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“I think I like Prince so much I would actually “buy” my tickets.”
January 29, 2013 9:39 PM   Subscribe

Siskel and Ebert on Prince.

I know right?
posted by timsteil (54 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
“I think I like Prince so much I would actually “buy” my tickets.”

I'm not a Prince fan, but that's a pretty huge compliment if you're in the media and can usually get free tickets.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 9:40 PM on January 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm not really sure what the point of this post is, but I'm always happy to talk about how amazing prince is.
posted by empath at 9:43 PM on January 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


I THINK EBERT WAS SIGNALING HIS DRUG DEALER
posted by not_on_display at 9:49 PM on January 29, 2013 [7 favorites]


I would not argue with anyone who says "Sign O' the Times" is the best album of the 80's. Damn, it's great.
posted by davebush at 9:52 PM on January 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


Christ, what song was that early on when Prince was totally just melting people's faces off with the guitar?
posted by Redfield at 9:59 PM on January 29, 2013


Purple Rain and 1999 are even better.
posted by John Cohen at 10:00 PM on January 29, 2013


Christ, what song was that early on when Prince was totally just melting people's faces off with the guitar?

If you've ever seen him live, that's pretty much every third song.
posted by empath at 10:03 PM on January 29, 2013 [21 favorites]


I would not argue with anyone who says "Sign O' the Times" is the best album of the 80's. Damn, it's great.

Damn that's right. And it's hard to find online in US because of Prince's (lawyer's) self-destructive approach to Prince videos on the internet but:

Here's Prince performing Sign "O" the Times' "Starfish & Coffee" on the Muppet Show.
posted by Mike Mongo at 10:03 PM on January 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


Prince in 2004.
posted by maudlin at 10:08 PM on January 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


I know Ebert's still around, but I miss those guys.
posted by gern at 10:08 PM on January 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


Christ, what song was that early on when Prince was totally just melting people's faces off with the guitar?

I don't know which you mean, but here he is just straight wrecking everyone's shit on While My Guitar Gently Weeps at the tribute concert for George Harrison. Goddamn.
posted by davidjmcgee at 10:08 PM on January 29, 2013 [26 favorites]


maudlin!

You know what, I don't even care that I failed to preview, it should be linked at least twice.
posted by davidjmcgee at 10:09 PM on January 29, 2013


"prince" and "parade" for me. yeah this is a pointless post but who cares, siskel & ebert & prince are all great.
posted by facetious at 10:11 PM on January 29, 2013


Prince covering Creep.

Prince Superbowl halftime
posted by empath at 10:18 PM on January 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Prince in 2004.

Different. Plane. Of. Existence.

At the end, he makes the guitar *disappear*.
posted by alex_skazat at 10:28 PM on January 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mike Mongo: And it's hard to find online in US because of Prince's (lawyer's) self-destructive approach to Prince videos on the internet

It's not Prince's lawyers. It's Prince. Read any interview he's ever done. He is militant about protecting his product. He went after a mom using "Let's Go Crazy" as a soundtrack for a YouTube video of her baby dancing around the room.

Redfield: Christ, what song was that early on when Prince was totally just melting people's faces off with the guitar?

How early is "early on"? It could have been "Uptown," it could have been "Private Joy," it could have been almost any track on 1999 (listen to the end of "Automatic"! or the solo on "Lady Cab Driver"!) or Purple Rain, it could have even been "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?"
posted by blucevalo at 10:28 PM on January 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


The thing about Prince was, that as a teenage white boy in the middle of whitebread country in the Netherlands, he was sort of funny and strange and well, queer, almost but niot quite like MJ becoming known more for his off stage behaviour than his songs. He really wasn't rated all that much even by the true music nerds, but even so we all knew his songs.

Getting back to them, to the albums, beyond the hits and it's just amazing how good this guy is. Sign 'O' the Times as best album of the eighties? Yeah, not an indefensible position.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:32 PM on January 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Christ, what song was that early on when Prince was totally just melting people's faces off with the guitar?

I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man

Even though 1999 is my favorite Prince album, I think Sign of The Times might be his actual best album. Mostly because it shows off just about every style he's done over the years. If it came out right now, it would be a perfect retrospective of his entire career, but it came out 25 years ago.
posted by billyfleetwood at 10:33 PM on January 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ooh.. have I told my I got to talk to Prince once as part of my job when I was 23?

Yeah, I got to talk with Prince once when I worked for a major bank. Was incredibly difficult to actually get him on the horn, even though I had his personal phone number at his palatial Minnesota estate.
posted by mediocre at 10:42 PM on January 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't know which you mean, but here he is just straight wrecking everyone's shit on While My Guitar Gently Weeps yt at the tribute concert for George Harrison. Goddamn.

