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On this day in music history: June 23, 1981 - “Tom Tom Club”, the debut album by Tom Tom Club is released in the UK (US release is in November 1981). Produced by Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth, and Steven Stanley, it is recorded at Compass Point Studios in Nassau, Bahamas from November 1980 - April 1981. The album is a side project by Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz and bassist/wife Tina Weymouth, following the recording of Talking Heads’ “Remain In Light” album. When the band decide not to tour in support of the album, keyboardist/guitarist Jerry Harrison records and releases his own solo album “ The Red and the Black”, while lead vocalist David Byrne completes “My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts” with collaborator Brian Eno. The group take their name from a dancehall in the Bahamas that they visited during their previous visit to the islands. Expanding on the Funk and African rhythms used on “Remain in Light”, Frantz and Weymouth are also influenced by the underground Hip Hop culture in New York incorporating it into their project. “Tom Tom Club” also features King Crimson guitarist Adrian Belew and Weymouth’s sisters and brother on backing vocals. Frantz and Weymouth’s US label Sire Records initially passes on releasing the album. Taken aback at the decidedly pronounced R&B/dance vibe of the record, they are unsure how to market it, feeling that it will alienate Talking Heads largely white fan base. The album is initially released in the UK through Island Records. Club DJ’s in the US discover the second single “Genius Of Love” (released in September of 1981), quickly making it a sensation on the dance floor and generating a huge demand it. It’s only after the single sells over 100,000 copies as an import, that Sire schedules it for release later in the year. It spins off two singles including “Wordy Rappinghood” (#1 Club Play, #7 UK) and “Genius Of Love” (#2 R&B, #1 Club Play, #31 Pop). The albums innovative and distinctive cover art as well as the animated music videos for both singles are designed by famed pop artist James Rizzi (directed by Annabel Jankel and Rocky Morton, and animated by Cucumber Studios in London). “Genius” only grows in popularity over the years as it is repeatedly sampled and interpolated into other songs, including forming the basis of Mariah Carey’s chart topping single “Fantasy” in 1995. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 2009 as a two CD deluxe edition (UK & Europe only). It is also remastered and reissued as a limited edition 180 gram vinyl LP on pink swirl (Newbury Comics exclusive) and translucent green vinyl, by Real Gone Music in 2016. “Tom Tom Club” peaks at number twenty three on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

Richard and Schneider on the conflict over Mutter.

The Mutter era was an exceptionally difficult era for the band, and they almost broke up over the making of the album. There were a number of conflicts but the main issue was over Richard’s need for control which caused major issues within the group. I hope you find this 2004 interview interesting as it discusses the problems that resulted in depth. Warning this is long.

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“No matter how hard you try, there are going to be a lot of people who don’t care. That’s just the way of the world. It doesn’t make a difference if it’s music or the way you dress or your political stance or the color of your house or the way you build a hamburger. As long as you like it, do it.”

Lori Barbero, Babes in Toyland’s drummer, talks about growing up with music, not wasting time on things that aren’t fun, and her advice on “never, ever, ever” caring about what other people think of you.

Interview by Stephanie Kuehnert. Photo by Joe Dilworth. 

Every time I think of a Band!AU, which is literally everyday, I always have a hard time fitting Dean anywhere.

Sometimes I want him as the front man, other times he holds the band together but isn’t the forefront of the popularity.

It all comes down to music I think, cause to me, a young Dean Winchester wouldn’t spend his time covering songs from his dad’s old tapes. He’d have his own sound, his own image and look that he would fins in spite of how controlling his father was.

Drummer! and Bassist!Dean’s sound would be heavy on beat, pacing the songs with a rhythm that sinks into the bones and pumps the blood of the crowd.

Guitarist!Dean would be the king of rifts, and it would be heavy and speak to rebels and teens, and anyone who needs a voice.

Vocalist!Dean would pour his heart into his lyrics, whether it be a ballad or something more upbeat,  he’d spend days on a track and work till it was perfect.

The possibilities are literally endless with a character like Dean

Rolling Stone Magazine, August 30, 1984

Prince Reigns

Satyr or shy boy? Shaman or skilled manipulator? The contradictions within rock’s most controversial superstar dominate his dazzling new movie — and, it seems, the artist himself

By Kurt Loder


PRINCE HAS COME. IT IS A WARM summer morning in the Minneapolis suburb of Eden Prairie, and a black-clad rider on a purple Honda has just pulled up to a nondescript modern warehouse on Flying Cloud Drive. Inside, a photographer is waiting. He has flown in from Toronto with an assistant and most of the contents of his studio to photograph Prince for the cover of this magazine. A standard rock-star shoot, he figures, scoping out the concert-size rehearsal stage, the costume room, the banks of musical equipment. 

When Prince walks in, the first thing the photographer notices is how small he is: he seems slight even in his five-inch stiletto-heel boots. He is wearing a dramatic black hat, a skintight black shirt open to the navel and tight black trousers ringed with ruffles from the knees down. He is carefully unshaven — only his cheekbones have been scraped smooth, then caked with makeup — for that stylish New Wave-wino look. He seems to be saying something: Hi? He speaks so softly that the photographer actually has to lean down to within several inches of his face to hear him. He is making it quietly clear that, while he has agreed to pose for the cover, he will not pose for any photos for the magazine’s inside pages. To be completely frank, he really doesn’t even want to do the cover, but. … The photographer presses ahead, flourishing concepts and assetting his magazine’s insistence on a white backdrop for the photo. Ach! Prince had his heart set on hot pink. The session gets off to an uneasy start.

