For-profit health care is, quite simply, immoral, period. The market should not be even involved in the slightest way whatsoever. Health care in the 60′s to mid 70′s was non-for-profit, cheaper, and more available than it is today. This changed when good old Ronnie became the President. But, then again, that’s so Reagan.
Prince’s Hot Rock: The Secret Life Of America’s Sexiest One-Man Band
What does a twenty-two-year-old musical wizard in bikini briefs have that other rock stars don’t? Whatever it is, it makes him the world’s sexiest and most influential one-man band
By Debby Miller April 28, 1983
“Good Evening, this is your pilot, Prince, speaking” comes out of the loudspeakers, all softness and breath, full of welcome. It’s a flight you may not have taken before. Brace yourself, he ought to say. This is “International Lover,” something the globe-conquering Prince claims to be, and this is his live act, which takes place on a grand, two-tiered stage hung with gigantic Venetian blinds.
In high-heeled boots, a flouncy ruffled blouse and a purple quasi-Edwardian suit, Prince begins to climb to the higher level, taking long strides that end in a hip-locking sway, a Rita Hayworth sort of walk. “You are flying aboard the Seduction 747,” he rasps. “To activate the flow of excitement, extinguish all clothing materials.”
Standing alone on the upper riser, Prince simply points a finger, and — you imagine this happens every time Prince extends his long index finger— a brass bed materializes. Stripping off his jacket, his shirt, unbuckling his belt so that a long strap hangs between his legs, Prince climbs onto the mattress and begins to undulate over the bed. “We are now making our final approach to satisfaction. Please bring your lips, your arms, your hips into the up and locked position for landing,” he says, panting, and lets out a piercing scream that seems to announce the sudden fall from the sky of the flight of Seduction 747 — and Prince and the bed disappear.
All cocky, teasing talk about sex, that’s Prince. Forget Mr. Look So Good; meet the original Mr. Big Stuff. He’s afraid of nothing onstage: ready to take on all the desires of a stadium full of his lusty fans, ready to marry funky black dance music and punky white rock music after their stormy separation through the Seventies, ready to sell his Sex Can Save Us message to anybody who’ll give his falsetto a listen. Nor does anything scare him when he’s at home alone, composing.
Out comes a paean to incest called “Sister,” a song called “Head” about a bride who meets Prince on her way to be wed and says, “I must confess, I wanna get undressed and go to bed,” and a song called “Jack U Off.” He even advised the president, “Ronnie Talk to Russia.” So bold that half of his material is radio-censored, Prince is wailing, “Guess I should have closed my eyes when you drove me to the place where your horses run free/Cuz I felt a little ill when I saw all the pictures of the jockeys that were there before me” (in “Little Red Corvette”), while Lionel Richie is everywhere on the radio with “Truly, I love you truly.”
His music, a technofunk and rock blend that many have started to call “the Minneapolis sound” because of the way the Minnesota native’s influence is spreading, is the freshest thing around. So Kraftwerk made The Man Machine? This is the Man Sex Machine. He usually plays every instrument on his albums, even sings his own backup most of the time. His upper register can give you goose flesh when he’s singing gospel-style, and he can turn around and hiccup his way through rockabilly like a perfect descendant of Elvis. There just don’t seem to be any bounds to Prince’s nerve or talent — each album is better than the last (he’s made five), each stage show more outrageous.
A tour begun in November of last year had grossed almost $7 million before the end of March. Prince’s new double album, 1999, has sold almost 750,000 copies, with its hottest single, “Little Red Corvette,” closing in on the Top Twenty on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. And two groups he helped form made the black chart’s Top Ten this winter: Vanity 6, a coquettish trio that performs in lingerie and whose “Nasty Girls” was a disco smash, and the Time, the tightest, funkiest live band in America.
Prince, just twenty-two, is the father of it all. But just try checking out the lineage. There isn’t just a private side to Prince, there’s an almost mysterious aspect. While the art of self-promotion has never been alien to rock & roll, it seems only to frustrate Prince. He was fairly outspoken until last fall, when, after his first interview to promote 1999, he walked out of the room and announced that he would never talk to the press again. “He’s afraid he might say something wrong or say too much,” says a former aide-de-camp.
When he did talk, he often contradicted himself. Rumors started to spread, and now his silence feeds them. Is Prince his real name? Is he black or white, straight or gay (questions he himself raised on his 1981 hit-cum-Lord’s Prayer recitation, “Controversy”)? Is he the Jamie Starr who produced albums by the Time and Vanity 6? Is he a shy little Prince or a despotic king?