I'm always a little surprised that at the end when Prince's guitar ascends to heaven but he himself stays on earth to continue being awesome.
posted by a hat out of hell at 10:43 PM on January 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


0:56 was what I was referring to. William Fleetwood got it, though. I've never really listened to much Prince outside of Erotic City and When You Were Mine (and While My Guitar Gently Weeps, naturally), so I am the uninitiated.
posted by Redfield at 10:45 PM on January 29, 2013


Wait. WTF, Prince was on The Muppets?
posted by newdaddy at 10:53 PM on January 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Not the real Muppets. Muppets Tonight.
posted by darksasami at 10:58 PM on January 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't know which you mean, but here he is just straight wrecking everyone's shit on While My Guitar Gently Weeps

I thought I wouldn't get past the awesomeness of the tambourine playing at around 2:50 but Prince... whoa.

That video put a broad smile on my face. Thank you!
posted by mazola at 11:00 PM on January 29, 2013


I don't understand how prince has time to get that good at that many different things.
posted by empath at 11:01 PM on January 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


In 1982 or 1983 I and a friend shared a table with Prince at the Whiskey a Go Go while watching the Untouchables perform. I remember him wearing a quilted purple suit. We didn't have time interact with him as his bodyguard, a big bearded guy that I later saw in the Purple Rain movie, picked him up (he is tiny) and lowered him over a railing to the dance floor. Not that he wanted to get away from us (I hope), but that he wanted to get to the dance floor and that was the easiest way to get there.
posted by ShooBoo at 11:30 PM on January 29, 2013 [7 favorites]


Oh man. Prince is one of the last people who I REALLY want to see live that I haven't (who is still alive). So basically, not only would I pay for my ticket, but I'd do most things short of genocide.
posted by grapesaresour at 11:45 PM on January 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


seeing prince live last year was so awesome. i spent a week sulking at work because i couldn't get over the fact that my boss saw him at House of Blues's "Foundation Room" for some holiday thing... jealousssss.

also, seeing this live last week was downright weird:
muse covering "sign o' the times"
(similarly weird: being the youngest person in my section to scream out "YESSSSS" when they started playing the cover... got stares from older people and high schoolers alike.)
posted by raihan_ at 12:15 AM on January 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


and then he made pancakes.
posted by angrycat at 12:19 AM on January 30, 2013 [7 favorites]


I saw Prince in 1988 -- the Lovesexy tour. So not long after Sign of the Times (still pre-Batman, thank God). The stage was round. The show was astonishing and included much of what's in the Sign of the Times movie. Strangely, the highlight I remember was The Cross -- full on Jesus orgasm w/guitar solo.
posted by philip-random at 1:01 AM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I interned at Warner Bros. Records in the summer of '94. Returning from lunch one day, I was a step away from the entrance when the double doors burst open. Two absolutely massive gents in matching pinstripe suits filled the doorway, then stepped to the side like Royal Guardsmen. As they parted, I stood face-to-face with the Purple One, who glided through the lobby towards me at a rapid clip. He slipped past me, followed by his entourage--a parade of lace and glitter and hair. So far, nothing out of the ordinary--what happened next defied physics: one by one, they stepped into a limo--Prince, the drummer, the keyboardist, what must've been his full horn section, manager, a pack of Sirens. How they fit in the space confounds me to this day.
And then the bodyguards climbed in.
The door closed, the limo drove off, and there I was, just standing there holding my Big Gulp.
posted by prinado at 1:07 AM on January 30, 2013 [16 favorites]


I enjoyed the Ebert essay that you linked to - O'Rourke’s sounds like my kind of bar.
posted by hoodrich at 1:59 AM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


One of my all-time favorite concert movies, up there with The Grateful Dead Movie, Last Waltz, and Stop Making Sense.

But hey, I also love Under the Cherry Moon.
posted by muckster at 2:36 AM on January 30, 2013


I saw Prince in 1982 (Controversy tour) at Braden Auditorium on the Illinois State University campus. It was an excellent show and, IIRC, sold out pretty quickly (albeit, Braden only seats about 3,500).

While I'm thrilled he did the show, I've always wondered how such a small auditorium located in heart of conservative/Republican-to-the-core, central Illinois wound up on the tour list.
posted by she's not there at 4:20 AM on January 30, 2013


Aside: I saw Prince in 1982 (Controversy tour) at Braden Auditorium on the Illinois State University campus.

Ack! ISU! Ack! There is nothing ironic about the name of the town: Normal.
posted by NoMich at 5:48 AM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Embarrassing Childhood Fact, Never Revealed Before Today
When I was about ten, my opinion on Prince was a mostly-dismissive "His songs suck, but he's a good breakdancer."

