2 Sides 2 Every Story When It Comes 2 Prince

Prince. Photo: Kevin Mazur Copyright WireImage.com/NPG Records 2011

Prince. Photo: Kevin Mazur Copyright WireImage.com/NPG Records 2011

So, Prince is getting ready to embark on a European tour that actually kicks off with dates in Canada this weekend.  For the European tour, Prince did 3 interviews we are told.  2 of them at the same time.  1 was with the Guardian and Le Parisian both interviewing him at the same time.

The Guardian had quoted Prince…or mis-quoted….as it did not go into detail of what his answer or answers were.  Since Prince does not allow recording devices, this does some times happen.  We are running what the Le Parisian wrote as it is more detailed and has more length to Prince’s answers to the questions he was asked;

We almost fainted when he heard on the phone: “It’s for tomorrow. Get ready. “A few days before his unique concert at Stade de France on June 30, Prince is visiting Paris. And he wanted to talk. The incredible news – we have not slept all night – will be confirmed: “Be there at 19.00 hours.(7pm)

Not allowed to record anything. If he likes you, you have time. “Go to a selected restaurant near the Champs-Elysees. Feverish, we are led into an empty room upstairs. An hour passes. Suddenly, Prince appears. Alone, without bodyguards or entourage. Smiling, all in black, a silver chain around his neck, he tends a firm handshake, apologizes for being late, asks “How are you? “And” What’s there fun to do tonight in Paris?  “Sits on the bench, ordering a green tea,” Go, discussions. ”

You played at the Zenith, Bercy, the Parc des Princes. Stade de France … is the missing one from your list of conquests?

Prince. The thing is, I have a group of incredible quality. It’s like a basketball all star team: each one is a champion in their field. When we play together, there is such an overflow of energy it takes at least a stadium/stage to greet it.

What will the show look like on 30th June?
“There will be many surprises. What I can tell you is that by playing in New York and Los Angeles it resulted in a very controlled show. This stage is at the end.”

We know that you rehearse a lot. How do you work with your group?
“I love being a tyrant (smile). But with love. I ask from them a very high level of excellence, but they are also perfectionists.”

What do you remember of the 1980’s?
“Michael (Editor’s note: Jackson) and I appeared at a time when there was nothing. On MTV, there was nothing. People dressed like they were going to the supermarket. We were the exceptions.”

Are you nostalgic for that time?
“Sometimes yes. Sometimes I see the shirts/clothes that I was wearing. But musically, no. I play more guitar, I sing better, I am a better arranger.”

Are you working on a new album?
“I no longer records songs. I do not want to record as long as the crisis in the music industry will not be resolved. No one earns money. I’ll go to the White House to discuss with the government the issues on copyright. It’s the Wild West. Everything must be clean.”

But you had been one of the first artists to use the Internet …
“Yes, but at that time, we made money.”

You very early on went to war against the record companies …
“A record company boss told me, straight in the eye: “But, Prince, you do still believe that our goal is to make you earn money? “I was accused of distributing my album” Planet Earth “with an English newspaper, but it allowed me to reach 2 million people. I fought for control over my records. From there, no one dictated to me what I should do.”

Is it true that you have hundreds of songs in your files?
“That’s true. I listen to some of them with my band and they give me feedback on them.”

What do you do between concerts/shows/gigs?
“I study. I learn. I like to talk to people. In all the countries I go to, I meet the people. For example I’m going back to/returning to Morocco. I really like the Muslim culture. I don’t understand what people have against veiled women/women in bhurkhas. How can you stop people dressing how/the way they want to?”

The people you meet are they very intimidated by you?
“No, I am very easy to access. Here, for example, do you feel uncomfortable with me? No! Celebrity means nothing in reality, we are all the same.”

When you are in Paris, what do you do?
“I go out at night. During the day I can not. The days when I could still walk the streets without being harassed by the paparazzi are long gone.”

It seems/would appear you don’t like your songs being covered?
“First of all it’s lazy. Then/secondly its as if you’ve erased/ruined/wiped out the original version. This only happens only in music. Can you imagine if everybody did their own version of the Harry Potter film or book? Do you want to hear somebody else singing ‘Kiss’? Not me.”

