Prince is a mystery man. His record company biography is a collection of information similar to a Right On! fact sheet. It simply tells his name (the name he chooses to use), his age, and the fact that he’s the youngest producer in the history of Warner Bros. Records.
When you finally meet him; he’s still a mystery. It’s no wonder that Right On! (one of his favorite magazines) is one of the few publications that’s granted the opportunity to meet him, because those who have, have gone away unsatisfied. Why? Because Prince refuses to talk about himself. Getting answers from him is like trying to try open a clam.
It’s not that he’s trying to keep himself a mystery, he just doesn’t have much to say. Sometimes it’s because he’s being a tease, and other times because he really doesn’t know what to say”
“Thinking back, he laughs for a second and reveals a tiny part of his nature.
‘I’m stubborn” – he said, his brown eyes boring right through me- ‘I took a few music classes in school but mainly, I worked on my own’
As the amazing success story unfolds I find it necessary to tell you that Prince not only wrote, composed, arranged, and produced all the tunes on his debut album, For You, but he also played all the instruments. Funny that he never had. anybody teach him how to use any of them. When questioned about the amount of instruments he plays, he shrugs nonchalantly and says,
‘I don’t know, I never counted. I am learning to play the flute, though’ – he offered.
Spoken like a dedicated musician.
– What kinds of clothes do you like to wear?
‘I hate clothes’
– Then you probably seldom shop
‘Well, no, not really, somebody goes for me’
He looks down at his slacks and his nearly open-to-the-navel shirt over which a scarf rests fashionably.
– And foods?
‘Mashed yeast’ – he says seriously, with eyes sparkling in humor. ‘I don’t know’ – he laughs
– You just like to play around. Now tell me some of your favorite foods
– Okay, you win – I tell him – Tell me what your favorite subjects were in school besides music and I’ll stop
‘Dismissal’ – he says. ‘I didn’t like school or sports. Only when I was younger’
– Has success changed the Minneapolis boy wonder?
He shakes his head no.
‘But it changes everybody else’ – he observed- ‘How they treat you. It’s not bad though’ – he screws up his brow trying to figure out how to explain the phoniness of people involved with show business
‘I don’t dislike it yet. The only thing I have disliked is the late hours. Not that I like to go to bed early, it’s just that when I’m working, it gets pretty weird’
(Cynthia Horner, Right On!, gennaio 1979)
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