“Prince controls the whole scene in Minneapolis,” says a local musician who has worked with him. Others who’ve lived with him or worked alongside him say he loves to surround himself with an air of mystery, to create false identities to tangle the clues that lead to him. Cutting off all but a few close friends, Prince tends to hole up at his huge home, with its modern basement-studio, on a lake twenty miles west of Minneapolis. One member of his band says he’s had just one personal conversation with Prince in all the years he’s known him. “He’s a real ‘to himself’ kind of person,” says Morris Day, the Time’s frontman and a longtime friend.
“He doesn’t like to talk,” says Vanity, the awesomely beautiful leader of Vanity 6, who accompanied Prince to the Grammys in February.
“Sir Highness,” says another friend, “has a way of secluding himself.”
Prince, the Pauper
Piece together Prince’s story from his own partial accounts, and you come up with sort of a musical Wild Child, an untamed loner who raised himself and taught himself how to survive among the wolves. Patch together the history told by the people close to him, and you get a version like this:
The first notes of the Minneapolis sound were heard in a big brick house in North Minneapolis, an aging, primarily black section of town that draws outsiders only to the Terrace Theater, a movie house designed to look like a suburban backyard patio, and the Riverview Supper Club, the nightspot a black act turns to after it has polished its performance on the local chitlin circuit. North Minneapolis is a poor area by local standards, but a family with not too much money can still afford the rent on a whole house. It was there that Bernadette Anderson, who was already raising six kids of her own by herself, decided to take in a doe-eyed kid named Prince, a pal of her youngest son, André.
The thirteen-year-old Prince had landed on the Anderson doorstep after having been passed from his stepfather and mother’s home to his dad’s apartment to his aunt’s house. “I was constantly running from family to family,” Prince has said. “It was nice on one hand, because I always had a new family, but I didn’t like being shuffled around. I was bitter for a while, but I adjusted.”
His father, John Nelson, was a musician himself — a piano player in a jazz band by night, a worker at Honeywell, the electronics company, by day. Nelson is black and Italian; his ex-wife, says Prince of his mother, “is a mixture of a bunch of things.” Onstage, the father was called Prince Rogers, and that is what he named his son, Prince Rogers Nelson.
John Nelson moved out of the family home when Prince was seven. But he left behind his piano, and it became the first instrument Prince learned to play. The songs he practiced were TV themes — Batman and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. “My first drum set was a box full of newspapers,” he has said, explaining how he came to play a whole range of instruments. “At thirteen, I went to live with my aunt. She didn’t have room for a piano, so my father bought me an electric guitar, and I learned how to play.” But the aunt wasn’t keen on the noise, and she threw him out. It was then that Prince turned up at André’s.
Hardly into their teens, Prince and André (who uses the surname Cymone) had already formed their first group. Prince recalled, “I got my first band. I wanted to hear more instruments, so I started Champagne, a twelve-piece band. Only four of us played. Eight were faking. André and I played saxophone. I also played piano. I wrote all the music. The songs were all instrumentals. No one ever sang. When I got into high school, I started to write lyrics. I’d write the really, really vulgar stuff.”
André, on the other hand, claims the first band had Prince playing lead guitar, André himself on bass guitar, his sister Linda on keyboards and the Time’s Morris Day on drums. The group was called Grand Central, later renamed Champagne. The musicians all wore suede-cloth suits with their zodiac signs sewn on the back (Prince, born on June 7th, 1960, had Gemini, the twins, on his). For a time, they were managed by Morris’ mother, which didn’t make Prince very happy. “She wasn’t fast enough for Prince,” says Mrs. Anderson. “He wanted her to get them a contract right away.”
The band practiced in André’s basement, where Prince had established a bedroom of his own. “It sounded like a lot of noise,” says Bernadette Anderson. “But after the first couple of years, I realized the seriousness of it. They were good kids. Girls were crazy about them.”
André — whose father had played bass in the Prince Rogers Band — says that although the family was poor, Prince “dug the atmosphere. It was freedom for him.” There wasn’t enough money to buy records, but there was a family friend — a reclusive black millionaire, says one source — who gave the kids the money to go to a local studio to record a few songs. The studio they picked was called Moon Sound.