You don’t have any wrinkles (you haven’t aged a bit), what’s your secret?
“Time is a spiritual thing (you’re as young as you feel). God doesn’t count the passing years. He doesn’t have any date of birth in the Bible. I don’t celebrate my birthdays any more. If you stay active, if you learn new things (keep learning), if you travel, then you stay young.”

2 interviews.  Done at the same time.  Yet, one has more fuller answers and more attention to detail.  Very interesting.  Was there an agenda?  I rather Prince talk about music and performances all day long.  It’s like watching Michael Jordan.  I care about his skills on the court.  Could care less that he loves McDonalds and wears Hanes underwear.  Calvin Kleins are softer Michael, just for the record.

So what do you all think happened here?  I am glad there was some clarification and not just sound bites.-Dr.FB

Diagnosis:  Whatever You Think….Is True

UPDATE:  The interviewer for the Guardian, Dorian Lynskey had this to say regarding the interview with Prince

Hi. I did the Guardian interview and had no sinister agenda at all. In fact I almost left out the line about burqas because I thought it might take too much attention from the rest of the piece (which it did), although this French Q&A also misrepresents that part of the conversation because the “How can you stop people dressing” bit was in response to a follow-up question about the French burqa ban, not about muslim countries.

Inevitably with two people taking longhand notes (one of whom is doing an interview in his second language) there will be differences. Some of the French version is definitely wrong – it was clearly “loving tyrant” not “I love being a tyrant”, for example. Equally, I can’t say for sure that I didn’t mishear or mistranscribe a few words. I wish I could have recorded it and checked every word myself. But nothing was deliberately fabricated. Please don’t assume that there has to be some weird agenda behind everything.

Michael Hann, the editor of the story for the Guardian contacted us as well:

I’m the editor who commissioned the piece from Dorian. There’s a further issue that explains the indisputable differences between the Guardian’s interview and Le Parisien’s. Not only has their interview been conducted in a second language, and then translated into the writer’s mother tongue, it’s then been further translated back into English for the version that appears above. Anyone who’s ever played the game where you use web translation tools to take a favourite song lyric, translate it into another language, then back into English knows that the final result is unlikely to bear much relation to the original.
By the way, there is of course no circumstance in which a newspaper with an international readership in the tens of millions would compromise its journalism by taking an editorial line from a group of people on a fan site. It just doesn’t happen. As Dorian says, there was no agenda: we at the Guardian were as surprised as anyone by what he had to say.



  • Dorian Lynskey
    Posted at 07:31h, 27 June

    Hi. I did the Guardian interview and had no sinister agenda at all. In fact I almost left out the line about burqas because I thought it might take too much attention from the rest of the piece (which it did), although this French Q&A also misrepresents that part of the conversation because the “How can you stop people dressing” bit was in response to a follow-up question about the French burqa ban, not about muslim countries.

    Inevitably with two people taking longhand notes (one of whom is doing an interview in his second language) there will be differences. Some of the French version is definitely wrong – it was clearly “loving tyrant” not “I love being a tyrant”, for example. Equally, I can’t say for sure that I didn’t mishear or mistranscribe a few words. I wish I could have recorded it and checked every word myself. But nothing was deliberately fabricated. Please don’t assume that there has to be some weird agenda behind everything.

  • suzysix
    Posted at 20:54h, 25 June

    just dont stop the music!!!! Diehard Prince fan. Love the old and the new and it would be a shame 4 him 2 stop recording. I dont even believe him anyway. He cant stop. Wont stop! He’s just creating buzz 4 himself. Prince is very smart. We’re here talking about him. That’s his goal, the little trickster 🙂 I could care less about his religious beliefs. I enjoy the music (and watching him shake that tight lil ass of his (sigh)

  • Purple
    Posted at 12:55h, 25 June

    Now maybe some of those nutters over at the Org will stop blowing that article out of proportion, and stop pretending like they really care about the daily lives of muslim women, when I bet most don’t, and just posting just to to b*tch, whine and spout their usual craziness.

  • Twinkly1
    Posted at 12:09h, 25 June

    Thank you for presenting the second article which appears to be more authentic, in tact and balanced. I see nothing wrong with Prince’s comments, personally; besides, whatever his beliefs I believe in his right to espouse them.

    One other thing….thank you for providing a means to hear about Prince and his concerts. I wish you would expand to a blog and provide an alternate to that other site, which with each passing day, becomes more nauseating and cliquish.

