Taking note of DMSR: part 1

I figure I’ll spend the next couple days… whenever I have time (just gotta say how frustrating the job market is right now… don’t know where to look and where I know where to look hasn’t been very helpful… there is literally nothing around here that I’m qualified for. Everything else requires other degrees and manual labor, there’s a lot of “maintenence” people needed…)

I am betting that jury duty will be next week.
I kinda had a flub of heart attack the other day. I realized I put down my cell # on the website, but I put down my home number under the mandatory home # box.
Why the hell would they call my cell phone if it was something as important as this?
I traced the number to a cell that belongs to someone in Luzerne, which is a couple counties away from here. So I’m betting its a wrong number or nothing to do with my hapless search

anyways, I just read the first page and already, I’m dying to take notes, so that’s what this entry is going to be… notes that I think are worthy of getting mentioned/discussed in “The Word” as far as the biography goes


everyone knows about Prince’s folks, his mom Mattie Shaw and his dad, John L. (who I called Nelson Sr. through last night’s entry)… I’d heard that he got his crazy side from his mom and his love for music, reserved-ness and work ethic from his dad

Nelson Sr. left the house when Prince was 7, leaving the piano behind.
Prince told Tavis Smiley that there was always a piano in the house and his dad said he wasn’t allowed to play it because he wasn’t as good as him. But as soon as he left, he started to work different melodies he heard on the piano (among them was the Batman theme… which is foreshadowing of things to come).
This particular event was referenced very loosely in Purple Rain… The Kid’s had tried to kill himself, was away at the hospital and after having that massive breakdown that night, the following morning, The Kid went to his dad’s piano and started to work out the song Lisa & Wendy wrote

[for the record, I’m putting these all in chronological order, commenting as I read things, but I’ll reorganize them in “The Word” later on… ex: the Purple Rain comment will go under the chapter in the “art imitating life?” section]

oh and the fact his dad put him onstage during a James Brown concert [though I’m not sure if it was his dad or step-dad]… Prince discussed this very briefly… made a reference to seeing backstage with all of the pretty girls and said that he wished one day that he worked with such beautiful women and he had that kind of control over his band the way James Brown did

it’s very clear that Prince didn’t get along with his step-father and that’s why he left. Supposedly his home situation helped contribute to his introverted-ness.
says he was a good student, but he didn’t seem to have the patience for formal education (I think I might have referenced this in my story that was full of assumptions I made about Prince… the big difference, though, is that Prince graduated high school– supposedly earlier than normal, not quite sure why… in my story, he kinda pulled something that RDJ did and dropped out of high school in favor of seeking other enterprises… he’s retold his high school drop-out story a couple of times, its hilarious now, but back then, I admit it sounds pretty foolish of him. I don’t care if he was a success anyhow)

supposedly Prince took a lot of courses on music theory, producing, recording, so that’s probably why he was a quick learner in the studio. I believe Chris Moon showed him around the switchboard and he caught out instantly.

whoa, he didn’t even have a record player growing up…
I’d heard this before. Supposedly in Minneapolis, there wasn’t much in musical trends. They got the latest music 3 months after the fact and something else had come into place elsewhere. That’s part of why Prince ended up engineering the MPLS sound… didn’t know what else was going on too frequently so he found his own sound in the midst of it.

(oh shoot… that song “Surfin’ Bird” was among two that was recorded in MPLS… that has been referenced on “Family Guy” a couple times… that is probably one of the stupidest songs I’d heard in my life… it makes no goddam sense… like the… whatever, it was the 60’s, almost everyone was high on something at some point)

discusses some of the artists that have come through MPLS since Prince put the city on the map… and despite the 3% black population, a lot of black musicians came through there… quite interesting stuff… just wanted to say

it skips over the incident of Prince getting kicked out of his dad’s house for having girls in his bedroom… it was discussed in more detail, I think, in the “Prince Talks” Rolling Stone article

I believe he lived with an aunt for a while, got booted out for breaking house rules and ended up with his friend, Andre Anderson (soon to be Cymone)…
he references Andre’s mom, Bernadette in his song “The Sacrifice of Victor”
supposedly he chose to live in the basement because Prince was a neat freak and couldn’t stand to be overly exposed to Andre being the exact opposite of that
He lives in the basement of his parents’ house in Purple Rain… which could be an indirect reference to that, but I think he chose to move down there because he couldn’t take being around the fighting

sure, part of him wanting to “make it” in “the business” had to do with wanting to get out of his parents’ house, away from the quarreling… but the biggest part is that he loved music so much, it was the only thing he wanted to do with his life