Moon Sound was an eight-track studio that charged about thirty-five dollars an hour back in 1976, when Prince and André and the rest of Champagne walked in the door. The owner, Chris Moon, was a lyricist looking for a collaborator. “Prince always used to show up at the studio with a chocolate shake in his hand, sipping out of a straw,” Moon remembers. “He looked pretty tame. Then he’d pick up an instrument and that was it. It was all over.”
Prince soon agreed to work with Moon, and the studio owner handed the seventeen-year-old a set of keys to the studio. “He’d stay the weekend, sleep on the studio floor,” Moon says. “I wrote down directions on how to operate the equipment, so he’d just follow the little chart — you know, press this button to record and this button to play back. That’s when he learned to operate studio equipment. Pretty soon, I could sit back and do the listening.”
One person who heard Prince’s early recordings was Owen Husney, who became his first manager. Husney put together an expensive package that included a demo tape of three twelve-minute songs on which Prince sang and played all the instruments, and he went off to L.A. to make a pitch to the record companies. Three labels — CBS, Warner Bros, and A&M — eventually made offers. Prince finally signed with Warner Bros., where, says an executive, they “were taken with the simplicity of his music and a future that looked wide open,” and where he was offered a firm three-LP contract, unheard of for a new artist.
Lenny Waronker, then head of A&R and now president of the label, was impressed enough to allow Prince to act as producer of his debut album. “I met him when we first signed him,” Waronker recalls. “[Producer] Russ Titelman and I took him into the studio one day, much to his chagrin. So we said, 'Play the drums,’ and he played the drums and put a bass part on, a guitar part. And we just said, 'Yeah, fine, that’s good enough.’”
Sales of the first Prince album, For You, released in 1978, weren’t so hot, but the fact that the kid was a one-man band — and his own producer — got a lot of attention. Then, in 1979, the single “I Wanna Be Your Lover” from his eponymous second LP went to Number One on the soul charts. But the age of innocence was almost over. Prince was back in Minneapolis putting together a new band, a straggly mix of blacks and whites, all recruited locally. His old friend André Cymone was among them, playing bass.
“There was a lot of pressure from my ex-buddies in other bands not to have white members in the band,” Prince has said. “But I always wanted a band that was black and white. Half the musicians I knew only listened to one type of music. That wasn’t good enough for me.”
The band, with its double keyboards, learned to reproduce the music Prince had been creating alone in the studio. The synthesizers, often playing horn lines, are a hallmark of the Minneapolis sound. The guitar signature is edgy rock, but the beat reins in any long guitar solos. “Around here, if it’s not synthesizers, it’s nothing,” says a local Minneapolis musician. “This is a keyboard town. It’s simplicity. If you listen to a lot of Prince or the Time, it’s simple. It’s direct and straight to the point. And it feels so good.”
With a band to spread the word on the road, Prince was ready, in 1980, to unleash Dirty Mind, his bawdy third album. 1999 wasn’t very far away.
Black Lace Bikini Underwear
Prince does not dress like your average rock star. Not for him the futuristic, stretchy costumes of the Commodores, or the raggedy jeans of the Bruce Springsteen types. He wears bright eye makeup, and his hair seems a cross between Little Richard and neorockabilly styles. He dresses in his own rococo street-kid fashion. Last year, when Prince won an award from a Minneapolis weekly newspaper for Minnesota Musician of the year, he showed up in his most formal clothes — black trench coat and white go-go boots (his acceptance speech: “When do they give the award for the best ass?”).
And he’s been known to perform in nothing but boots and a pair of bikini underpants. It’s quite an act — that lean, almost nude body singing no-holds-barred lyrics. “How come you don’t call me?” he wails in gospel falsetto in one song. “Don’t you wanna play with my tootsie roll?” And he entreats his audiences into the singalong to “Head” — “I’ll give you head, love you till you’re dead.”
It’s sexy, sure — girls screech whenever he tosses black lace bikini underwear into the audience — but it’s also very funny. Teddy Pendergrass, Marvin Gaye and Richard “Dimples” Fields are all out of the same school of seduction, but Prince seems to have been off studying with Mae West, learning high camp and low-rent vamping. He’s developed a great sense of humor, even if he takes his sex-is-liberation politics very seriously. And from the giddy “Gotta Stop Messin’ About” to “Let’s Work,” nobody has so well expressed the exhilarating freedom of adolescent sexual energy since Michael Jackson yelped “I Want You Back.”
