Browsing Tag

Paisley Park

The Prince Podcast – Dave Hampton Interview

Interview with Dave Hampton former technical director of Paisley Park in Minneapolis and Hancock Music in Los Angeles. Dave is a world renown audio engineer and designer of studios and touring rigs, Dave Hampton has worked with some of the biggest names in the music industry, including Prince, Herbie Hancock, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Babyface, RZA, M.I.A Chicago, and Marcus Miller, whose 2001 album, “M2” won Hampton a Grammy Award.

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The Prince Podcast – Celebration 2017 Review

Check out our review of Celebration 2017 told by fellow Prince fans, EM Leonard, KaNisa and Stephanie.

Music in this episode is from 'Lake Minnetonka aka What I Learned From Prince'

1987
She Don't Care

Then I Say

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Darling Nisi Report : Day 4 & Final Thoughts

We knew it would be a special day because Ghost Prince gifted us with this perfect circle Halo Rainbow over Paisley Park.

There were no other clouds and it was not raining! Also Rainbow Children was playing as we walked inside! Thank you Fairy God Boyfriend!

Intro/Concert

Lovely reflections by Damaris :

“Weird is a word to define things we don’t understand.”

“If you tell me that I am weird that means I am not like you. Say thank you.” 💜🕊️

Concert was Tokyo 1990, one that is “in rotation” as it were but a TIME on a 30-40 feet tall screen. Precariously positioned body suit that defied the laws of physics and all. It thankfully stopped before the Question of You performance…😩

NPG & 3rdeyegirl Panel

(Shelby J, Donna Grantis, Adrian Crutchfield, Kip Blackshire)

Origin Stories:

Shelby sang background for Anthony Hamilton. While on break, she auditioned to sing with Larry Graham in Minneapolis. Didn’t realize it was at Paisley until she arrived. Gig was at 3121 in Vegas… she didn’t realize it was P’s club. Practicing at the club singing “Higher Ground”. A voice told her to keep singing the song again and again. Larry leaned over and told her “I think this is your audition.” P came “floating” down the aisle toward her dressed to the nines and she was in a baby phat jumpsuit! He asked her “Where have you been?!” She said “I’ve been working!” 😂 Went home to North Carolina after the gig.

Got a call 3 days later to come back to Vegas…And to learn 11 songs. “What day? Like Friday?” “No tomorrow morning.”

First show with him NYE 2006. After the show he came to see her and asked her to be in his band. She of course accepted. As he was walking away he added “We start rehearsing for the Superbowl next week.”

Donna got an email from Josh Welton inviting her to jam with P. She googled him to make sure he was legit. He was, had a call with him and Hannah and was given 6-7 songs to learn. Got a one way ticket to Minni…Arrived and went straight to work jamming with Hannah, Ida and P. Stayed for a week… the Bambi and Screwdriver videos were filmed a week after they first started jamming.

They also did not know what 3rdeyegirl was for the longest…Is it P? Is it some abstract concept? Is it art? They didn’t know it was the name of their band until they were introduced that way on Jimmy Fallon, their first public performance.

Kip was friends with Morris Hayes. Invited to hang at Paisley while P and Carlos Santana were jamming in 1999. Didn’t want to be in the way. Half heartdely shooting hoops. He hears a guitar clang and before he knows it P is standing in front of him with his hands out. He feels bad like “oops”…But P takes the basketball and hard checks him in the stomach with it. Really ready to play! 😂 Kip declined saying he wasn’t dressed for a game…And P invited him back the next day to play for real.

Next day Kip was singing in the bathroom absently. P heard and complimented him…And invited him to jam with P and Larry. He did…And P then invited him to sing on Uninvited from Rave. The rest is history.

Damaris modeled for 12 years previously. Got tweets saying someone’s artist wanted to work with her. Ignored the tweets…Then got a text…Then a call…It was P’s manager. Met backstage at a Welcome 2 America aftershow. She’d danced hard and P invited her to join his tour. She declined. He asked again a few weeks later and she accepted and joined him for the Welcome 2 Australia tour.

Adrian was in competition to staff his horn section with Phil Lassiter (sound vs movement). P joined both factions to form the NPG Hornz.