It is decided to wheel in the purple Honda, a perfect prop. The motorcycle is a central visual ornament of Purple Rain, Prince’s custom-tailored movie debut — a picture with so much prerelease “top spin,” as they say in Hollywood, that the media, anticipating a major sleeper, have been abasing themselves for weeks in the hope of wangling interviews with the recalcitrant star. But Prince does not do interviews anymore. He is, however, full of advice about camera angles and poses, and the photographer fights back a gathering urge to whack him with a light meter. Quickly, he snaps off some preliminary test shots with a Polaroid. Prince seems to approve of the results, then slips away while the photographer makes some final lighting adjustments. An assistant appears and carefully confiscates the seven Polaroids. When Prince returns, he seems restless and even more remote. He’s decided he doesn’t like the original setup, so they do another Polaroid, a full-length shot. Prince disappears again. The photographer hears the sound of drums and cymbals being bashed in another room. Then silence. After half an hour, the assistant reappears and announces that he’s just driven his employer home. Prince, he says, is extremely sensitive: “He actually gets physically ill at having his picture taken.”

On his way out, the photographer can’t help but hurl a silent curse at the warehouse walls. They are lined with photographs — blowups, big ones. All studies of the same smooth, unsmiling features, the same inscrutable sensuality and unfathomable flamboyance. All of them dominated by those liquid, Keane-kid eyes. All of them pictures of Prince.

JUST WHO IS THIS SELF-ENVELOPED STAR? HOW IS IT THAT he’s outselling both Bruce Springsteen and the mighty Jacksons in the record racks? What sort of monumental chutzpah must it take to step away from rock videos and make a feature-length movie — one based on the hopes and deepest fears of your own brief life? How accurate is the portrait so exuberantly painted by Purple Rain? How much painful truth remains hidden beneath its often dazzling exterior?

The picture one acquires of this twenty-six-year-old wonderkid from scanning his songs and canvassing his colleagues and acquaintances is murky and uncertain — which is the way he wants it. As Owen Husney, his first manager, once advised him, “Controversy is press.” And Prince, for all his vaunted reclusiveness, has certainly been controversial. Husney started the mystique ball rolling in 1977, trimming two years off his protégé’s age and obscuring his full name. But Prince — Prince Rogers Nelson, actually, born in Minneapolis on June 7th, 1958 — had his own ways of getting attention. Raised in an overwhelmingly white environment, he became as adept at playing hard, guitar-based rock & roll as he was at funkier black styles. (In early interviews, he also emphasized a multiracial background — half-Italian father, mixed-blood mother — even though, by most reports, both his parents are light-skinned blacks.) And then there was his frankly lubricious sexuality, relatively subtle at first, but later leading him to perform in heavy makeup, bikini briefs and thigh-hugging leg warmers, singing songs with such single-entendre titles as “Head.”

These ploys got him noticed, all right. But to most of the record-buying public — even as he began spinning off such provocative satellite groups from his hometown as the Time (led by his favorite foil, Morris Day) and the all-girl Vanity 6- Prince was, and remains, essentially a mystery. In fact, about the only thing on which his friends — and even his foes — agree is that Prince appears to be the genuine article: a musical genius. And not since the Fifties, when that accolade was applied to Ray Charles, has the term seemed so attractively apt.

Signed by Warner Bros. Records in 1977 on the basis of an astonishing one-man-band demo tape, Prince was awarded what is said to be the most lucrative contract ever offered by the company to an unknown artist (“Well over a million dollars,” claims Husney) and was granted near-total creative leeway in the recording studio. He wrote all the music, played practically every instrument, produced all nine tracks and delivered an album, For You, that kicked off with an ethereal, gospel-drenched mélange of a cappella voices (all Prince’s), concluded with a screaming rock-guitar feature, touched down in between on a carnal classic called “Soft and Wet” and was dedicated to “God.” But For You was not a commercial triumph: six years after its release, that first Prince LP has yet to sell 400,000 copies and remains his least-known album.

He’s been riding a rocket to the top ever since, however. His next three records — Prince, the groundbreaking Dirty Mind and the even more successful Controversy — all went gold (sales of 500,000 copies). And then, late in 1982, came the dazzling 1999, a double-record set that has sold nearly 3 million copies and is still on the pop charts more than ninety weeks after its release. The album fairly bristled with hits — the title track, “Delirious,” the masterfully metaphorical “Little Red Corvette.” In the view of Warner Bros., it marked the long-awaited point at which Prince’s seamless fusion of white rock & roll and black dance-funk became commercially undeniable; and it was seen as setting the stage for Prince’s next album to create the kind of cultural explosion that traditionally heralds the arrival of a true superstar.

But there was one unknown and slightly troubling factor in this commercial equation: along with his sixth album, to be titled Purple Rain, Prince would deliver a feature-length movie of the same name. Filming had begun in Minneapolis last November 1st, and details of the project were not such as to excite keen anticipation among music-biz moneymen. The director, Albert Magnoli, had never been in charge of a feature before. The cast, including all five members of Prince’s band in key roles, had, with only two exceptions, no acting experience. The tight budget ($7 million) and rushed shooting schedule (seven weeks) did not augur well for stellar production values. And, of course, who ever heard of making a movie in Minneapolis? In the winter, yet? In addition, the script was said to be … autobiographical?

WILLIAM BLINN KNEW NOTHING ABOUT PRINCE, REALLY, when he was approached roughly two years ago about writing the script for a very vaguely conceived movie in which the singer would star. But Blinn, a mild, middle-aged man who’d written such Emmy-winning tube fare as Brian’s Song and a Roots segment, had reason to be interested in the task, proffered by Prince’s management company, Cavallo, Ruffalo and Fargnoli. At the time, Blinn was executive producer of the Fame series, and there was some doubt as to whether it would be renewed for a third season. A screenplay would be a handy diversion. What did the managers have in mind, exactly?