“Prince has brought a boldness out of black entertainers again,” says Alexander (O'Neill — there’s a penchant for first names only in this crowd), a Minneapolis singer who fronted an early version of the Time. “Jimi Hendrix and Little Richard —they always dressed bizarre. Now Prince is doing it in a new era. He’s making a lot of entertainers wake up to things. You’re making a statement in life. It’s all about being your own self. Like Prince says, 'It’s all about being free.’”
Why so much sex? someone asked him once. “My songs are more about love than they are about sex,” he answered. “I don’t consider myself a great poet, or interpreter à la Moses. I just know I’m here to say what’s on my mind, and I’m in a position where I can do that. It would be foolish for me to make up stories about going to Paris, knocking off the queen and things of that nature.”
Prince was just seventeen when he co-wrote, with studio owner Chris Moon, the single from his first LP, a song called “Soft and Wet.” Already, they had considered the commercial potential of an innocent sexuality. “That was the original concept,” says Moon, “and it’s stayed true to that. I had a conversation with him on the phone about a year ago, and I said, 'I see you’re still staying with the "Soft and Wet” theme. But you’re making it a little more blatant. What is this I hear about “Head”?’ And he goes, 'Yeah, well, I decided to make it a little more straightforward so that everyone would get it.’“
Everyone does seem to be getting it these days, including Prince’s dad. "When I first played the Dirty Mind album for him,” Prince has said of his father, “he said,'You’re swearing on the record. Why do you have to do that?’ And I said, 'Because I swear.’”
Prince, apparently, is not a character played out in the music. “His persona is Prince, onstage and offstage,” says his friend and personal manager, Steve Fargnoli. “He’s just as outspoken and outrageous offstage, in his business dealings.” But he is shy, Fargnoli adds, and he says what he has to say about his politics and music on his records, not in conversation. And soon, he’ll be saying it all in a movie: Prince has written the film treatment and most of the score for a musical that he’ll also act in. “He is demanding of himself and of everyone who works around him,” says Fargnoli. “You always have to be on your toes. He doesn’t play by the rules.”
The rules he plays by, instead, are his rules. He comes on strong. Is he — with his androgynous look, his royal name and his sex-mad lyrics — scarier to white audiences than Mr. T? Album-oriented radio is certainly skittish about playing Prince, saying that funk doesn’t cut it with their heavymetal-loving listeners. On the other hand, his videos are popular with MTV viewers. Prince’s audience actually seems to be as integrated as that of the old soul stars (Prince’s management company estimates his concert audiences to be forty percent white). People who like, say, James Brown have found Prince, and they like the way he uses elements of rock & roll while keeping an R&B backbone in the music.
And although armchair sociologists might suggest that a really outrageous performer has a better chance of succeeding in conservative times like these and may cite Little Richard’s reign in the Fifties as an example, neither Little Richard nor Prince would have made a dent in the music market without talent. Prince, whose refusal to speak to the press has made him less visible than other musicians, probably is popular in spite of, not because of, his image. After all, he has a following of people caught up in the visceral charge of his music, not an audience of voyeurs.
He can count among his fans John Cougar, who was so impressed on hearing Prince’s “Little Red Corvette” that he started touting Prince to his own concert audiences. Before 20,000 fans in Tulsa, he ran backstage to get his cassette deck, then played a tape of Prince’s hit single into his microphone. For the LP Cougar is producing for Mitch Ryder, the first 45 is likely to be Ryder’s recording of Prince’s “When You Were Mine.” And Cougar has — unsuccessfully, so far — been trying to get a message to Prince: would he sing on Cougar’s new album?
What Time Is It?
Joni Mitchell songs blare out of the PA between the sets of Prince’s road show, at his request. Vanity 6, three women in lacy camisoles, open the concert. “I love lingerie,” explains Vanity, the leader of the group. “I used to sneak into my mother’s closet and try to wear her lingerie to school.” She picked her nickname because “a girl’s best friend is her pride,” she says. Like her cohorts, Brenda and Susan, Vanity gave a demo tape of her songs to Prince a year ago. “He said there were a couple other girls whose minds seemed to run alongside mine,” she says. Prince then arranged to bring Vanity, a twenty-two-year-old former model from Toronto, to Minneapolis to meet the other two, flying Brenda in from Boston. Soon, the three were writing songs like “Drive Me Wild” and “Nasty Girls,” in which Vanity coos, “I can’t control it/I need seven inches or more.”