Other thoughts :

“Prince saw me before I saw myself.” - Damaris 💜🕊️

Prince Live

Robert “Cubby” Colby (81-89 Live sound engineer) David Z (Bobby’s bro…Sound engineer for P from the very beginning through the 80’s)

Cubby - P enjoyed teaching. One time Fink was having a bad time. P went slow teaching him…And did this, playing the part from the back of the piano (essentially playing the part perfectly upside down on the keys.)

David Z - In the early days he’d record himself humming on a recorder and then recreate the sound in the studio with instruments since he couldn’t read music.

On Little Red Corvette “I just did that to get on the radio”.

Early mistakes punched through to correct. Later he’d just say “I meant to do that.”

Paisley Park originally was to be a whole neighborhood. A kind of “live/work/play” model.

He was a dirty b ball player. Stepping on toes and things, but he was the fastest.

Cubby only took breaks when P did and didn’t take lunch with the rest of the staff to be on hand for P’s noodling. Every day, Cubby would bring a Pay Day candy bar to eat and would leave it in his console. A few days in the row, it went missing. He saw P eating it one day and says to him “Hey man that’s my Payday.” And P goes “Payday ain’t till Friday.”

On P making mistakes

In a soundcheck and P was singing The Ladder. P’s voice cracked and Cubby laughed….Then tried to smother it. P stopped the whole band and said “I don’t know if you’re going to fart or throw up. Rehearsal is over.”

NPG Concert

I don’t know how to convey how INCREDIBLE this was. They started with Sexy MF, went into Love 2 the 9’s, dipped back to Uptown with Andre Cymone…back to Cream with Marva King, a third of SOTT, back to Money Don’t Matter Tonight, Call the Law (whatever y'all it’s a jam!), ARROGANCE FROM THE SYMBOL ALBUM, BILLY JACK BITCH, HOUSEQUAKE!!!! YALL I DANCED SO HARD I DIDN'T CARE THAT I HAD RUNNING MAKEUP PROBABLY GO SEE THEM IF THEY TOUR!!!!!

Also to close it all, they piped in P singing over the live band playing. 2011 Madison Square Garden P led us through Kiss. We were ready to see him take the stage like “siiikkkkeeee” his voice was so present…

They then showed him doing the breakdown dance part on the screen…yaaaaaassss boyfriend!

Next they had him singing Purple Rain to us…And displayed him from that same show in a stylized way. Not a dry eye. It was beautiful.

There was a weird moment at the end where they tried to make it happy again with an instrumental, but it didn’t quite translate. Everyone was dazed and in their feelings with seeing him and hearing him in a way that made it feel like he was there….It was special and we didn’t want to lose that feeling….

Overall though. AMAZING close to an AMAZING experience!

Final Thoughts

When we started the celebration on the first day Damaris gave us a theme to keep in mind as we moved through the experience : “Watch, Learn, Teach, Repeat.”

These past several days were a welcome reminder to what’s truly important when it comes to Prince’s Legacy. Of course the music is phenomenal nothing like it…And nothing will ever probably be anything like it in our lifetime. Prince was an entertainer again the greatest to ever have done it. But what resonated the most from the people who have been around him throughout his career is the love and respect they have for him as a human man.

I love how the celebration really gave a well-rounded view of this man from his professional side to really all the aspects of Prince. They did not shy away from how sexual he could be because that is real. They did not shy away from how he was a hard-driving boss because that is real. They did not shy away from his graciousness and his kindness because that was real. They truly covered end end this man who has had such a huge impact on each of us and all of us at the same time.

Repeatedly and from many people who were close to him, we were all told that we are now the stewards of his legacy and that it’s time for us to own his legacy and spread it to others who have not been privy to it. I feel like I have received my marching orders during this experience not necessarily to just spread the legacy of Prince and his work, but also how he lived his life through adopting and incorporating those elements into my own life as well.

Those lessons are graciousness, acceptance, perseverance, perception, grace, enlightenment, freedom, courage, and of course love. Everybody knows the “love 4 one another” tag but I feel like a lot of people say that a lot without really understanding what it means.

To spend 4 days in Prince’s home, really seeing that demonstrated by hundreds of fams has been an amazing and transformative and priceless experience, really. And it makes me really want to share that and grow that feeling so that others can feel it and share and grow it too. I love Prince’s music but the whole existence of his life is just so tremendous and yes it’s devastating that we’ve lost him in the form that we are used to experiencing, but I truly feel like he is still here with us and in an even more prevalent way and we can be with him and recognize him in that love that we have for others.

