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Prince, His Purple Badness as a DC Comics Superhero
11:06 am


DC Comics

From what I can tell, Alter Ego, the three-issue story originally published by Titan Books in Great Britain in 1991 and then re-published by Piranha Music/DC Comics, is a subtle piece of work. The comic appears to present Prince’s own famously bad self in the frame of a superhero, but it’s unclear whether he has any superhuman powers or anything like that. In effect, it’s the Prince origin story, a la Purple Rain, but with a big superhero-style archenemy plot thrown in. It’s a glib comparison, but writer Dwayne McDuffie and penciler Denys Cowan appear to borrow liberally from the Batman mythos, and in 1991 no name was bigger in the Batman comics world than Frank Miller. (For the record, the lettering was done by Bob Lappan, Noelle Giddings did the coloring, and the covers were by Brian Bolland.)

So basically, if you took Purple Rain and mashed it up with The Dark Knight Returns, you’d have something an awful lot like Alter Ego (which, yes, is available on Amazon).

According to a 2008 post from commenter “robinesque” on the message boards, “It is basicly the story from the love symbol album. the princess and the three chains of gold.” In that same thread commenter “jonnymon” summarizes the contents of the three issues:

The 1st to come out is the one with Prince on the motorcycle. It’s basically a comic book history of Prince’s musical career. Best part is at the end where the book says there is a huge rivalry going on between P and MJ, and that they hate each other. Even says that at the end of the Batdance song, Prince is screaming “MICHAEL JACKSON”....when we all know he is saying “DON’T STOP DANCIN’!”

2nd book, with the yellow cloud guitar, has P as a muscian/superhero saving the world from a rival musician called “Spooky Electric” and his mind controlling beats. Best scene here is when Prince steps up to a group of thugs and basically threatens to beat their ass, to which the cowar like dogs. Gotta admit, Jet Lee wishes he had some of the kung fu moves P displays in this book.

Last book is semi-based off of the song “7”. Prince is on tour and must save Princess Mayte from evil-doers that wish to cause her harm. Wish I could remember a scene from this one, but I know P is more James Bond/Jason Bourne than the androgonist rock star we know in this title.

All three are great, and as a side note, I believe the Cloud Guitar cover won an award for the best comic cover for that year. Brian Boland is the artist and really did a great job.

Earlier today James Harvey tweeted several panels from the Alter Ego sequence, which is how I came to hear about it. Here are his tweets in chronological order:


More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Prince pulls a ‘Hit and Run,’ announcing series of spontaneous concerts across the U.S.
10:55 am



Next Saturday His Royal Badness himself, Prince, will be playing a concert in Louisville, Kentucky, but fascinatingly, the venue has not yet been disclosed. Tickets go on sale Monday, March 9, at 10 a.m. local time through Live Nation.

Prince made it known that a series of similarly scheduled dates on short notice are in the works. Dates and times will be announced and then it’s up to you to bust out the credit card and pounce. Suitably, he’s calling it the “Hit and Run” tour.

Prince spent a big chunk of 2014 playing similarly spontaneous shows across the UK and Europe to promote his new solo album Art Official Age and his debut with 3rdEyeGirl, Plectrumelectrum.

Prince has a knack for doing this his own way, but he’s incredibly savvy and his eccentric interventions have a way of enhancing either his image or his bank account—usually both. With this announcement he has guaranteed a huge dollop of adoring press coverage, and you know the tickets, when they’re announced, ain’t going to be cheap.

Here’s Prince’s enjoyable appearance on Muppets Tonight from 1997 (watch it before Prince’s lawyers yank it down…..):

via Consequence of Sound

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
The artist formerly known as ‘Jock!’ Check out Prince’s Junior high basketball picture!
05:49 am



Ladies and gentlemen, Prince the jock.