That was unclear. Prince had been jotting down ideas in a purple notebook for some time, and one night out on the road, he told Steve Fargnoli: this is great and all, but there must be something else. He wanted to do a movie. Unfortunately, Fargnoli knew little about the moviemaking business. With his partners, Bob Cavallo and Joe Buffalo, he managed music acts, including such major attractions as Weather Report and Earth, Wind and Fire. But Prince was the one. they all knew it. Prince could do anything: why not a movie? Fargnoli shopped the pitch around to some major studios — got a black kid here who most ticket-buying citizens have never heard of who wants to make a movie about himself with some friends in Minneapolis — and got a lot of laughs. But he was unfazed. The managers would finance the film themselves. But they needed a script.

Blinn first met with Prince and Fargnoli at an Italian restaurant in Hollywood. He immediately knew there’d be strange days ahead. “I never met anyone in the world who ordered spaghetti with tomato sauce and orange juice to drink,” he recalls. “He’s definitely got his own drummer going.” As they talked about the movie, Blinn found that Prince was “not conversationally accessible. He’s not purposefully face-to-the-wall, but casual conversation is not what he’s good at. It was as if I asked someone what they wanted for dinner, and they said they weren’t sure, but they’d like it to have some tomatoes in it, and some beef, and some onions. And I’d say, ‘I think we’re talking about beef stew here.’”

During a meeting at Prince’s home — a purple but otherwise unremarkable two-story affair situated on a lake in a well-to-do suburb several miles southwest of Minneapolis — Blinn realized that an important part of the story Prince was trying to formulate concerned his father, John L. Nelson, a piano player who had led a Minneapolis jazz trio in the Fifties under the name Prince Rogers. Nelson had separated from his wife, a singer, when Prince was seven, leaving a piano behind for his son to learn to play. The father, who reportedly still lived in Minneapolis, obviously remained a troubling figure.

“He was semicommunicative about his dad,” says Blinn. “He played me some of his father’s music on the piano, and when he played, and when he talked about his father’s life, you could tell that his father is very key in what he’s about. It was as if he were sorting out his own mystery — an honest quest to figure himself out. He saved all the money on shrinks and put it in the movie.”

Blinn began pounding out a script called Dreams, a dark story in which the parents of the Kid — the character to be played by Prince — were both dead, the mother dispatched by the father, who in turn killed himself. Prince’s Minneapolis music scene was in there, too, and so was the beautiful Vanity, lead crumpet with Vanity 6. Born in Ontario of Scottish and Eurasian parents (her original name was Denise Matthews), Vanity had been a model and sometime nudie actress who, under the name D.D. Winters, appeared in such Canadian-made films of the early Eighties as Terror Train and Tanya’s Island. Vanity was also Prince’s girlfriend — or one of them — and in Dreams, she was to play the stabilizing influence in the Kid’s otherwise chaotic life.

Blinn’s story was beginning to sound very much like Prince’s life. Following his parents’ breakup, Prince had been bounced from mother to father to an aunt and finally, at age thirteen, of his own volition, into the home of Mrs. Bernadette Anderson, the mother of his best (and at the time, she says, only) friend. Prince and André Anderson had both attended a local Seventh-Day Adventist church as young children, and they shared a consuming interest in music. It was with André (and a young drummer named Morris Day) that Prince organized his first band. Grand Central. “Music is obviously a cloak and a shield and a whole bunch of things for him,” says Blinn. “It’s a womb.”

Halfway through the second draft of Dreams, Prince told Blinn he wanted the word purple in the title. “At first, I thought it was a kind of strange request,” Blinn says. “But he really identifies with purple. There’s a whole dark, passionate, foreboding quality to the color and to what he does. Yet there’s a certain royalty to it, too.”

After finishing a second draft of the script, Blinn got word that Fame had been renewed for a third season, and so he returned to television-land, leaving the Prince management team with a script of sorts, but no director. After seeing a film called Reckless, they approached its young director, James Foley, and asked if he’d be interested in Purple Rain. He wasn’t, but he recommended his friend, Al Magnoli, who had edited Reckless.

At first, the thirty-one-year-old Magnoli wasn’t interested. Nevertheless, he agreed to meet with Bob Cavallo for breakfast one morning. Cavallo asked him what he thought the Prince team should do. Magnoli tried to be helpful. “I said, "This is what I would do’ — and right there I told him the entire story. It just came out. I knew they had this character Prince, the script had introduced me to this other character, Morris, and I knew that there was a girl in the middle. So it was like: where do you go with this? And I said Prince should do this, and Morris should do this, and Vanity should be this kind of girl and not this other thing in the script. And then the mother and father — and all of a sudden the world was shaped. And within ten minutes, I had convinced myself that this would be an extremely exciting film to make.”

Cavallo liked what he heard, and Magnoli felt the stirrings of a buzz. He agreed to fly to Minneapolis. “The minute I met Prince, I realized that I hadn’t gone far enough. That because of the nature of this person, I could go much further into the private sort of area. We had dinner, and he let me speak for about twenty-five minutes, and I began working off what was emanating from him. And I got very involved with the parents at that point: the father became a musician, the mother became sort of a woman wandering the streets, things like that. I was just basically watching the person in front of me, just feeling what that was all about. And at the end, he said okay, let’s take a ride. So we took a ride, and he looked at me and he said, 'I don’t get it. This is the first time I’ve met you, but you’ve told me more about what I’ve experienced than anybody in my life.’”

Magnoli told Prince that if he was willing to reveal the emotional truths of this material, of the character that they would create, then the movie could be made. Prince agreed, so Magnoli went to Minneapolis for a month and hung out with the people who would populate the film: Prince and his band (now to be called the Revolution), Morris Day and his group, the Time, the women in Vanity 6. Then he locked himself in a room for three weeks and completely rewrote Blinn’s script.

