the JW...states they put a sign above his (Jesus) head that said "King of the Jews".sooooo, if he died with his arms above his head as on a pole, stauros, how can this scripture be accurate? The whole stauros thing makes me crazy...it's man-made talk to confuse the listener while they think they are being enlightened. IMO.
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Reply #26 posted 09/29/19 6:21pm

violetcrush

Strive said:

Here's my thoughts on your article as I read it.



- I didn't think that the name change was him wanting to be walking art. I think it was more him wanting to escape the pressures/expectations of being "Prince" and the responsiblities that came with it. Similar to how his conversion to JW, while sincere in his mind, was also an act of trying to get Mayte back into a submissive role. Mayte was growing bolder, attempting to put a voice onto what she thought their life should be and the bible was his cudgel to try to get her in line.
- I wouldn't call his relationship with Larry Graham a bromance. Larry was an idol from Prince's childhood and the opportunity to play with him, to say that Larry Graham was in his band, was probably something that tickled him pink. Same as Maceo Parker. Or George Clinton when he was around. All of these men had a personal influence on Prince. George Clinton read Prince sections from Bill Cooper's book, Behold A Pale Horse, and those ideas stayed with Prince for a long time. Whether it was the paranoia expressed on New World or the interview with Travis Smiley where he was openly talking conspiracy theories.
- Like with the last section, Prince's early experiments with the internet around that time can be traced back to Chuck D.

- Notice a pattern? Prince sucked up ideas from all around him. Ideas he liked, he co-opted. Ideas he didn't like, he disregarded. Are the legends above the cause of Prince's ideologic changes or are they the symptom? I'd go with the latter.

- God didn't take a backseat to the Dark Knight and the Joker. He co-opted them. The Future and Dance With The Devil are reflective of this. The Future credited to Bruce Wayne and Dance With The Devil credited to the Joker. The abandoned album Rave Unto The Joy Fantastic and songs for Grafitti Bridge came out of this period. Some of his most on the nose religious songs were written or pulled out of the vault during this period. God took a backseat to commerciality when Grafitti Bridge tanked.

- Prince, despite being baptized in 2003, never came remotely close to fully submitting to JW doctine. He took bits and pieces that he liked but disregarded everything that made him uncomfortable or infringed on his personal/creative freedom. People point to him cutting cursing as a JW thing but, every time he talked about it, it was a business decision. (At that time) He wanted you to leave his concert because he challenged you by not playing Purple Rain or by calling Abraham Lincoln a racist, he didn't want you to leave his concert because you brought kids with you and his crazy ass decided to play Face Down. lol (I also strongly disagree with the idea that everything he did around that period was "proselytizing about his faith". He was provoking you to think...it just wasn't what most wanted to think about. It was out of step with the times and out of step with what most people expected. Ironically I think Cybersingle best summed up his position before he decided to turn the page with The Rainbow Children.)



No offense but I'm not particularly interesting in your interpretation of One Song because I feel like he was clear with the message he wanted to put out there, at the time, and that it stands on its own. God's Kingdom and teachings are the only salvation for humanity. Your actions reflect your alliance. Which one do you represent? Either or. This or that. Do or don't. It's binary. God's Kingdom or Satan's government. Where do you stand? What do you really believe?



It's in line with the Jehovah's Witnesses but it's also not that far away from the Seventh-Day Adventist that Prince was raised on.



“It’s just all expanded,” he says. “Anything I believed then, I believe even more now – it’s just expanded.” [Rolling Stone's lost 2014 interview with Prince]

Interesting views, and many make sense. Although, I find it doubtful that Mayte ever tried to be "bold"with Prince, or attempted to direct his lifestyle. She seemed to me to always follow him. I think he called the shots there. He certainly would not have needed a religious affiliation to keep her in line. Also, I believe by the time he was delving deeper into the JW faith he had Mayte living in Spain while he was spending much of his time in MN. Then he moved on to Manuela. I think, if anything, it was Mayte refusing to adapt to the JW faith which led to the end of that relationship. She would not convert, so she was out - aka banished confused

*

Most of your thoughts do seem to align with the way Prince operated. He was as much or more about his business as he was his religious beliefs or political views. I believe he was quite a dichotomous thinker in the way he lived his life.

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Reply #27 posted 09/29/19 6:29pm

PeggyO

Very thought-provoking article. Prince certainly lived his religious beliefs out-loud.

I watched Lovesexy (I believe) and he was a straight-up powerful preacher.

I think the JW grip on him loosened as he got older and he returned to a more inclusive, less structured spirituality.

I think he meant it when he said he didn't belong here and consistently talked about the comfort of the afterlife where he could be with God...this sort of craving could have been rooted in his lonely childhood, though.

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Reply #28 posted 09/29/19 6:33pm

Strive

RJP1205 said:

Also, Matthew 27:37 even in the New World Translation used by the JW...states they put a sign above his (Jesus) head that said "King of the Jews".sooooooo, if he died with his arms above his head as on a pole, stauros, how can this scripture be accurate? The whole stauros thing makes me crazy...it's man-made talk to confuse the listener while they think they are being enlightened. IMO.

That's a strange argument. Placing the sign on top of the pole would still be above his head, even if his arms were stretched out above him.


I think it's a sincere belief but it's one of those weird doctrinal quirks that they latch onto and fiercely defend. Like a dog with a bone. There's a number of them that they trot out when they're preaching.

no yesterday or tomorrow, no better remedy for sorrow
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Reply #29 posted 09/29/19 6:57pm

RJP1205

Strive said:



RJP1205 said:


Also, Matthew 27:37 even in the New World Translation used by the JW...states they put a sign above his (Jesus) head that said "King of the Jews".sooooo, if he died with his arms above his head as on a pole, stauros, how can this scripture be accurate? The whole stauros thing makes me crazy...it's man-made talk to confuse the listener while they think they are being enlightened. IMO.


That's a strange argument. Placing the sign on top of the pole would still be above his head, even if his arms were stretched out above him.


I think it's a sincere belief but it's one of those weird doctrinal quirks that they latch onto and fiercely defend. Like a dog with a bone. There's a number of them that they trot out when they're preaching.


It IS a strange argument but since everything is taken literal and it didn't say sign above his hands... it's just a scripture that stood out to me as I took on my own reading of the scriptures after I had left the JW.
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