Remember that sketch from Chapelle Show where they reenacted Charlie Murphy’s story about meeting Prince with his brother in the 80s? The one where The Purple One and his crew beat everyone from Eddie Murphy’s crew in basketball, and then served them all pancakes? I remember thinking the show had taken some artistic license, not because of the pancakes (I’m absolutely sure Prince is a very hospitable host), because of the basketball detail; Prince is a massive personality, but he’s physically really tiny.

But apparently, he’s got game! Who knew?

Not only was that story, in fact, true, Prince’s athletic prowess has been well-documented since junior high school, as you can see from the Afro-tastic photo above. Yes, young Prince Rogers Nelson was quite the baller despite his diminutive stature, and a recently recovered article from The Minneapolis Star Tribune archives has the quote from his coach to prove it.

I understand the disappointment of not making the starting lineup—especially when you’ve managed to work around that kind of height disadvantage, but I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say I’d rather have made Purple Rain.

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Watch a fantastic Prince concert from 1982 that can’t be scrubbed from the Internet
06:19 am



In 2007, Prince threatened to file lawsuits against YouTube and other websites in order to “reclaim the Internet” and put a stop to the unauthorized use of his music and image on the web. Though the threat turned out to be just that, Prince still uses a legal team to monitor the Internet and issue takedown notices for material uploaded without his consent. Recently, one vintage Prince show was added to YouTube without his permission, but it won’t be removed any time soon.

This past summer, the website Music Vault uploaded more than 17,000 concerts to YouTube. Music Vault, a division of a company called Norton LLC, obtained the footage from a few different entities, including Clear Channel, who owned the video archive of legendary concert promoter Bill Graham.

The concert dates from January 30th, 1982, and was captured at a theater show in New Jersey during the tour for Prince’s fourth album, Controversy. Though he had a few hits under his belt by this point, this is still very much a young and hungry Prince. What a treat it is to see him on the cusp of his first major success with 1999, which was released later in 1982. Of course his career exploded a couple of years later with Purple Rain, and he’s now considered one of the definitive pop artists of the ‘80s. In this incredible black and white video recording we see the Prince the masses would soon come to love, one full of confidence and exhibiting the kind of showmanship he’d soon be known for worldwide.

Hopefully Prince is cool with this concert being available online, because it’s truly awesome footage of the man. I, for one, am way-thankful it gets to stay on the web for all to see. Enjoy!


Posted by Bart Bealmear | Leave a comment
‘Starfish and Coffee’: Prince jams with The Muppets, 1997
07:49 am



Prince and the Muppets
In 1997 Prince appeared on ABC’s Muppets Tonight, on which he seems totally at home. This was the 1990s, so his Purple Badness was still in his “The Artist Formerly Known As Prince” phase—there’s even a joke about it here. This is the full video, complete with Dutch subtitles for your convenience. After a few amusing bits of business, including a weird one where Prince plays briefly with “The Hoo-Haw Ha Ha Ha Hayseed Band,” the real goodness begins around the 13:30 mark.
At the commissary, Rizzo the Rat challenges Prince to write a song about that day’s breakfast menu, and the result is “Starfish and Coffee.” It’s not exactly “Little Red Corvette,” but it’s pretty delightful.


Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Stories About Prince: His Purple Badness does mundane stuff in hilarious handwritten fanfiction
12:21 pm



Okay, I feel a bit late to the game with this amusing site Stories About Prince which started in 2012. It’s basically hilarious fanfiction where Prince buys a futon on CraigsList, Prince goes through a Bikini Kill phase, Prince beats the heat, Prince gets in shape, Prince buys tortillas and pretty much every mundane thing in the world Prince could possibly do.

Also note: “Any factual representation of Prince appearing here is purely coincidental.”

You can follow Stories About Prince on Facebook.

Via The World’s Best Ever

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Prince meets The Joffrey Ballet
06:58 am


Joffrey Ballet

Billboards, Joffrey Ballet
As an unabashedly “elite” pursuit, ballet has often struggled to find audience. Similar to opera only more so, ballet people have frequently obsessed about how to attract new demographic groups to its art. In 1993 the ballet world witnessed a fascinating experiment in crossing over: partnering with his Purple Badness himself, Prince—or, as he was known at that time, [unpronounceable glyph]—to create Billboards, mounted by the esteemed Joffrey Ballet. The legacy of Billboards is mixed, to say the least.