In the completed Purple Rain, the Kid is an up-and-coming attraction at the First Avenue & 7th Street Entry Club, where he revels in his burgeoning musical powers despite the derision of the club’s manager and the petty humiliations inflicted by a hilariously snide headliner played (to near perfection) by Morris Day. Offstage, though, the Kid is miserable, plagued by his parents’ incessant domestic rows, increasingly alienated from his own band members (whose musical offerings he ignores) and awkward and inarticulate in his pursuit of a beautiful new—arrival on the scene called Apollonia (the part originally intended for Vanity). When Apollonia announces her intention of joining a girl group being assembled by Day — for the express purpose of dislodging the Kid from his slot at the club — the Kid, like his bitterly abusive father, lashes out at the woman he loves. Meanwhile, Morris Day and Billy, the club manager, keep up a steady assault on the Kid’s fragile ego, chorusing just the sort of criticisms that have been directed at Prince himself over the years. (“Nobody digs your music but your—self,” says Billy. “Ya long-haired faggot!” screams Day.) Following an explosive encounter with his father, the Kid redeems himself with Apollonia and blows away all professional competition at a climactic concert at the club. It’s not a happily-ever-after ending, exactly, but when Prince and his band dig into the luminous title tune at the end, a definite feeling of uplift is imparted.

“We are now in an era where films should in a sense have something uplifting going on,” says Magnoli. “We’ve gotten away from the antihero of the Sixties and early Seventies, where films ended sort of with a thought and a dismal aspect, like: Okay, we’re in the gutter. We wanted to say: Life’s a bitch, but wow, if you can just get it together. …”

PATTY KOTERO — OR PATTY APOLLONIA KOTERO, AS she currently calls herself — is kneeling on the floor of her immaculately tidy West Hollywood apartment, picking through a pile of tape cassettes. David Bowie, Eddie Murphy, Thomas Dolby — ah, there it is. She reaches up toward a small stack of stereo equipment arrayed against the wall, and suddenly the room is filled with the sound of cool, autumnal piano chords. It is “Father’s Song,” a haunting instrumental piece composed by Prince’s father and performed by Prince. In Minneapolis, during the hectic shooting of Purple Rain, Patty had trouble getting to sleep each night. At five o'clock one morning, she remembers, Prince appeared at her door.

“He said, 'I’ve got something for you.’ I said, 'Yeah?’” She pops her eyes in mock suspicion. “He said, 'You’ve been having trouble sleeping. Here.’ And he gave me this tape. It’s better than a glass of milk and honey.”

As the tape plays, Patty’s gaze drifts upward and fixes on a large, framed promotional portrait of Prince that’s propped atop the stereo. It’s enough to give one the feeling of having wandered into a private prayer grotto, a tiny temple to the Great Man.

Until last summer, Kotero was just another young L. A. photo model. Then, across the country, in Minneapolis one day, a woman named Vanity walked away from her projected part in Purple Rain. No one will say why she left — rumors range around money, ego and a faded relationship with the film’s diminutive star — but it was Patty who was chosen as her replacement. A casting call had gone out for a woman who met certain requirements, some of them physical. Through her agent, Patty obtained an audition and quickly hied herself out to Minneapolis. Although her own personality is sweeter and considerably more wholesome than that projected by Vanity, the two women are obviously interchangeable within the cartoon context of the character, Vanity/Apollonia is a walking Penthouse wet dream of billowing breasts and plushly upholstered contours, her sultry face, framed by gleaming cascades of raven hair, a frank invitation to frolic.

One criticism of Purple Rain is that it’s insufferably sexist. All of the young women in the picture are inexplicably addicted to décolleté and in many cases wear nothing but the skimpiest lingerie. In one scene, Apollonia is subjected to considerable humiliation in the course of a skinny-dipping interlude at a lake, and in another sequence, Morris Day has a troublesome girlfriend chucked into a trash dumpster by his fawning aide, Jerome.

Though Prince’s female fantasies obviously run in the direction of impossibly pliant sex cookies, in Purple Rain, this attitude toward women is condemned through the character of Day, for whom the women in Apollonia 6 (nee Vanity 6) are simply “the bitches,” assumed to be sexually available after taking a few slugs from his silver hip flask. Since it was actually Prince who invented and produced Vanity 6, the film indicates that he is at least aware of his own worst concept of women.

There are also two women in Prince’s band, and while they too tend to hang out of their dresses a lot (and Prince has concocted an oblique lesbian aura around their relationship), their main purpose is musical. Keyboardist Lisa Coleman and guitarist Wendy Melvoin are lifelong friends, the daughters of two veteran L.A. sessionmen (their fathers both played keyboards on the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations”). Lisa is a classically trained pianist, and Wendy is a longtime jazz student who first attracted Prince’s attention when she peeled off an elaborate jazz chord in his presence after a show one night and later won her funk wings during an extended jam with the man on James Brown’s “Body Heat.”

“The idea of integration is important to Prince,” says Lisa. “To me and the rest of the band, too. It’s just good fate that it’s worked out as well as it has — you know, the perfect couple of black people, the perfect couple of white people, couple of girls, couple of Jews. Whatever. He’s chosen the people in his band because of their musical abilities, but it does help to have two female musicians who are competent.”

In the past, Prince has used his band largely to flesh out onstage the music he wrote, played and produced on his own in the studio. Like the Kid in Purple Rain, though, Prince is now allowing other musicians to contribute to his music. Five of the nine songs on the new album were recorded by the full band, and Lisa and Wendy even get cowriting credit — the ultimate rarity, even though it’s noted only in the film credits, not on the LP — for “Computer Blue.”

“He loves those people,” says Apollonia, “He cares for them, and they care for him.” She crosses the room to a small couch. In her black slacks and plain white top she seems prettier, her face softer, than in the movie. But her dark beauty — both her parents were born in Mexico, but she describes herself as “a Latin-German Jew” — and extravagant figure would seem to suit Prince just fine. Has she also replaced Vanity in the little guy’s affections?