Was this event a cash grab? Absolutely! But I do not at all second guess the money I spent. And plan to attend again next year. And every year.

Next year, April 19-22. Save your coins now. I promise you won’t regret it.

*Pictures by Steve Parke

Darling Nisi Report : Celebration Day 3

Intro/Concert Clip

Today kicked off with footage from the Miami Purple Rain tour stop, April 7, 1985. The theme for today’s clip was intended to be “funny Prince” and it was indeed that! And also….Haha not family friendly Prince. He lasted one song before his shirt was mostly no more…among other moans, dips, and thrusts… Must be something about that last tour stop buzz to really pull out all the stops! 🙃

Break

Uneventful this time! We went to look at the fence. Full of wonderful tributes! This one in particular was pretty cool!

In Studio

Panel discussion with sound engineers Susan Rogers, Chris James (Art Official Age, Hitnrun Phase 2/Plectrumelectrum), Dylan Dresdow (Hitnrun Phase 2/Judith Hill’s P Produced Back in time)

Chord progression of Power Fantastic and Mountains was written by Wendy and Lisa, finished by Prince.

P did not like singing vocals in front of anyone when laying down tracks. Usually did them by himself. On the rare occasions when an engineer was there, he would not allow them to have a direct line of sight to him.

Susan repeated the story of when the Revolution was a recording a song at Prince’s home studio. They did not have enough headphones to go around and it was important for at least the band members to have some. They were positioned all around the house recording together as the instruments could not fit all in one place. Everyone had headphones except Susan and she was in the control room with Prince singing lead vocals. He positioned the microphone in the corner and sang facing the corner. And he made her position herself with her back to him so she couldn’t watch him sing. She did have a treat though… she got to hear Prince singing in a raw full out way without hearing everyone’s else’s parts mixed in. 💜

The pattern of Prince writing a song :

Music first. Rides around with it in the car to come up with lyrics. Records them on top of the music by himself in the studio.

Lyrics first. Drums, Bass, Guitar, etc.

Live Band. Hears in his head…Teaches people parts. Makes adjustments, sometimes allowed people to interpolate his musical ideas.

On Prince giving compliments :

Susan was working really late putting together a sound rig. She had been up all night working on it all by herself. P came in to check on her around 4am, Sheila was with him. Not talking directly to Susan, Prince said “if a woman is really good at one thing she usually doesn’t know how to cook. Can you cook Sheila?” Sheila says “I can cook on the drums…” And Prince says “Well Susan [is special she] can cook too…”

Tender moment with Chris James :

When he was a little boy, he used to watch MTV just as it was getting started. He would put on his raincoat and play guitar using one he fashioned from old blinds…“Because I wanted to be like Prince. So to sit up here on this stage now…” And he started to cry. 😢

Paisley Park Tour

This part to be honest was a little disappointing, but I think it’s because we had already taken the VIP tour last October when we are here for the tribute. We only got to see Studio A & C (No magical Studio B or Galaxy Room!), the album spotlight rooms and his office were roped off so you could only peek in vs walk into them, and the video editing bay was closed. We’re not sure if it was like that due to the volume of people there and the limited amount of time to peruse, or if all the tours are that way now. Shout a holler if you’ve been recently and say!

The Time Concert

A jam as to be expected! And special shout out to my friend! She got scooped up to dance the Bird on stage!!!

*Pictures from Paisley Park Tumblr, Zimbio

Day 4 : You are Now Part of the New Power Generation & Wrap Up

Darling Nisi Report : Celebration Day 2

Intro/ Concert Footage

This time we had a morning session so we were the first ones to go through the agenda. Damaris came out once again and we did a moment of silence for P, followed by a moment of celebration as well where we SCREAMED for our professor.

A couple of great quotes from Damaris :

“A year ago we all gained an ancestor.”

“Be proud that your love for Prince is greater than your sorrow.”

“Even if you never touched him you still felt him.”

The concert footage this time with something that we were all ready and not ready to see… Piano and a Microphone Gala footage from the very first show at Paisley Park. Tough because that concert took place on the very stage that we were seated in front of, but it was gentle because he was amazing and playful and very chatty… And have to be honest….Very very sexy on purpose. A Charming Savage to the very end. 💜🕊️

The Revolution Panel

Great moments…

When helping Wendy deal with her first show, the best advice he ever gave her : “When you’re nervous like that, use that feeling. Cut your body and mind in half and you’ll play right on or behind the beat, that’s where the funk is.”