The Joffrey Ballet, founded in New York by Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino, has generally represented the more experimental end of the ballet spectrum. They were unafraid to commission works from figures from modern dance such as Alvin Ailey or Twyla Tharp. At some point, Prince caught some of the Joffrey Ballet’s “mixed rep,” and was so inspired that he pledged to compose some music for the troupe to perform to. Whether that actually happened is not entirely clear—the resultant 1993 ballet relies almost entirely on preexisting music, with the exception of a 10-minute orchestral version of “Thunder,” off of his 1992 album Diamonds and Pearls,which Prince did compose.
A still from the Joffrey Ballet’s 1993 work Billboards
Prince permitted the use of his catalog without asking for royalties. Billboards is a four-part piece, each part choreographed by a different person: Laura Dean, Charles Moulton, Margot Sappington, and Peter Pucci. Billboards raids liberally from Purple Rain, using the title track, “Baby I’m a Star,” “Computer Blue,” and “The Beautiful Ones,” as well as scattered picks off of Sign O’ the Times, Batman, Graffiti Bridge, Diamonds and Pearls, and Parade.

Here’s the breakdown of the pieces in Billboards and the songs they used:

I: Sometimes It Snows in April (choreographed by Laura Dean)
“Sometimes It Snows in April”
“Trust” / “Baby I’m a Star” 

II: Thunder (choreographed by Charles Moulton)
“Purple Rain”

III: Slide (choreographed by Margo Sappington)
“Computer Blue”
“I Wanna Melt with U” 
“The Beautiful Ones”
“Release It” / “Computer Blue” (Reprise)   

IV: Willing & Able (choreographed by Peter Pucci)
“For You” 
“The Question of U”
“Willing and Able” / “Gett Off”

Billboards premiered on January 27, 1993, at the University of Iowa’s Hancher Auditorium in Iowa City, Iowa. In November the piece moved to New York—where the critical reception was not altogether forgiving.

The first sentence of Anna Kisselgoff’s review in the New York Times of November 28, 1993, is “If only it had been better.” She continued:

“Billboards” is nonetheless an attempt to expand upon the company’s pioneering rock ballets of the past. ...

“Billboards” does not have the coherence and choreographic power of these works, but, like them, it sums up an era of pop esthetics. Similarly, its importance lies in an ability to interpret American youth culture to a mainstream dance audience—which should not be confused with its other goal of attracting new, young audiences.

“Billboards” could not have been done in the 1960’s; it evokes MTV with its frontal assault on the audience through loud sound and clever changes in lighting (by Howell Binkley). The choreography deliberately includes a great deal of posturing; there are also the coded gestures common to voguing, the dance style born in gay minority clubs and derived from fashion-model poses. ...

Rather than just exploit the varied range of Prince’s rhythms, they comment on the music and by extension, the rock scene as a whole.

Working from a 1990’s safe-sex perspective, the choreographers ignore Prince’s calls for salvation through sex. MTV’s crotch-grabbing comes in for considerable parody. The naughtiness is tame: “Billboards” is a family show.

In the end, “Billboards” is only as good as its choreography, and here Ms. Dean, in the first section, “Sometimes It Snows in April,” is the clear winner. Prince’s ambiguous ballad about a dead friend is treated abstractly but lyrically by the choreographer, as the male and female dancers slink into diagonals, repeating turns and plies. New movement phrases overlap with the old. Individuals pair up for slow and amplified ballet lifts (the women are on toe).

Tobi Tobias in New York magazine was considerably harsher:

There have always been two Joffrey Ballets. One of them loves history. … The other company pays the bills.