It all seems a figment of Prince’s imagination, a living fantasy. “Prince and I happen to think alike,” says Vanity. On their record, Vanity 6 is backed by the Time; onstage, they’re followed by the Time (who, in turn, are followed by Prince). At one point in the Time’s set, frontman Morris Day, a terrific dancer, calls out his valet. The valet —who often follows Morris’ own dance steps like a shadow — brings out a table, sets it with a white cloth and a vase of flowers, and uncorks a bottle of champagne. Morris, meanwhile, in his trademark two-tone Stacy Adams shoes, waltzes with a girl chosen from the audience. This sort of classy deportment was the starting point for the Time, as organized by Morris. “The image was cool. That’s the key word,” he says. “That’s what we built the Time around. Cool is an attitude, a self-respect thing.”
Morris didn’t exactly put the group together — all but guitarist Jesse Johnson had been playing around Minneapolis in a band called Flyte Tyme (known familiarly as the Tyme even then). But it is Morris who has led the band to the point where it now often steals the show from the scantily clad Vanity 6 and even from Prince. Morris, the former drummer, has stayed closer to traditional R&B but, by injecting his good humor, has developed one of the best live acts in the country.
Prince, says Morris, helped the band get its Warner Bros. contract in 1981. Asked why the Time shares the same teenage-sex themes as Prince, Morris says, “Sex is present in everybody’s life. I don’t think anybody owns the rights to that.” Asked if Prince influenced their sound, Morris says what Vanity says: “We believe in the same things.” Asked about Jamie Starr, an icy tension descends.
Although Morris Day and one Jamie Starr are credited as producers on the Time’s first record, there is reason to believe that the record was, in fact, produced by Prince. One source very close to the situation says that not only is all the material written by Prince (mysteriously, there are no writing credits on the LP), but that the instruments are played by Prince and the voice is Prince’s doubled with Morris Day’s. This insider claims that the record — a more commercial, more straightforward R&B album — is a project Prince offered Warner Bros. because his own bolder stuff wasn’t selling impressively. So, goes this theory, Prince set the Time in motion — and created a pseudonym, Jamie Starr, for his new project.
Prince did tell a reporter in an early interview with the Minnesota Daily, when he was just seventeen, that someday he would make jazz recordings under an alias. (In that same interview, Prince claimed not to be averse to choreography, but he drew the line at spins — “I get nauseated.”) So the idea of working with a fictitious name had occurred to him at the beginning of his career.
And although Morris says that he and the band wrote the songs on their first LP, The Time, a call to the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), with whom the songs are registered, casts some doubt. The composer of the hits “Get It Up” and “Cool” is Prince Rogers Nelson (with Dez Dickerson on “Cool”), says an ASCAP spokesman. Prince’s manager says that the fact that Prince’s name is registered for the Time’s record is “a filing mistake.”
“Let me clear up a few rumors while I have the chance,” Prince told the Los Angeles Times. “One, my real name is Prince. Two, I’m not gay. And three, I’m not Jamie Starr.”
“Jamie Starr is an engineer, the coproducer of our record. Of course he’s real,” says Morris Day, whose band now outplays whoever it was on the first Time record.
But if there is a Jamie Starr, why can’t he be reached? Manager Steve Fargnoli says it’s because he’s “in and out of Minneapolis,” because he’s “a reclusive maniac” (like Prince) and because “it could be months before I see him,” Can he be reached by phone? “No.”
Well, you wouldn’t need to call him over to Prince’s home studio if he’s already there. “Prince is Jamie Starr”, says former Warner Bros. artist and fellow Minneapolitan Sue Ann (Carwell), who has been a friend of Prince’s for years — ever since he wrote and produced her first demo tape. Others who are close to Prince also say that he is Jamie Starr, but they refuse to be quoted in print. But, says one, “everybody knows who’s the main man behind everything.”
“We could be this Generation’s Yardbirds,” Prince’s guitarist Dez Dickerson boasted to a reporter about the way everybody was splintering off Prince’s musical family tree and making solo records.