“I don’t kiss and tell,” she says with practiced coyness. “He loves his women, but music comes first. He is married to his music. You can’t compete with it.”

With music, Prince seems to find his most perfect union. Apollonia remembers seeing him in the studio, her oblivious mentor, lost in sound. “It looks like he’s in there in his own spaceship, his own capsule, just taking off, and the sky’s the limit.” She clasps a hand to her heart. “I still pinch myself every morning and say my prayers at night, and thank the good Lord someone’s breathing in my direction.”

RELIGIOUS IMPULSES IN ROCK usually have taken the form either of woozy Easternalia or grating fundamentalist harangues. The musicians in Prince’s orbit share an unlabored, though still deeply felt faith in God. Prince himself has dedicated all six of his albums to the Deity; and out on the road, before each show, he joins hands with his musicians in prayer. There’s an instrumental “love theme” in Purple Rain that’s simply titled “God” (it’s not on the LP), and the album itself is rife with messianic overtones, from the opening sermon of “Let’s Go Crazy” to the suggestively titled “I Would Die 4 U,” in which Prince sings, “I’m not a human/I am a dove/I am your conscious/I am love.” When the album appeared, Bill Aiken, a production staffer at MTV in New York, noticed a snippet of backward dialogue tacked onto the end of the song “Darling Nikki” — the record’s most brazenly salacious track. Reversing it on tape, Aiken discovered a message from Prince: “Hello. How are you? I’m fine. Because I know the Lord is coming soon, coming soon.”

The strange dichotomy between Prince’s compulsive carnality and his spiritual yearnings apparently isn’t puzzling to those who’ve gotten close to him. “He’s a man apart in many ways,” says William Blinn. “But his whole sexual attitude is positive. It’s: This is good, this represents growth, life.”

Not everyone, however, is convinced that Prince is cognizant of his own contradictions. One New York actress who auditioned for the Apollonia role in Purple Rain (and who asked that her name not be used — a common request in the Prince orbit) expressed shock at the things she was asked to do. “I turned it down,” she says. “It was way too pornographic for me. I mean, they had stuff in the script that I wouldn’t even let my boyfriend do to me in my own bedroom.”

Prince looked the actress up during a subsequent visit to Manhattan, and she found him alternately brilliant and pathetic. “He’s got a lot of hang-ups,” she says. “He means well, and he’s genuinely talented, but he’s got a lot of problems. He’s really hung up on God, for one thing. I think he thinks he’s related to God in some way.”

One day, the woman says, she coerced Prince into accompanying her to the American Museum of Natural History to see a celebrated exhibition called Ancestors. “The show of the century,” she says. “All these Neanderthal skulls, and how we evolved from apes and stuff, right? And he just wouldn’t believe any of it. I said, 'Come on, you don’t believe in that Adam and Eve crap, do you?’ He just blankly stared back at me.

"There is a real dichotomy between his sexual hang-ups and God and the Bible,” the woman concludes. “I mean, he’s not leading a godly life. At least I don’t pretend to lead one. But that is the most important thing in his life, God.”

EVEN WITH GOD ON HIS SIDE, though, Prince seems a strangely solitary figure. In his pursuit of the success his talents so richly justify, he has ruptured a succession of once-important personal relationships. Bassist André Anderson, his closest boyhood friend, was the first to leave Prince’s band, followed by guitarist Dez Dickerson. Prince fired bassist Terry Lewis and keyboardist Jimmy Jam from the Time, and keyboardist Monte Moir soon left of his own accord to join them. Recently it’s been rumored that Morris Day — whose wild comic persona is more immediately charismatic than Prince’s own — may be leaving the Time. (Inquisitive observers are told it’s not true, but Day, for some reason, cannot be produced to confirm that contention.)

“I maintain we came out better in the end, for all we went through,” says former Minneapolis studio owner Chris Moon, who started Prince off by giving the sixteen-year-old prodigy the keys to Moon Sound studio and getting a manager for him. On the other hand, Moon adds, “Prince may have come out worse off than us. He’s gotta be one very lonely guy. I mean, he’s left a long trail of broken hearts and broken egos behind him.”

Unencumbered by his problematic past, Prince rises higher and higher in the pop-cultural firmament. Who’s to say the trade-off hasn’t made him happy? For the Purple Rain premiére at L.A.’s Chinese Theatre last month, he personally summoned a swarm of the superstars who are now his peers to come and pay homage. And another time, after both Prince and Michael Jackson joined James Brown for jams onstage at L.A.’s Beverly Theatre, the Godfather of Soul was heard to exclaim, “Look out, Michael!” This is what’s called arriving. Whether or not that big limo in the sky he’s pursued for so long has turned out to be otherwise empty is a matter for Prince to ponder in the splendid isolation to which he’s now entitled.

“It’s hard to have that much power and have close friends,” William Blinn reflects. “It’s tough for him. But if he does not have close friends, then neither do I feel that his solitude is threatening or harmful to him. Some people … well, you know, the four-in-the-morning phone call: "I’m alone, what do I do?’ I think Prince is perfectly capable of handling it. He might make that phone call, and he might be alone. But he knows what to do.”

The Signs in a Band
  • Aries: The lead singer who only can play a tambourine
  • Taurus: The easy going bassist that everyone thinks is high
  • Gemini: That one person who can literally play every instrument
  • Cancer: The really hot member that has the most twitter followers
  • Leo: The jokingly cocky lead guitarist
  • Virgo: The drummer who looks like a badass but giggles CONSTANTLY
  • Libra: The one member who answers almost all the questions in interviews
  • Scorpio: The guitarist who runs all over the stage and brings their all to the concerts
  • Sagittarius: The super reserved drummer who only really talks to their bandmates
  • Capricorn: The serious member who tries to get shit done but the other bandmates mess with them
  • Aquarius: The band member who makes really risky decisions but end up being amazing
  • Pisces: The quiet mysterious one who writes like 70% of the songs

anonymous asked:

X

…..JAPAN?
DID YOU SAY X JAPAN? I LOVE X. X IS THE BESt ASDFGHJKL KURENAIIIIIIIIIII

….. in all seriousness - the following is a list of things I hate, for the “ask the blogger” question list thingy.