Absent from the city for well over two years, … the Joffrey returned—for seven performances at [the Brooklyn Academy of Music]—with a single offering: the evening-length Billboards, to largely stupefying songs from Prince, its four sections choreographed separately. … It will find its audience, no doubt, but there will be few balletomanes in it. Indeed, one of the most horrifying things about this display is the murderous contempt it harbors for traditional dance values….

What else is wrong with Billboards? The choreography goes along with the premises of the music like so much visual accompaniment. Instead of providing a distanced irony or, at the very least, comment, it pretends to be part of Prince’s synthetically hip and orgiastic world and fails wretchedly; it looks like something resurrected from the sixties. Dean’s “Sometimes It Snows in April” is the only piece hurtling toward the junkyard of abandoned virtue that gives our old friends rhythm and pattern a backward glance. Still, it’s simplistic even for Dean and, as usual, opportunistic, incorporating her original trademarks, uninflected repetition and whirling; ballet conventions she annexed subsequently, working for the Establishment; and, to suit the present circumstances, her take on jazz movement, which is embarrassingly trite.

Margo Sappington’s “Slide” is the most viable entry, though I wouldn’t call it dancing. It’s a presentation in images of the teenage male’s romantic fantasies. A bunch of aw-shucks jocks from a past decade (the fifties that preceded Oh! Calcutta!?) conjure up a trio of sweetly lethal dreamboats for some inconclusive fooling around. Real choreography is irrelevant to the piece, which is essentially an amalgam of picturesque behavior and an effective set.

The show was a massive financial success, but just two years later the Joffrey Ballet found itself experiencing financial difficulties. According to The Oxford Dictionary of Dance by Debra Craine and Judith Mackrell, “In 1995 the Joffrey was suffering a financial crisis and had to relocate from New York to Chicago.”
Here’s an Australian TV piece about Billboards:

Here is a bit of Peter Pucci’s section of Billboards, “Willing & Able”:

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Prince’s ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ gets a hard rock makeover
01:14 pm


Let's Go Crazy

I think it works, right?

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Prince rocks hard on ‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon’
10:46 pm


Jimmy Fallon

Prince on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Friday, March 1.

The new tune, “Screwdriver,” may not be much but the execution is pretty awesome. It’s nice to see Prince in guitar god mode and I do dig that band. Plus, hearing the 34-year-old (can you believe it?) “Bambi” is a gas.

Endure the ads. It’s worth it. It’s been awhile since Prince appeared to be having this much fun. “Move over rover and let Prince take over.”


Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Ultra-hip TV: Prince’s 1997 appearance on ‘Muppets Tonight’
01:33 pm


Muppets Tonight

Prince seems right home in this episode of the Muppets Tonight TV show which aired in 1997.

Things get positively psychedelic as the Purple One sings “Starfish And Coffee” and “She Gave Her Angels.”

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
The Record Books: If best-selling albums had been books instead…

Blood on the Tracks’ - Robert A. Zimmerman

Fast-paced 1958 thriller: a jilted train driver hi-jacks his New York subway train to exact revenge upon his love rival, only to threaten the life of his ex-lover. The last 30 pages are missing. Don’t know if she survives.

Christophe Gowans is a Graphic Designer and Art Director, who once designed for the music industry (with Peter Saville Associates, Assorted Images, amongst others) and has since produced some stunning work for Blitz, Esquire, Modern Painters, Stella and The Sunday Telegraph.

Christophe is also the talent of a series of fun, collectible and original art works that re-imagine classic albums as book covers.

These fabulous Record Books are on display at his site and are also available to buy at The Rockpot.
Abbey Road’ - The Beatles

Classic paperback. The story of two catholic sisters growing up in a swiftly changing post-war Britain. Guess what? It doesn’t end well.

The Dark Side of the Moon’ - Pink Floyd

Alternative scientific textbook from the 60s. Californian professor Floyd achieved enormous success with this study of the moon’s influence on the menstrual cycle. Indeed, he was able to found his own college, specialising in the study of women’s fertility. The college no longer exists. It was shut down in 1972, having been razed to the ground by a mob of angry husbands.