  • Nevermind
    Posted at 05:48h, 25 June

    There are many things discussed it. For one thing, should Prince stick to his word and not release anymore records, it would be the saddest thing. Some people actually happen to enjoy Prince’s current records as much as they enjoyed the “classics”, and since Prince is making a lot of money with live shows, I think it’s a pity to withdraw his music because both his music and lyrics are enlightening to many people. I understand and I respect Prince’s point of view, but the amount of unreleased past and future music he still has to release would make so many people happy, including people who -like myself- are willing to pay for it!!! God gave Prince a gift and a way of talking about Him, so shouldn’t Prince share God’s gifts with the world?

    As for the piracy (i.e. filesharing) it’s a fact that there is no technical mean to prevent it unless u just completely forbid the Internet (which won’t happen): so it’s very likely that filesharing is here to stay. Now what should be done -because it’s the ONLY way- is to add a tax on every internet and phone connexion, exactly in the same way that recordable cassettes, VHS and CD’s were taxed since the 80’s. The only problem is that the music/film industries won’t allow this because they feel it would legitimate illegal filesharing, but since most people do it anyway, it means they already “de facto” consider it legitimate so…

    As for the burqa thing it’s also a 2-edged situations: I agree with Prince that our western “democrazies” didn’t make us become better people and that some kind of (open-minded) spiritual education would be more than welcome, but the religious “order” in most Muslim theocracies is mostly a way for corrupted governments to maintain a strong, murderous authority over the people in order to get more power and profit. I don’t think this has anything to do with “The Word of God” or “Love for One Another”… But I won’t allow myself to be judgmental over Prince’s words as I’d have to have a long chat with him about it to really understand his opinions.

    As for cover versions, well yes Prince does them a lot, but I guess he feels legitimate to do it because he didn’t built his career on covers and only started to do them long after he was established as a major star.

    All in all I agree with Dr/ Funkenberry, it’s all about the music and anyway Prince deserves my thanks for both the many enlightening spiritual statements in his songs and the joy he brought me with his music over the last 20 years. So all I can say is… If what matters is the music, hopefully Prince will keep releasing music 😉

    Peace y’all.

  • krasnimeanzred
    Posted at 02:52h, 25 June

    .. just wanted 2 say thank U 4 thiz article.

  • TC Lo
    Posted at 22:47h, 24 June

    Yeah I don’t get why Prince does so many cover versions, especially on his albums when he has hundreds of unreleased songs in his vault. Yet he doesn’t like other people covering his own songs. He never seems to explain this.

  • amina
    Posted at 22:45h, 24 June

    to be completely honest i could give a crap about how Prince feels about the middle east…I really dont. What I am trippin off of is this “I no longer record songs” business… Um… sir! thats not gonna work. Should I treat this as just um… dramatics and ignore ? I’d really like to dismiss it so that I dont freak out. I need a new album and I dont care how it gets released, honestly. My fear is that if he is waiting on the industry to change, real fans might be waiting forever for a studio release of new material. 🙁

  • Shalon
    Posted at 19:22h, 24 June

    If covering songs is “lazy” why does HE do it? Especially with a catalog as large as his. Makes no sense

  • Pamela Roberts
    Posted at 18:17h, 24 June

    Once again prince srikes again!

  • Chocolate_Box777
    Posted at 16:56h, 24 June

    I never took the interview that serious.

    One thing I’ve notice about Prince is he always seems to pick his words carefully. He pauses and thinks b4 he speaks. I always said when I first read the quotes, that peeps need to read the whole interview first b4 jumping to conclusions.

    But over @ that other place that said he lost his marbles. I think they the ones that need 2 look in the mirror. They are 2 negative over there. They just can’t wait 2 find something 2 criticize Prince over. Very sad & pathetic that his own fans can’t support him & his decisions. Need 2 have Love4oneanother & Live4Love….

  • scarletpnj
    Posted at 16:48h, 24 June

    Agreed! They are all going off on the Burqa thing for all we know he just enjoyed an Islamic country and is returning to film something right now with his director. Or visiting her city? We HAVE NO CLUE BECAUSE WE ARE NOT IN THE ROOM WITH HIM. Why should he have to justify it to us? we have no idea what future plans he has. He is so busy with MANY projects. It is astonishing how the org goes crazy. Makes me wanna not be part of that place. Seriously….

