“A lot of people don’t know what to make of Prince.
They don’t understand his music, they don’t understand the unusual outfits he wears and they don’t understand how such an extraordinary young talent could come from Minneapolis”
(può capitare che – almeno agli inizi – le persone stentino a capire quale sia il modo migliore di rapportarsi ad un genio: qui, in fondo, Prince ha poco più di venti anni)
“Like Wonder’s music, Prince’s material seems to elude classification. When he took his band on a brief concert tour this winter (it was cut short by illness), the audiences and critics didn’t quite know what to make of Prince, he says.
‘They didn’t understand that we are trying to bridge the worlds of rock, funk, jazz and whatever’ – Prince explained this week”
(un aspetto, questo, che gli è stato sempre molto a cuore, sfuggire alle classificazioni, alle caselle: ‘trying to bridge’ rende perfettamente l’idea di questo suo sforzo, che è stato uno sforzo perenne, nella sua esistenza)
“Offstage, Prince is shy. He says he would rather listen than talk-he learns more that way. Onstage, however, he is dynamic, energetic and undeniably sexy. Just ask the teen-age girls, who make up a large part of his following”
(magari lo si può chiedere anche a noi, ragazze di oggi: il giudizio non cambierebbe)
“Yet, for older, second-generation rock fans, Prince says he is ‘shock treatment’.
‘They thought we were gay or freaks. We’re wild and free. It’s no holds barred’
(‘wild’ è una parola chiave del Prince-pensiero: ‘be wild and all else follows’ è un motto che chiude spesso gli album degli anni Ottanta, alludendo alla necessità di andare oltre gli schemi seguiti dalle masse)
“Part of the stir is over Prince’s outfits, which have been described as tight, scanty and provocative”
‘We can’t dress in three-piece suits or glitter outfits or raggedy clothes. It’s (the outfits are) basically us. I wear what I wear because I don’t like clothes. this is what’s most comfortable’
(ovviamente qui si riferisce all’abitudine dei cantanti black di quegli anni – specie r&b – di esibirsi in abiti tre pezzi dal taglio molto curato e/o eccessivamente brillantino. Lui non è davvero così, almeno, non all’inizio degli anni Ottanta)
“Now that Prince is comfortable with his image, he says, he has become more comfortable onstage. Last January in Minneapolis’ Capri theater, when he gave his first performance since high school, the recording studio wizard was nervous.
Now, he says, he ‘can find fire’ with the young Minneapolis musicians in his band (with whom he may even record parts of his next album). And he is looking forward to his concert Saturday, even though few people in the Twin Cities have heard his hit.
Only one local radio station–a disco-oriented one -regularly played the record, but Prince didn’t expect much air play here anyway”.
‘Until radio programmers wake up to the fact that we are far behind here, people will probably want to leave if they can’ – he says – ‘I’d play their (programmers’) record even if its wasn’t good music. If it’s good music, it’s good music. I’m not saying mine is good. But if it’s charted, it must be good. It surprised me that it (‘I Wanna Be Your Lover’) became a hit. I basically make songs I like. And I like excitement and surprise’.
(‘If it’s good music, it’s good music’: nel suo abituale stile sintetico, Prince parla del suo (complicato) rapporto con le radio, che spesso hanno censurato la sua musica; se è in classifica, vuol dire che un brano è buono, perché non trasmetterlo in radio, allora?)
Jon Bream, The Minneapolis Star, 6 febbraio 1980