More of Christophe’s ‘Record Books’, after the jump…

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Prince look-alike contest at Champions sports bar, 1985
11:32 am



“Could that be Prince and Apollonia strolling the streets of Georgetown?”

A very serious (these folks weren’t playin’ around) Prince look-alike contest held at Champions Sports Bar in Washington D.C. circa 1985.

Ron Smith, the “Celebrity Look-alike King,” is one of the judges who appears to be sitting next to a Linda Evans look-alike in the clip. Dynasty was hot in 1985, too, of course.

Via World’s Best Ever

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Happy Birthday Prince!
12:20 pm


Happy Birthday

Rare 70s pic of Prince, uploaded by ChrisEagle08
The purple funk pixie turns 54 today. Happy birthday, Prince!

You are the reason I have dedicated my life to music, and also the reason for my occassional feelings of inadequecy. I mean, seriously, how can anyone ever compete with that?

Oh well, we do our best.

Here’s some footage of the master at his post-Purple Rain peak in 1985, tearing it up live at the Grammys, with The Revolution still in tow. He truly is the greatest performer rock or pop has ever seen, let’s just hope he doesn’t yank this cracking clip:

Prince & The Revolution “Baby I’m A Star” (live at the Grammys, 1985)

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
When Prince had a dirty mind
07:39 pm

Pop Culture

Dirty Mind

I still marvel at how groundbreakingly cool Prince was before he cleaned up his act and started witnessing for Jehovah. The bitch was a real provocateur…as can be seen in this video from 1980 in which Prince appears ready to sex-up the entire universe.

Draped in a be-jeweled flasher raincoat and wearing some lonesome cowboy’s red bandanna, Ann Margret’s leggings and Little Richard’s jockstrap, Prince’s outré fashion sensibilities echo the quirky mashup of new wave and funk in the infectiously groovy “Dirty Mind.”

Note to Damian Abraham: check out this video. Learn to accessorize.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Purple Minds: Dam Funk’s bad ass Prince tribute mix
05:00 am


Dam Funk
Tribute Mix
Wax Poetics

Prince “Lovesexy” by Norn Cutson

After ten years in the (print) game, the hip-hop/soul/funk magazine Wax Poetics has reached its 50th issue, and to celebrate they have commissioned an exclusive mix from LA’s King of the Boogie, Dam Funk. In keeping with the issue’s theme, the mix is all about, as the magazine itself says: “one of the most iconic musicians in the history of African American music, the one and only Prince.”

A Prince-themed mix by Dam Funk? That’s two of the most brilliantly funky acts of modern times coming together. Dam stays away from the obvious hits, to focus instead on album tracks, live recordings and re-edits, and even adds his own exclusive cover version of the song “17 Days”. It’s great and a must for all Prince fans, even the most obsessed who think they’ve heard it all. You may know some of these tracks, but you won’t have heard them quite like this…

Wax Poetics’ 50th issue is also dedicated to the purple sex pixie (truly one of the most outstanding artists in the history of popular music, no?) and features interviews with, and wrtiting on; Larry Graham, Morris Day, Questlove, The Family, Frank Ocean and much more. You can buy the magazine, which is being printed on high quality paper and is designed not to be disposed of, directly from the Wax Poetics website. In the meantime, you can check out Dam Funk’s Prince mix right here:

1. Prince & the Revolution – 17 Days (original version)

2. DāM-FunK – 17 Days (D-F Re-Freak)

3. Prince – Irresistible Bitch (Props Re-Edit)

4. Prince (featuring Andre Cymone & Pepe Willie) – One Man Jam

5. Prince – Wet Dream Cousin

6. Prince – Dirty Mind (1981 Live Version)

7. Prince – Soft & Wet (original version)

8. Prince – Ballad Of Dorothy Parker (D-F Extended Re-Edit)

9. Prince – Sticky Like Glue (Props Re-Edit)

10. Prince & the Revolution – All My Dreams

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Download Dam Funk’s new EP for free
Dam Funk: King Of The Boogie

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
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