- willful ignorance
- trap and country music
- Travis Scott
- Korean songwriter earattack
- pushy evangelicalism
- losing things
- hyper-loud environments
- blatant hypocrisy
- Prozac

How Pop-Punk Survivors All Time Low Finally Grew Up

In 2007, the four members of All Time Low hadn’t even hit the legal drinking age when a couple of boyishly goofy songs about girls began to push them beyond their local scene. Signed to the taste-making indie label Hopeless Records, the Maryland quartet released their scrappy but hopeful sophomore album So Wrong, It’s Right, and suddenly pop-punk had a new band of skinny-jeans-wearing heroes with frosted, side-swept hair.

A decade later, the band sits around a table in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, settling in for a late-afternoon round of bowling at the dive-y Gutter. Clutching beers and fresh off a day of press for their new seventh album Last Young Renegade, the group of longtime friends – singer Alex Gaskarth, guitarist Jack Barakat, bassist Zack Merrick and drummer Rian Dawson – talk over each other with polite excitement and the type of easy comfort that comes with having been performing and writing with one another for nearly 15 years straight.

“It’s kind of crazy how adult we’ve become,” Barakat reflects. Between tours, the members have each found time to move away from the suburb of Towson, Maryland, where they grew up; currently, the four are spread between Hawaii, Los Angeles and Baltimore. Even with brief brushes of tabloid fame – Barakat was most famously linked to Playmate Holly Madison and actress Abigail Breslin – the rockers are beginning to settle down. Gaskarth married his longtime girlfriend Lisa Ruocco last spring, while Dawson proposed to country singer Cassadee Pope earlier this year.

Even as they approach 30 and launch new families of their own, the experience of spending their twenties in the limelight makes the band feel as if they’re stuck in a “maturity purgatory,” as Barakat describes it.

“You’re thrown into situations at a young age that people that age usually aren’t exposed to,” Gaskarth explains. “So on that hand, it kind of matures you, sometimes before you’re ready for it. At the same time, as you get older, there’s less expectation for you to act mature. So you get stuck in this limbo between growing up and not having the same kinds of responsibilities as people who don’t live life on the road.”

All Time Low’s maturity purgatory comes with some perks: They can release their most “serious” album yet and still relish every minute of pre-release anticipation. Bowling against one another allows them to indulge in a bit of the harmless chaos that made them stand out in the first place. They pose obscenely, rib each other lovingly, and even though they’re keeping tabs on the scores, they prioritize having a good time over actually winning (though, for the record, Merrick, the band’s quiet jock, racks up the night’s highest score).

When it comes to sales, too, numbers aren’t everything to the band. Though, for the record, their previous album – 2015’s Future Hearts – debuted at a career-high Number Two, while Last Young Renegade marked their fifth Top 10 debut, a hot streak for any artist.

“The chart stuff is great, but we don’t rest everything on it,” Dawson says. “We care more about the career span, so to think about one day as a make-or-break, or anything like that, would be silly for us.”

“But I still think about it every day,” Barakat jokes.

“We’re not gonna be the people at the Oscars that are like, ‘Oh, no, we don’t care about these awards at all,’” Dawson adds.

“Oh, we want those awards,” Barakat chimes in again.

“We’ll take an Oscar,” says Gaskarth as the group erupts in laughter.

“An Oscar … can we?” Barakat offers innocently.

Gaskarth in 2008 Jason DeCrow/AP

In the mid-aughts, All Time Low were part of a boom of young pop-punk bands becoming boy-band-level icons for young listeners in search of equal parts angst and irreverence following the success of Fall Out Boy. With So Wrong, ATL provided exactly that: Two of the most popular songs from the album are a tune about a stripper (“Dear Maria, Count Me In”) and a moving breakup power ballad (“Remembering Sunday”).

Onstage, the band was rambunctious, mimicking the lovable immaturity of their heroes Blink-182 by making dick jokes, climbing up to theater balconies and displaying bras on their microphone stands. Their combination of confidence and cluelessness made them both awe-inspiring and relatable to the even younger kids moshing in the pit. At first, the naughty banter was a defense mechanism for a young band that feared an empty room as much as they did a sold-out one.

“When there’s 25 people at a VFW hall and only three of them are there because they like you and the sound is terrible and the songs aren’t that great, you have to figure out ways to get people to look you up later on MySpace or PureVolume,” Gaskarth says of their early stage style. As crowds grew and they began to expand outside of the United States, the naughty-joke mentality aided them more than ever when they would play in front of “30,000 Rammstein fans” at European festivals. “It’s like, 'OK, what can we do besides play our show that will maybe have these guys be like, "This band isn’t that bad”?’“ Dawson continues.

In the time since that magical pop-punk renaissance from which All Time Low emerged, most of their contemporaries have broken up, reconfigured or moved on entirely. All Time Low, on the other hand, have only gotten bigger.

As the band gets older, their fans remain the same age, with hordes of teenagers filling out theaters around the world. New rock overall has become increasingly less prevalent on radio and the charts, though young pop-punk acts still generate buzz and cult followings. Many of the new generation of young, spunky rock acts – such as 5 Seconds of Summer, SWMRS and Waterparks – cite All Time Low as their biggest influence.

"I’m not just saying this to sound nice, but we’re never going to get used to people saying they started a band because of us,” Dawson says. “Whether it’s a high school kid or a 30-year-old saying Jack inspired them to play guitar or whatever it is, it doesn’t quite feel real.”