Dickerson himself wrote “He’s So Dull” for Vanity 6 and has done some solo recording. André Cymone, since leaving Prince’s band a year and a half ago, has signed a CBS contract and released an LP, Livin’ in the New Wave, on which he plays all the instruments and produces himself. Alexander has released a twelve-inch dance record, “Do You Dare.” Sue Ann, who had a hit in “Rock Me” a few years ago, has finished a new album, Inside Out. And the Time’s bassist, Terry Lewis, and keyboardist, Jimmy Jam, recently wrote and produced a couple of songs for the all-girl group Klymaxx.
“Minneapolis is a mini-Motown”, says Alexander, summing it up. “We’ll have a hell of a lot to do with the musical direction of the Eighties.”
But Minneapolis offers a kind of calm within the music industry, and they all stay on there, honing their acts. And while they’re working, they’re left alone. There’s no chasing limousines there. There aren’t any limousines carrying celebrities to the nightspots.
So nobody made a big deal of it when Prince walked into First Avenue, a club in downtown Minneapolis last summer, a rock club where images of Grand Master Flash, the Human League, the Clash and others flash in montage on the walls. What’s new? somebody asked Prince. Sheepishly, he held up a test pressing of 1999 that he had tucked under his arm. Later on, he asked the DJ to throw his new song, “Delirious,” on the turntable. And then, with his hottest record filling up the enormous room, Prince took Vanity out onto the middle of the dance floor to give his own record the ultimate test. They wiggled around, they strutted, they dipped. And Prince looked happy. It had a good beat. It was easy to dance to.
Prince and Vanity on the cover of Rolling Stone. Photography: Richard Avedon
If anyone ever wonders what would happen if you put Grell, William and Ronald in the same room (which has not been done in the canon, actually), this is what it’d look like. The Trio’s hilarious dynamics on full display.
Please accept this as my humble holiday gift for you all.
So while I’m not really all that interested in the whole scandal campaign, I am certainly finding it entertaining.
While you are a misogynistic pig fueled with racism and prejudice stereotypes you coming after Mellie just made me give you a high five because it is weird, that both exes of the same man are working together in opposition of him. Melilvia is trying to act like they part of the sisterhood of the traveling penis…
Olivia drove me comletely insane and it is safe to say that Olivia is the one that flew over the cuckoo’s nest.While Mellie is on the podium, Olivia is the candidate and look at how she smiles triumphantly when Mellie repeats the words she echoes a second before. She smiles gleefully when she …I mean Mellie answers her questions but when it doesn’t go her way, Olivia pouts and she pouts badly.Olivia didn’t simply just piss me off this episode but I was darn near ready to call her sestra brother to come choke her again or maybe throw her onto to floor she should could wake up from her concussion. But I get it, the last episode Olivia told Jake that “She would win” and that is what she is trying to do.
All is fair in love and war, and with this political Russian Roulette there will be causalities.
After Mellie lost the debate and Susan won, Olivia made a promise that she will get her the White House come Hell or High water….now wait a minute….didn’t Rowan swear the same to Olivia about getting on that plane and leaving Fitz in 3.01
When Olivia said that, I knew right there that Olivia was going to play dirty throughout this episode which would cause me to want to slap her yet at the same time want to hug the crap out of her and sit her down and find the truth to her madness.
I actually loved the scene between Mellie and Olivia for many reasons. Mellie is seeing some….ok…lots of hate and it’s starting to dawn on her (AT LAST) that America hates her….well…I’m not sure how many can fall in love with southern belle Maleficent Grant because she is exactly what she appears to be charmless, cold- vaginaless shrewd, but again because this is scandal and everything is about subtext, this little speech is also about Olivia.
Mellie:America hates me…they hate who I am and where I’ve been, and who I have the audacity to become…they hate me.
While Mellie is having this monologue about America hating her for who she is and who she has the audacity to become; this is not the straw that broke the camels back and by camel I mean Olivia but this moment shared between the two struck Olivia because Olivia hates HERSELF, she hates who she IS (Rowan’s solider, monster) and she hates herself for believeing she could CHANGE. Let’s break this moment down. Olivia does not love herself, she has and is punishing herself for past mistakes and circumstances, why do you think she subjected herself to sex with redacted. Edison referred to Olivia as the monster instead of her father, talk about a burn and bruise to the ego and drop kick to the gut.
Olivia hates who she is, which is a monster.