Prince didn’t go to the acting or dance class the rest of the band members had to go to.

To them it was strange to see him riding a motorcycle because it wasn’t really his vibe.

Around the World in a Day was completed before the Purple Rain tour.

Prince liked fried egg sandwiches made by Lisa.

He drove a Fiat at that time.

He didn’t like turning cars off and just left them running for hours. He also encouraged others to do the same, saying that he’d pay for the wasted gas.

Break

Mostly uneventful but I did get an NPG tambourine as a companion for my symbol one! Just need the 3121 one to complete the collection!

Iconography Panel

With Steve Parke, Afshin Shahidi, and Randee St Nicholas.

Both Afshin and Steve fell into their jobs doing things that were not related to their actual talents. In true Prince fashion he saw something in them and developed a new talent and livelihood for both of them.

The 3121 cover was shot in the Green Room at the BET Awards by Afshin.

image

This image was Prince seriously getting out of car at 5 a.m.

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It wasn’t staged. Randee basically followed him around during the 21 nights residency and most of the images were just taking pictures of Prince being Prince. She shot him every night between 2 a.m. and 9 a.m. for 3 weeks straight.

The planet Earth cover was shot at 2 a.m. by Afshin at an after-party…With Steve Parke magic on top!

image

The cover was approved in about two seconds in a limo as he was leaving for the Alma Awards.

Also SUPER shout out to Randee for this shot from the 21 Nights book (please buy it if you don’t have one. The poem that goes with it is the most teasing….And horrible….And wonderful….). Extra super shout out for her having a large version of this on display as part of this panel…

Next…Ladies and gentlemen…The Revolution!

Not too much to say here of course they killed it! Stokely Carmichael of Mint Condition stepped in to sing some lead vocals for some of the songs. Susanna Melvoin also traded lead vocals with Wendy on songs as well.

Special shout-out for Roadhouse Garden, an interpolation of Mutiny, and bringing Our Destiny out of the vault as a lesson in Musicology.

Today easily could have gone a different way…and I really appreciated that it was super joyful, celebratory, and really just a big party. Fantastic job to the staff!

*Celebration photos from the Paisley Park Twitter

Day 3 : What Time is it?

Darling Nisi Report : Celebration 2017 Day 1

Registration

We picked up our registration info from The Hilton in Bloomington. It’s a host hotel so they had P music piping in the lobby. It looked like they also had shuttles running to Paisley for the two tracks they have going as well, pretty handy! My group opted for an AirBnb setup nearby instead. For parking, we were given a pass to use the lot at the SW Transit Center in Chanhassen. From there, we were shuttled over to Paisley and returned to the lot after the day's activities.

Intro/Concert Footage

First, everyone started together in a sectioned off part of the soundstage. There was a big screen with the Celebration 2017 art and a large Prince symbol in the back left corner lit up with progressive lights. It was like he was watching over the whole thing!

We were welcomed by Damaris and encouraged to be fully present during the weekend. She mentioned it’s “up to us to continue his legacy.” And noted “if you are a fan of Prince, You are a part of his legacy.”

They then showed 45 minutes of the May 25, 2014 show at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam. EXCELLENT quality!

Songs included :
Something in the Water Does Not Compute
Pretzelbodylogic/Sailor’s Hornpipe/Stratus
What’s My Name/Sacrifice of Victor (he crip walked during this part we fell out)
Piano Segment (How Come U Don’t Call Me, Condition of the Heart, Diamonds & Pearls)
Purple Rain (You may have seen the clip of this where he invites people to Paisley)

Break

30 minute break in the food tent. They showed music videos while people enjoyed snacks or had their meal plan meals. Tyka was among us being normal. We didn’t attempt speak this time since we met her at the tribute last year, but somehow got some alone time with her and her husband while they waited for food. Still super nice!

Good idea to have music during that break since a lot of us were singing along as we moved along to the next session.

NPG 1989 - 2000

Panel discussion with Morris Hayes, Levi Seacer, Tony M and Damon Dixon. They shared their origin stories.