“You know that never happened, Rian, but thank you for making me feel good,” Barakat jokes.

“We’re never going to get used to people saying they started a band because of us,” says Rian Dawson (left). Dana Distortion for Rolling Stone

For Last Young Renegade, All Time Low have settled into their version of adulthood. Off Hopeless again, they’ve joined Fueled by Ramen, a label with a roster that resembles an Avengers-style lineup of mid-2000s rock mainstays who can still fill arenas and top the charts, like Paramore and Panic! At the Disco. Much like those two bands, ATL have found a way to broaden their sound without jeopardizing what has made them so appealing to young listeners for more than a decade. A bit darker than their past work, the quartet’s seventh LP sounds like one of their most carefully curated statements yet. Gaskarth’s writing and singing are at the sharpest of his career, and the songs overflow with big pop hooks. His personal improvement is a product of years of heavy touring and and a tight album-release schedule, with the band having issued new LPs every other year since 2005.

“We kind of know what we’re doing now,” the singer says with a laugh. Recalling the sessions for So Wrong, Gaskarth notes how songs often arose out of random moments and spurts of inspiration. Matt Squire, who produced So Wrong, would refuse to let the singer back into the studio until he had lyrics to go with the sketchy instrumental arrangements that would come out of their spur-of-the-moment sessions. Now, the band has more focus and vision than ever before.

“It would be unfair to ourselves and unfair to our fans to not push ourselves to try and change and do things that people wouldn’t expect and haven’t heard before,” Gaskarth continues. “Sometimes the easy road is to keep repeating the pattern.”

Touring with bands like Green Day and Thirty Seconds to Mars inspired All Time Low to pursue more of an atmosphere they can reflect in a live show. For the mood of Last Young Renegade, they looked back to move forward: Instead of reverting to the youthful, party-centric vibe of their early releases, the band reflected on their lives and careers as well as the road they took to get to this point. The concept of nostalgia weighed heavily on the band while writing their new material. Gaskarth dug even deeper into his history and cites pre-band childhood memories – watching Ghostbusters and John Hughes movies, for example – as just some of the early moments from his life he used as inspiration.

“A lot of it became about that vintage feel of [my childhood],” he notes. “I thought that would be a cool way to present that emotion musically and sonically, so what we ended up doing was go back and find these analog synths and weird pedals that we dug out of strange equipment rental spaces.”

All Time Low at the Gutter in Williamsburg, Brooklyn Dana Distortion for Rolling Stone

A year of major musical losses also served as inspiration. The band went back to listening to Prince, David Bowie and George Michael and studied the sounds and qualities that made those artists such icons both in and beyond their time. “We’d key in on a sound or a pad and just a tone and try to take that and pop it in [one of our songs] and see what happened,” Gaskarth explains. “It ended up transforming all the songs into what we ended up with on the record.”

All four members of the band knew that fans would likely be shocked when they heard new singles like the sobering “Dirty Laundry.” All Time Low came of age when social media was still nascent, and have been quicker to adapt to the changing ways musicians can interact with their fans than most artists who weren’t necessarily raised on the Internet. So when the song was released, they kept a close watch over the online response.

“I remember seeing a comment that was along the lines of, 'Ah, I’m not sure if I like the song, but that last chorus is great,’” Gaskarth recalls. “In my head I was like, 'That’s the part that feels familiar.’ When it gets big and goes loud, that’s what feels like All Time Low from 10 years ago. That was safe.”

Gaskarth has continued to keep tabs on what fans write about them on Twitter and other platforms and claims that the same person tweeted him a few days later to say that the song had grown on them.

“I’ve been like that with bands, though,” Barakat admits. “Even with the new Paramore, at first I was like, 'Ah, I don’t get this.’ Then a couple listens in, I’m like, 'Alright, this is fucking catchy.’ It sometimes just takes a second to comprehend.”

Dawson cites his initial disdain for Green Day’s slowed-down Warning, and all recall being taken aback by Blink-182’s contemplative self-titled 2003 LP, each being thrown off by their favorite pop-punk legends easing into adulthood without a fight. Eventually, all have come around to those two albums with time.

“It’s really important to have those moments where you kind of take the fan base and shake it.” –Alex Gaskarth

“I think the biggest thing when talking about Last Young Renegade is that we wanted to present something fresh,” Gaskarth returns. “I don’t want this band to stop, and I think if we went the safe road and kept making album one and album two over again, it would peter out. It’s really important to have those moments where you kind of take the fan base and shake it.”

Appropriately, All Time Low found camaraderie with a similarly cult-favorite band that has taken huge creative risks in recent years. Tegan and Sara are Last Young Renegade’s sole guest stars, appearing on the synth-y, atmospheric “Ground Control.” The track is one of the more blatantly Eighties-inspired moments on the album, a reflection of Tegan and Sara’s own foray into big-hook synth-pop with 2013’s Heartthrob. Both acts felt a mutual admiration, and their collaboration yielded a delicate, melodic feel unlike anything All Time Low had pursued before.

“It’s nice because that chorus is all three of us singing,” Gaskarth says of his harmony with Tegan and Sara. “We’ve never done anything like that as a band, so it was fun.”

“Ground Control” is Last Young Renegade’s penultimate track, followed immediately by what the band describes as their “best impression of Phil Collins,” the slow-burning “Afterglow.” Instead of building toward familiarity, like on “Dirty Laundry,” here the band strips away any trace of the uptempo pop-punk that made them famous.

“It leaves you with that cliffhanger of 'Well, what’s the next movie going to be like?’” Gaskarth says of “Afterglow,” claiming it as one of the band’s most John Hughes–ian moments. “You wanna end on him with a boom box over his head. Or they’re all walking down the hall, and he throws his fist in the air.”

