Announcer: You are about to see Prince in his first interview for television. Now he took a stab at being interviewed in print a few months ago. But this is the first time Prince is ever agreed to talk in front of cameras. The questions were provided by MTV’s news department and the person’s you will hear asking them at Prince’s request is his manager Steve Fargnoli. Now, Prince is not the here, the interview was shots at the filming of his new video, ‘America’ and the people that you’re going to see with him are extras from the video. For the first time on television, this is Prince.
Prince: One thing I’d like to say I don’t live in a prison. I’m not afraid of anything. I haven’t built any walls around myself. I’m just like anyone else. I need love and water and I don’t really consider myself a superstar. I live in a small town and I always will because I can walk around and be me. That’s all I want to be, that’s all I’ll ever try to be. I didn’t know what was going to happen, I just try to do my best and if somebody dug it then.
James Brown played a big influence on my style when I was about 10 years old my stepdad put me on the stage with him and I danced a little bit until the bodyguard it took me off. The reason why I like James Brown, so much is on my way backstage, on my way out, I saw some of the finest dancing girls I have ever seen in my life and I think in that respect he influenced me by his control over his group, dancing girls. And he had his own issues.
Interviewer: You said you were surprised by so many people comparing you to Hendrix and you play the guitar.
Prince: A lot had to do with…. like I said the colour of my skin and it’s (13:10-inaudible). It’s really isn’t. Hendrix was very good but there was never be another one like him and it would be a pity to try. I strive for originality in my work and hopefully, I will be perceived that way.
Interviewer: Some people have criticized you for sending out to the white audience with ‘Purple Rain’ and leaving your black listeners behind. How do you respond to that?
Prince: Oh, come on, come on! Cufflinks like this costs money, okay? Let’s be frank. Can we be frank? I definitely can’t be anything else, so I might as well be frank, okay? Seriously, I was brought up in a black and white world. Yes, black and white, night and day, rich and poor, black and white and I listened to all kinds of music when I was young. And when I was younger I always said that one day I was gonna play all kinds of music and not be judged by the colour of my skin but the quantity of my work and hopefully that will continue. I think there are a lot of people out there that understand this because they support me and my habits and I supported them and theirs.
Interviewer: Someone in Minneapolis recently told us that several months ago they were in a studio there when David Lipkin, your sound engineer, walked in. They asked him what he thought of the new Prince Album ‘Around The World In A Day’. He said it’s great but wait till you hear the new album. Apparently, he meant that you’re already working on a new LP, ready to go and that this one was a strong return to your funk roots. Is this true? Can you elaborate? What will it be called? When is it due out and what’s the music like?
Prince: Don’t you like surprises? I guess not. It is true, I record very fast. It was even quicker now that girls help me – the girls meaning Wendy and Lisa. I love these girls. I don’t really think I left my funk roots to begin with anywhere along the line. I don’t know where that isn’t a funky album live it will be funky.
I wanted this album to be listened to and judged, critiqued, listened to as a whole. It’s hard to take a trip around the block and stop when the trip is 400 miles. Dig?
Wait, I didn’t write ‘Purple Rain’. Someone else did and it was a story, a fictional story and it should be perceived that way and nothing else. Violence is something that happens in everyday life and we were only telling a story. I know isn’t always looked at that way but I don’t think anything we did was unnecessary. Sometimes for the sake of humour, we may have gone overboard and if that was the case then I’m sorry. But it was not the intention.
There was no one that could wreck a house like they could and I was troubled by their demise but like I said before it’s important that one’s happy first and foremost.
Interviewer: We know you gave Andre Simone the song ‘Dance Electric’ for his new album and we know that you too had some kind of falling out a few years back. When and how did you patch things up?
Prince: I found him in the discotec one night and I grabbed him by the shirt and said, “Come on and get this hit. You know I got this hit, don’t you? Dance electric, that’s my gig. It was funky. You need it. Hey, come here! Don’t you play. Hey, no, no, no, you’re not crazy; I’m crazy! I’m the one that’s crazy, okay? What you gonna do? You goin’ to come by? For real? I mean you ain’t mad or nothing? So what?” I’m directing myself, I consult Stephen, my manager. I’m directing other Paisley Park artist, I consult the artist first and foremost.
One thing I try to do with the things I direct mainly for our acts is go for the different, the out of the norm, the avant purple- so to speak. The thing that’s unique about the situation that I’m in now with these people is that they all know who they are and they agree with me when we say one thing that my record label and other acts, the music that we produce is an alternative and if someone wants to go along for the ride then cool.
Bob: “When the time does come for you use your influence a lot of people have already wittingly done that and that upset me that he didn’t. It’s just disappointments you know from one person to another that he wasn’t there when he was asked to be. You know sort of why you know you feel what a jerk. What I mean I would like to ask that same jerk to please get in contact with Ken Craigan and one of his tracks for this album because millions of people love him millions of people like to hear him. He doesn’t owe any responsibility to anybody but he does it to everybody.”
Prince: We talked to the people that were doing the USA for Africa and they said that this is it was cool that I gave up a song for the album which was the best thing for both of us I think. I’m strongest in a situation where I’m surrounded by people I know and that are these folks today. Ain’t that right?
People in the background: Right.
Prince: See, see? You know, so it’s better that I did it that way- the music – than going to down and participating there. I probably would have just climbed up so many great people I admire all the people participated in that particular outing and I don’t want it to be any hard feelings.
Interviewer: Would you ever like to direct your old movie?
Prince: Yes, yes.
Interviewer: Speaking of movies tell us as much as you can about “Under the Cherry Moon”. What’s the plot? What kind of characters? What kind of music? How many songs? What can we expect?
Prince: It’s a French film. Its a black and white French film and she’s in it. Her name is Emmanuelle, that’s her name. What?
Emannuelle: Where the hoes at?
Prince: What? Wait, Raul.
Prince: Come here man. This is Jerome Benton.
Jerome: Voilà. Enchante.
Prince: This is our landlord, we lived together.
Jerome: How much for the hat?
Prince: 3 million, I got it in a divorce settlement.
Jerome: I’ll settle for that.
Prince: Get out!
Jerome: Okay, cool I’m raising the rent.
Prince: She can explain the film better (14:31- inaudible) to that camera, that one, that’s a pretty one.
Woman: Okay [speaking French] it’s a very beautiful black and white film, full of fantastic characters. It’s a story of a pianist named Christopher and a very, very rich girl named Mary-Sharon. And the fall in love. In the film, I am a completely crazy girl with pigtails and miniskirts and I am the concierge, that’s it.
Prince: Thank you. That was excellent.
Woman: I will go get your Cadillac okay?
Prince: Cadillac? Oh no. I don’t drive no Cadillac all right? I used to. what I don’t anymore.
Paisley Park is an alternative. I’m not saying it’s greater or better, it’s just something else. It’s multicoloured on the very fun. I believe in God. There is only one God and I believe in the afterworld and hopefully, we all see it. I have been accused of a lot of things contrary to this and I just want people to know that I’m very sincere in my beliefs. And I pray every night and I don’t ask for much. I just say thank you.