Morris - In the house band for the Glam Slam, later in Carmen Electra’s Band. Opened for P during the D&P tour. Had a passive interest in being in P’s band but not totally enthused due to hours, pay, etc. When the tour was over, he went to thank Prince for having him on and P said “your work here is not done.” (lol) Kept hearing from others that he’d been added to P’s band, but never had official word about it. He was like “whaaat?” At a club in a “mandatory fun” type appearance…told by Gilbert (P’s security guy) that he should go speak to P and to be excited because he’d basically already told Prince that Morris accepted the invitation to be in the band, though he hadn’t yet. Went to speak to Prince…

Prince : “What’s up grandson? Need some work? Need a job?”

Morris was excited at first about the opportunity, then like…oh boy…i’m in Prince’s band now…with a dread/nervous/excitement.

Levi - Was in Sheila’s band playing guitar. Recruited to join P’s as a bassist. Funny story of P yelling out “If it ain’t from Minneapolis, it ain’t nothing” during a concert…while half the band was from the bay area (Sheila, Miko, Levi, Bonnie).

Tony M/Damon Dixon - Wranglers during the filming of Purple Rain (in charge of getting the extras where they needed to be). They were hanging out dancing in the bathroom with their boombox when P walked in. P watched for a while then left. One of P’s people gave them a tape with 7 songs on it and instructions to make up dances to them all by 5am the next morning. They worked on the dances all night in Tony M’s mom’s apartment.

On Tony M’s raps 
He was very aware that people did not like his rapping..even at the time.

On Goldnigga saving a lot of the NPG
“I was in a wheelchair with a tailpipe on it and Prince pulled me out…he saved me” Note : Morris is a CHARACTER OKAY?! LOOOOOL

On the band playing other people’s songs, but P not allowing other people to do his
Morris questioned P about this while practicing a cover. P’s response “because this is what they MEANT to do…”

On the Creation of Diamonds and Pearls’ Lead Single
After a promo concert at WB, the President of WB called Levi and said the album didn’t have a single yet…and wanted Levi to tell Prince this. Levi was like “why me?!” They felt he could deliver the message better. Levi let P know and he was upset…but worked on a song in the meantime. 5 hours later…P called Levi into the studio at 5 am…hit play…and played Cream. After it was over P asked him, “Do you think they’ll like it?”

Prince’s Guitars

With guitar tech Takuemi and Dave Rusen creator of the Cloud Guitar

- The Cloud Guitar from Purple Rain was made from scratch in 3 weeks.
- Prince never broke a string on a guitar, at least while Takuemi was with him
- Takuemi caught the guitar at the 2004 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, handed it to Oprah, and walked off. As instructed by Prince

Special Guest Concert

Front row for George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic!

I will say…it was FUNKY!

I will also say….Ghost Prince would have made a FORTUNE for the swear jar….

Wow…

And so concludes day 1!

Day 2 : The Anniversary and The Revolution

The Prince Podcast – Listener Spotlight – Pej

Long time Prince fan Pej, shares his story of discovering Prince, a tour of Paisley Park, Review of the Jesse Johnson /  Sonny T / Michael Bland Jimi Hendrix tribute and his experience going to Prince's LA 3121 house.

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Prince Podcast One Month Later Part 2

One month later Part 2...
In the episode, we open the phone lines and let the Prince fan community speak.

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The Prince Podcast – Around The World in A Day

aroundtheworld2015The Prince Podcast crew take a look at Prince's 7th album Around The World In A Day. Coming off the super success of Purple Rain, Prince flipped the script and dropped a transformational album that set the stage for a new direction in his musical career.

Round 2: Super Purple Prince Song Tournament

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 8.11.21 PM

Prince Podcast fans, we had some interesting results in Round 1 of our March Madness themed Prince song tourney.

Gone are high seeds #6 'Endorphinemachine', #4 seeds'Do Me, Baby',  and three #5 seeds 'Anna Stesia', '777-9311' & 'Girls & Boys'! All four #1 region seeds remain and now we need your votes again in round 2 of the Super Purple Prince Song Tourney!

So get to voting below!

View the PDF version of the brackets here: Prince Songs Bracket PDF

The Prince Podcast – Let’s Go 2 Paisley Park

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On this episode we talk with Dorothy Anthony, the winner of the Art Official Age sweepstakes. Dorothy won a trip to Paisley Park and had the opportunity to spend some time with Prince.  Dorothy shares her amazing experience with the PodcastJuice family.

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