  • GATA
    Posted at 16:42h, 24 June

    Wow, I guess a person can’t cover a song simply because they love it– they have to be “lazy”. I would submit that there have been covers of many of HIS songs, and IMHO, NONE of them have “erased/ruined/wiped out the original version”. Plus, his covers have been sublime. Sometimes, I really think he just sez shxt to, as he’s done before, create controversy–pun intended.
    Great title, LOL–as it should be with Gemini! (^_^)v

  • Jesse Jenkins
    Posted at 16:36h, 24 June

    I got to say, I kind of did jump to conclusions, but I was fully aware how things could be fabricated so I kept quiet…I knew there is ALWAYS more than 1 side of the story dealing with Prince. As he states: “Whatever you think about me is true” Haha..

    NOW that we know the details of this interview, It’s safe to say Prince is Prince in his usual format. 🙂 Haha…Nothing is going to keep him from being my favorite artist, and loyal fan of his! haha..I am listening to “So Far, So Pleased” Right now..Just digging the magic again. Haha

  • slammin
    Posted at 16:32h, 24 June

    u cud b rite JUSTME, sounds plausible. Its amazing how at the org we jump to conclusions etc. U shud c the forum. WOW.

  • Purple
    Posted at 16:26h, 24 June

    Thanks for clearing it up Doc. Hopefully some fans will learn a lesson from this, before jumping to conclusions and passing judgement before they hear the whole story.

  • Qaid Amir Ali
    Posted at 16:23h, 24 June

    Thanks for the article Doc …

  • Jesse Jenkins
    Posted at 16:21h, 24 June

    WOW, so this interview seems much different from the one that was released by the “Guardian”. The intents seem to be different. I totally agree with “Nps”. He not allowing his interviews to be recorded leaves room to deny whatever someone suggests about him. I think that is pretty sad, but hey this is PRINCE. However he is not excused..I am like you Dr.Funkberry; he should stick to making music, touring, etc. Philosophizing Prince is interesting and makes you question a lot,but is not worth or valued over his music.

  • justme
    Posted at 16:21h, 24 June

    Thanx Doc! Make sense now. Also the whole Islam thing. Morocco makes sense : his director Sanaa Hamri is from there so they could be working on something down there we dont know about.

  • Shelley
    Posted at 16:20h, 24 June

    Great article on the ever so enigmatic Prince…
    I have been a fan for 30 years now and never ever lose interest in what he is doing or the music he continues to create. What I find intriguing is his religiosity. For such a seemingly evolved and highly intelligent/creative individual I am at a loss to grasp his attraction to organized religion. I would ask him to elaborate on the comment about the bhurkhas, it assumes these women have the freedom of choice.. If that is what a woman chooses then so be it but to not be given the choice of free will to decide that for ones self is in itself a form hostage or slavery… I am shocked he doesnt see that point of view since he does not like to be ‘dictated’ to as he suggests here in his comment regarding his music or the music industry in general. Being dictated to in a religious environment with regard to your basic human freedoms would seem to be worse than being dictated to by a record company. I believe he really misses the mark on that one.. But as I said..been a loving and devoted fan for 30 years and my beloved Prince will remain 4Ever in my ♥. I am not a journalist by any means but it is my wish/dream/prayer to have a one on one sit down conversation with him …how incredible would that be! Grace, Peace & Love to all.

  • Militant / Casey Rain
    Posted at 16:16h, 24 June

    Thanks for clearing it up Doc. It does seem like there could have been an agenda.

  • Marco
    Posted at 16:12h, 24 June

    THANX 4 this clarification…but I KNEW this anyway….
    He NEVEREVER would talk that kind of …
    That’s so typical 4 the English Press…shame on them…
    LOVE from Berlin

  • errant
    Posted at 16:06h, 24 June

    I just knew that you’d eventually practice flexing your throat muscles enough for Prince to one day cram his whole balls and taint down there too.

  • John
    Posted at 16:03h, 24 June

    What happened?
    Who knows as there are no recordings of what he said so either he said those things or he did not.
    Also these interviews does not contradict each other in terms of what he is quoted saying in those interviews. Why should any one of them have an agenda?

  • nps
    Posted at 15:40h, 24 June

    what happened here is the fault of Prince NOT allowing his interviews to be recorded, or quotes read back to him for clarification. It allows him wiggle room, plausible deniability for the more off the wall sh*t he says.

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