Bernadette calls Prince an “emotional volcano” ready to explode any minute, which comes out when he gets teased about his height
Prince simply told Tavis Smiley that he got teased a lot as a kid and in response to that, he went into self, got to know himself through his music and after people saw what he could do, they started to admire him instead of the exact opposite of that

there’s a little discussion about supposedly “wild parties” that Prince and Andre had where sex was involved… that’s all myth, but it was myth that fed legends… Tyka is quoted saying that the two of them liked to make up stories like that.
she also discussed how the two of them found out about sex from the kids on the streets, they didn’t get it from their folks or discuss it with their folks. There’s a funny line where she says “God knows how Prince learned how men do it” and she believes Andre had something to do with that, lol…

[I’ll most certainly put in his quote about reading his mom’s dirty books and writing his own after he was done with them, but I don’t think I’ll go too much into the past paragraph, lol… just for common decency’s sake]

a little discussion about his band, Graham Central, which had him on guitar, Andre on bass, Andre’s sister Linda on keyboards, and two guys on percussion… Terry Jackson and William Daughetry, whose cousin happened to be Morris Day, who became the band’s drummer later on.
They did a couple of popular gigs… which surprised me a little bit because Prince was notoriously shy about performing on stage in the beginning… I’m not sure if he performed with his back to the audience or with his eyes closed… (eh, probably the latter… Adam Levine of Maroon 5 had really bad stage fright and was guilty of the former for the first couple years)

it discusses his influences a little bit. Some are notoriously obvious, some not so much…

this desires a small little chapter, a page or two… “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” a list of Prince’s influences and different things he got from them that added to his onstage persona

Sly & the Family Stone- multi-platformed, multi-racial/gender band

I already discussed James Brown a tiny bit.

people kept comparing his guitar style to Jimi Hendrix. In maybe one or two clips that I saw, I agree that there are some similarities. Prince denies it, saying that they made the connection because they’re the same color… says that his style is closer to Santana than Hendrix

eh, maybe a little Stevie Wonder in there too… he was being promoted as the next Stevie Wonder, a prodigy (why they lowered his age to 18 for promotion) that could sing and play everything

1976 was the year Prince recorded his first music in a studio (Moon Sound studio)…
not sure how Chris Moon discovered Prince (I could keep looking, I believe there was a YouTube video about it, that happens to include the initial reaction of Owen Husney, Prince’s first manager when he found that Prince was one person playing and singing everything)… but he worked at a local ad agency and a musical promoter…
rumor was he was looking for someone to collaborate with (he was a lyricist)… only Prince and Andre stayed on board so they went into the business together with Chris Moon

a little discussion about the two of them playing as studio musicians for Pepe Willie’s 94 East album… thought Prince was great in the studio, but didn’t think he was quite there yet in songwriting and arranging… (I haven’t heard too much about this character, but I’ve heard some negative things as of late from people who know better than I do, so I can’t really comment here… but the comment he made about his influence still being there… sounds like he’s trying to take credit for something…)

I don’t think I’m going to bother including any 94 East discussion in here…

the collaboration with Chris Moon is pretty important to note here… especially cuz Chris Moon showed Prince around the switchboard and its because of him that Prince had the ability to produce his work and fine-tune it as well as he has.
a demo tape they recorded together included the songs Soft & Wet and My Love is Forever, worthy of note because they ended up on Prince’s first album

I believe the later fall-out between the two was the fact Chris Moon didn’t get… what’s the word… credit for the songwriting he brought to Prince’s music (something that has alienated his co-workers for years to come)

the two of them tried a few labels for a record with no luck… Prince went to NY and in both cases, they wanted the publishing rights to his work, which is why he refused.

Chris Moon, meanwhile, sent the tape to Owen Husney, who was more than willing to take Prince on. He was even quoted saying that he thought it was important that Prince produce his music because he really knew what he wanted

[a bit of a pause in the action here… feels like a wild goosechase sometimes… have u looked here… no… only managing positions available… just ridiculous]

let’s see…
David Rivkin, Bobby Z’s brother, was the engineer in the studio that worked with Prince while he was collaborating with Owen Husney… there’s some talk about Owen Husney forming a law firm with a couple of people and together they went to LA in search for a record deal… I’m not going to go into the logistics of the whole thing because that’s just too complicated

took 5 months to record the LP with Prince being the perfectionist he was… spent 12+ hours in the studio everyday… which probably contributed to how overproduced and sharp his first album was.
WB’s Record Plant studio… started recording Autumn of 1977… was released 4.7.1978

I think I’ll leave it here for right now and I’ll pick up later on

that’s pretty much the beginning up to Prince’s first album

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