The band takes a moment to riff on this idea, and suddenly a character named Johnny is walking down the hallway of a school in a made-up film before a final-scene freeze frame. Barakat, in his best movie-trailer-voiceover impression, closes out their goofy, brief interlude:

And Johnny was never seen again. …

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anonymous asked:

can you please write some drummer boy hc's???? ((mostly because he's no ones favorite and I cry))

HEY NONNY! Sorry I made you wait so long. I thought I’d have wifi on my flights out to Africa so I could wrap this up but no dice.

I think a lot of people like Drummer Boy, he’s just so presh. His voice is so deep for his babby face. He’s like that kid in high school who’s voice dropped before he even started growing facial hair. He can buy beer without getting carded.

I have a long, convoluted headcanon that he was recruited into the Railroad by Deacon. Drummer worked as a kid tourist for him in Diamond City. Drummer invented a really simple encryption for his notes that he’d pass off to Deacon for caps (with a key that changed weekly and Deacon could buy for extra caps), just to keep the info “safe”. The encryption itself was easy enough to break, but Deacon was impressed that this kid came up with his own system for intel security. He had Drummer pulled into HQ at 16 to start working for the Railroad full time.

  • In his early 20′s
  • A sucker for knock-knock jokes
  • His hat belonged to his uncle, who raised him and his brother and sister
  • Fled to Diamond City when Raiders attacked their farm when he was 10
  • Works with the RR because he genuinely believes in the cause
  • Terrified of dogs
  • And radroaches
  • Carries a 10mm tucked into the back of his jeans
  • Deep sleeper
  • He gets a solid eight hours of sleep every day
  • He slept through the first five minutes Switchboard being attacked
  • Loves cooking and coming up with new recipes
  • Cooks at least one meal per week for everyone in HQ
  • Practices calligraphy
  • Makes his own nibs and inks
  • Has accidentally called Dez “Mom” twice
  • Has purposefully called Dez “Mom” once
  • Wears a signet ring on his left pinky finger
  • Smells faintly of buttered popcorn
3

Literally everybody remembered me (including new drummer who I never talked to before lol) and everyone was so sweet. Dick was telling this dude over and over “she grew up with electric six!!!!” it was sooo cute. I was embarrassing and drunk the whoooooole time. It was probably the most fun show!

Remembering Scott Asheton, Iggy Pop’s Brother in Noise

Scott Asheton was the greatest thug-rocker who ever lived. As the drummer for Iggy and the Stooges, Scott, who passed away just over a week ago, at age 64, was a third of the best punk band that ever existed (his brother Ron, who passed away in 2009, was its guitarist). As Iggy said of Scotty, “The record company must have thought, ‘These guys are maniacs: The singer attacks the audience. They’re all loaded. They don’t communicate nicely with us. The drummer won’t even talk to us; he won’t talk to the manager.’ [Scott would] grunt, say, ‘Uh-huh,’ like a juvenile-delinquent kid: ‘Don’t talk to me… grrr… grrr…’”

Scotty was the ultimate hoodlum, who stood outside Discount Records, in Ann Arbor, spitting on cars. When Gillian McCain and I conducted the interviews for Please Kill Me, we knew we had to include Scotty, since he was such an iconic figure in the history of punk. His brother Ron usually did the talking for the Stooges’ side of the story, and after we exhausted Ron, we set our sights on Scotty. This is one of the few times he ever sat down for such an extended interview. We were honored that he did.   

THE FIRST STOOGES SHOW

I was kicked out of my house by the time I was 17, which was fine with me. I was living at the SRC (Scot Richard Case) band house, over on Broadway. I had drums set up over there, and I was jamming with those guys when they weren’t playing. And one day my brother and Iggy came over, and Ron said, “Wanna start a band? Iggy wants you to play drums. Wanna do it?”

I said, “Yeah, sure.”

Even though we loved the Yardbirds and Stones and MC5, we couldn’t play that shit, you know? And we just wanted to do something totally different—I think LSD helped shaped our style. I wasn’t a big acid fan myself; I’d taken acid about ten times. Iggy took it more, and Dave took it a lot more. But after we first tripped at the Forest Court House, we started liking and feeling good about playing.

Our first gig, at the Grande Ballroom, was when we were living on that farm, and I didn’t sleep for three days, I was so nervous about the first gig. The night before, Iggy had shaved off his eyebrows. We had a friend that had a nervous condition and lost his hair and he had no eyebrows, and his name was Jim Pop. So I looked at him and said, “You look like Jim Pop.”

So we started calling him Pop, and that’s were Iggy Pop came from.

At the Grande Ballroom, Iggy took a woman’s bathing cap and stuck all these strips of aluminum foil around it to make a wig out of it. Then he rubbed his face with baby oil and took glitter and just threw it on his face. He had a tutu on with black tights and a metal plate on the floor with a microphone on it, and he’d stomp on that with the one golf show he was wearing. It was real hot in the ballroom that night, and he started sweating—and that’s when realized what you need eyebrows for, ‘cause everything on his face just started running into his eyes. We only played for 20 minutes, but at the end, his eyes were swollen up and totally red and puffy—'cause all that oil and glitter went right in his eyes. It was nasty.

Iggy was playing a Hawaiian guitar, my brother was playing a fuzz bass, and Dave was playing an amp at full volume with the reverb so it was making huge explosions. I had two 50-gallon oil drums with DayGlo paint all over 'em, with two wooden bass-drum beaters with contact mikes on the drums, and every time I had to hit that drum—it was the loudest, most outrageous, obnoxious drilling sound you’d ever heard in your life. It was driving people crazy—Iggy stomping on the metal with his golf shoe and Dave crashing the amp and the fuzz-tone Hawaiian guitar—people didn’t know what to think.

There was just silence at the end of the show.

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