prince -- 4/1/22

Today's selection -- from The Beautiful Ones by Prince. Thoughts from the late, great, musical superstar Prince, on the days before stardom:
"Once I got out of high school it was interesting for a while because I didn't have any money, I didn't have any school, and I didn't have any dependents, I didn't have any kids, or girlfriends, or anything. I had cut myself off totally from everything. And that's when I really started writing. I was writing like three or four songs a day. And, they were all really long. Which is interesting for me as a writer, because it's hard to just take a thought, and continue it for a long period of time without losing it. And it's harder for me now to write than it was back then, because there's so many people around me now. I wrote a lot of sexual songs back then, but they were mainly things that I wanted to go on, not things that were going on. Which is different from what I write about now. …

Prince, 2008

"I had originally gone to New York, and I got two offers when I came out [there] to live with my sister. The only problem there was I didn't have a cat in there fighting for me, to get me artistic control over the production end of it. …
"The only way I can relate to that period, is that it was part of a search .... While I was living with [my sister] Sharon I got hooked up with a woman producer who was always busy pitching her own angles. She was only looking at me as a singer. The kind that opts for the silk capes, high-heeled shoes, and white Cadillacs. You know, somebody who dresses and sings the same part -- a nice dresser and a sweet singer. I tried to explain that even though I didn't have the key to the recording industry, that I knew myself, and that I knew for sure what I would and wouldn't do for that key. I told her I never considered myself a singer. I  saw myself as an instrumentalist who started singing out of necessity. I don't think I ever got through, but I tried explaining -- ­that to me, my voice is just like one of the instruments I play. It's just one thing I do. …
"I [sing in falsetto] because when my voice changed it went down, and I couldn't get any power out of it. I couldn't get any life, so to speak. The energy -- I couldn't get it from that voice. With the higher voice, it was easier to hit the higher notes. There's something about the word high that I like. There's something about the word. And it also hurts in my lower voice to sing, when I sing too hard. It doesn't hurt in my falsetto. …
"When I got back to Minneapolis, that's when I first met Owen Husney. I had been talking to him over the phone .... And he wanted to manage an act. The main thing he said was that no one should produce a record of mine -- I should do it .... Owen believed in me, he really did. First of all, nobody believed I could play all the instruments .... Well, I got a couple offers and the only difference between Warner Bros. and the others was that they [Warner] didn't want to let me do production, they didn't want to let me plan anything on the records. …
"I'm very stubborn, real bullheaded. If I want something, I really fight for it. If I really believe in it. The first album -- I really believed that I should produce it. They -- the people in power -- tried to put me in with what was the happening sound, the few cats on top. I wanted to get away from that. So, I put out 'Soft and Wet,' and that was OK. Nobody else was doing that."





The Beautiful Ones


Spiegel & Grau


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