It's progressed upwardly since then, and is currently something along the lines of HOLY CRAP WTF WHY DOES THIS GUY GET TO BE SO AMAZING, but still every time I hear a song of his, a little part of me thinks back and cringes: "Breakdancer".
posted by Flunkie at 5:54 AM on January 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


In which the normally staid Harper's is given over to eight pages of Prince fanfiction.

Seriously, though, if you're not a subscriber: run down to your local library and pick up the December 2012 issue. This essay is bizarre and amazing.
posted by psoas at 5:55 AM on January 30, 2013


I've always wondered how such a small auditorium located in heart of conservative/Republican-to-the-core, central Illinois wound up on the tour list

"Illinois State University" is quite possibly the answer there - almost all colleges & universities have a portion of tuition & fees put into an "entertainment/activities" fund that gets distributed to various official student groups so they can do stuff like put on concerts. Ticket sales are just to offset costs, they don't actually need to make a profit.

Also, y'know, colleges & college students are often more "liberal" than the town the college is in, so even if the show was an entirely commercial proposition without ISU student involvement, the local promoter must have figured that out of 20,000-odd students, at least a few thousand would be willing to pony up for tickets for a hot new act.

And tours are expensive - "if you're not playing, you're paying." From this Prince Tour History website it looks like he was in Cleveland the night before and Omaha the night after, so picking up a gig halfway between them makes some sense financially, even if it was kind of a weird place to play.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:41 AM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Early face melting Prince, for me, is all about Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad. The studio version (from 1979!) is just ridiculously good - the solo at the end is sick. Also terrific, in a more volcanic way is this version of the same tune from 1981. Prince is awesome.

I also can hear the argument for Sign o' the Times as best record of the 80's. It is certainly the most successfully monumental record of the 80's. And it is so, so, SO varied. The best two songs, in my opinion, on the record are back-to-back and could not be more different from each other in tone: the funny, funky, helium beatdown of Housequake followed immediately by the tender, poetic (yet still stanky!) Ballad of Dorothy Parker.

Shut up already. Damn.
posted by dirtdirt at 6:59 AM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's not Prince's lawyers. It's Prince. Read any interview he's ever done. He is militant about protecting his product.

Kevin Smith has THE BEST Prince story ever, which he told during one of his spoken word tours.

Short version is that Prince brought him into Paisley Park to shoot a documentary about him. Yeah, the Clerks guy. Smith shoots Prince playing a new album for fans then talking for hours about god a religion and Jehovah's Witness stuff. Talking so long that, at the end of a week of this, that they have run out of film and just pretend to keep rolling as Prince talks.

Smith talks to Prince's producer, asking what he's supposed to be doing, because he's not really directing. Producer (name I forget) tells Smith that the thing is, Prince asked for him. And "Prince lives in 'Prince World'. And sometimes its my job, when he asks for a giraffe in the middle of January, to explain to him that no, there are no giraffes in Minneapolis, they can't get one. And Prince just sometimes doesn't understand why he can't have a giraffe." But he could have the Clerks guy.

She goes on to relate how she's produced something like 8 music videos for him, full costumes and choreography, edited, the works. And no one has ever seen them. They went right into the Prince Vault and never have seen the light of day.

So KS tells this story on stage, using the producers name. At a later spoken word tour, he relates that the producer called up and said "I can't believe you used my name! Prince FREAKED OUT when he heard you saying all that stuff!"

She was no longer working for Prince, so it didn't matter so much. But Prince had every assistant in Paisley Park tearing the place apart, looking for the non-disclosure agreement Smith signed, so that Prince could unleash the purple hounds of litigious Hell. They had to go over the whole PP complex with a fine-tooth comb because they couldn't find it.

Smith thinks. "Did I sign a non-disclosure agreement? I mean, someone handed me a piece of paper at some point. Is that what that was? I looked at it, but I don't think I actually signed anything while I was there."

Slacker 1, Purple Magic Man 0.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:38 AM on January 30, 2013 [13 favorites]


Obligatory Sheila E. rapping with Run-DMC on Krush Groovin' (around 2:20 if you're lame and want to skip some of the awesomness).
posted by lkc at 9:22 AM on January 30, 2013


I saw him live last year - he did this amazing slowed-down version of Little Red Corvette that totally changed the feel of the song.

And then there was Purple Rain, and he didn't even have to do the "wooo wooo woo woo" part, because the whole crowd sang it for him, and that is a religious experience live.
posted by nakedmolerats at 9:29 AM on January 30, 2013


the weird thing is, mad as Prince's moves have been for the past twenty-odd years (post-Batman, Artist-Formerly-Known-As ...), all this willful obtuseness may end up being the thing that guarantees his long term relevance. That is, the very fact that you can't just go to Youtube and link to that particular 1985 12-inch (or if you can, two weeks later, there won't be any audio track) -- this will keep his stuff fresh, not over-exposed, still alluring.

Such that when he dies (assuming he doesn't achieve immortality), man there's going to be piles of treasure available for investigation and fun. And piles, and piles.
posted by philip-random at 10:16 AM on January 30, 2013


he did this amazing slowed-down version of Little Red Corvette that totally changed the feel of the song

That must have been some-fucking-amazing arrangement—I get embarrassed for Prince every time I hear that adolescent, cringe-inducing piece of crap. (And I've been a Prince fan since Dirty Mind.)
posted by she's not there at 10:21 AM on January 30, 2013


She goes on to relate how she's produced something like 8 music videos for him, full costumes and choreography, edited, the works. And no one has ever seen them. They went right into the Prince Vault and never have seen the light of day.

I remember reading an article about Prince in the 90's that claimed he had recorded a dozen albums worth of songs, all locked in his vault. I seem to remember the writer implying that this was music too avant-garde to release now and that it was being stored until the world was ready for it. Also that pop music in the '90s was just beginning to reach musical territory that Prince had already secretly colonized decades ago in music locked away in the vault.
posted by straight at 10:23 AM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have now fallen into the helpless pit of wanting a giraffe in January.
posted by elizardbits at 10:55 AM on January 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


Sorry, but to me, Smith sounds like the jerk in that story. So yeah, maybe this documentary was an ill-advised idea, but why the hell is Smith telling the story--and the stuff the producer told him--on a stage? Strikes me as unprofessional, spoken word tour or not.

Meanwhile, A Love Bizarre live.
posted by muckster at 11:25 AM on January 30, 2013


I don't know which you mean, but here he is just straight wrecking everyone's shit on While My Guitar Gently Weeps at the tribute concert for George Harrison. Goddamn.

Every time I watch this I'm like, "where'd the guitar go?"
posted by NedKoppel at 12:25 PM on January 30, 2013


I remember taking the poster from the Controversy album and putting it up on my friends office wall as a prank. Prince naked except for a banana hammock, posing in the shower. Everybody had a good laugh, nobody got fired. Different times.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 1:32 PM on January 30, 2013


I think his last album - definitely one from the last few years - was a double set, released not in stores in the UK, but given away with the Mail on Sunday.

I like to think it was a concept album about Liz Jones./
posted by mippy at 2:32 PM on January 30, 2013


One of the times I saw Prince was on his Nude(?) tour. The one where he had a beard and the stage show was very sparse with no extra dancers etc. He lay on top of his grand piano and played a heart wrenching version of the song he gave to Sinead O'Connor, Nothing Compares 2 U. Everyone in the audience in tears and probably few people realizing that because he was lying on top of the piano he was playing it backwards.

Backwards.
posted by merocet at 2:38 PM on January 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


I went to see him on the Musicology tour. He played with his full band, then took a break. When we got back, it was just Prince, a stool, and a guitar. He played a lot of touchstone songs and at one point accused us of (I think during "Raspberry Beret") having lip-synced to it in a mirror (he was right). There are many showmen in the world who can hold a roomful of people captive and captivated armed with nothing but a single musical instrument. Nobody does or ever has done it as well as Prince R. Nelson.
posted by NedKoppel at 8:12 PM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Backwards

I once saw Prince playing an absurdly twiddly solo on the frets of his guitar while simultaneously honking out the bassline on a Moog.

Instead of using his spare hand to play the synth, he used a transparent plastic walking stick and the vertiginous heel of his tiny boot.

Then he winked.

Also that pop music in the '90s was just beginning to reach musical territory that Prince had already secretly colonized decades ago in music locked away in the vault.

This is true in Prince terms - when Grafitti Bridge came out, keen fans felt cheated because they'd been listening to bootlegs and live versions of all the songs since the 80s.

Such that when he dies (assuming he doesn't achieve immortality), man there's going to be piles of treasure available for investigation and fun. And piles, and piles.

I seriously doubt the doors to the vault will be thrown open when Prince dies, more likely the first line of his will is "destroy everything". The best we can hope for is a Kafka/Brod situation.
posted by jack_mo at 1:04 AM on January 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


I seriously doubt the doors to the vault will be thrown open when Prince dies, more likely the first line of his will is "destroy everything". The best we can hope for is a Kafka/Brod situation.

As much as I have come to respect the man as a musician and a creative juggernaut, there is a perverse part of me who REALLY wants him to flip a switch from his deathbed and set fire to the vault.

As brilliant and cool as it would be to see all that hidden tsunami of talent that just pours out of the man, there is a perverse part of me that would really love to see that much creativity actually be created for its own sake and then vaporized before the world gets our grubby mits all over it.

It's like Lanford Wilson said... write it, then write Burn This across the front page.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 1:27 AM on February 1, 2013


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