Olivia seeks her father’s approval thereby unleashing her monster so that she can run free and more importantly point the blame on someone else instead of herself. It is always someone’s fault when it comes to Olivia and her problems, Fitz tried to turn her into his First Lady and trapped her in “the cage” which was smothering her, and Olivia’s actions while they are bad they do not compare to her father because while Olivia is the devil’s spawn she is not the devil and Huck saw that and warned Olivia about her monster showing. In 515 because she was going to destroy Edison who did her a favor and vouched for her character when she was moving forward with her relationship with Fitz, she needed to seek permission from her monster to run wild and destroy a man who at the time was helping Olivia; granted we knew better than to trust what Rowan said fully but what makes Rowan powerful is that their is truth in what he preaches, if Olivia destroyed his career then she would no longer wear her white hat- no longer be Robin Hood. After promising her sestra-brother in a incestous act that I will not discuss, she vowed that “I will win” and that means unleashing her monster because darkness must fight darkness.
Finally, Olivia hates who she is and she hates that when she tried to be better she lost. When Olivia went to Fitz in 422, while it was a band-aid, I truly saw Olivia shine and grow into a person she could say she was proud of or at least being able to face herself in the mirror. People try and knock Olivia but Olivia has grown in leaps and bounds, Olivia faced her fears and admitted to the world that she was the President’s mistress in what could have destroyed his presidency, she went to him and apologized but was silenced by Fitz’s lips pressed delicately on her. Olivia has never experienced a love quite like this before and she never will.
Olivia did an interview professing her love to Fitzgerald Grant, and how she had to own her truth because once it was out there you can’t take it back. Olivia Pope will forever be linked to President Grant (510-camera). While olitz had their issues they were still very much a couple and a functioning one at that before Rowan appeared…which brings us to Olivia hating herself for believing she could change. Remember 510, when Rowan and Olivia were sharing dinner and he told Olivia that she was over-compensating and how Olivia changed the subject to how Fitz was trying to change her and make her into a First Lady, Rowan laughed but it was the same thing he mocked Olivia about in 301.
Rowan laughs and Olivia chuckles but it wasn’t a true laugh because living with Fitz and being with Fitz gave Olivia a taste of life with him and while at the White House it was crazy, hectic, and overall madness they were still together. And with Fitz’s love, Olivia was becoming everything she wanted to be and more.
Olivia was changing into a women who though needed time to heal and work on herself she was evolving. Olivia Pope was developing and changing but when she had her abortion everything she was working for and towards went up in flames; love, family, white hat, and happiness.
Olivia stopped growing and started settling.
Olivia promosing Mellie she was going to win, had me feeling a certain way…
The way Olivia said she would win was alarming and easily drew up a red flag.
Olivia is not winning this election for Mellie she is winning this for herself, but what exactly is Olivia fighting so desperately for? Is Olivia fighting for self-respect, diginity, pride, and the answer is yes. Olivia is fighting for all these but their is one key reason missing…and that is to say that she is not the fool everyone has made her out to be (Rowan, Jake) that she did not lose everything (Fitz, family, stability, happiness) for nothing. Because Olivia has destroyed everything in her life she needs to have something that she can claim, something to say it was all for, she needs a win.
If I don’t get to be some soccer dad in Vermont, then I need this all to have a point . I need this all to mean something. That seal. This office. It has to mean something. I’ve lost too much. I’ve given up too much. I’m not even a person any more. I am a statue. A monument.
This is where Olivia is at. Olivia is not a person anymore she’s a monster and while we know she is not, that is what she is telling herself.
EEEKKK….I’m so glad I was able to use a Heda gif! Okay..fangirl aside.
Blood must have blood. When Olivia grabbed that folder and started going to work you could see the different mind set she was in. Olivia has tried to be good, she has tried wearing the white hat and it got her nowhere but lonely, bitter and dissappointed. To put this in layman terms, Olivia is simply tired of losing, and honestly who can blame her (although she has created most of her own destruction) everytime she believes she will come out on top, her father always manages to win, always one step ahead of her, and it’s just like what she told Huck.
Can we talk about irony, everyone’s moral compass is off centered except for Susan’s baby daddy because he is aware of the lives at stake; Casey’s.
Ronnie was such a wonderful contrast to Olivia’s own prisonment. Throughout the episode, I wondered who was in prison and who was actually free. Olivia loses her shit when Ronnie says he won’t do that to Susan and Casey… he “won’t do that to the lives he cares about”
Olivia doesn’t take kindly to the man willing giving up his freedom from others…hence…monster Liv.
Olivia: This is your chance to leave this place- to get out of here for good. This is your chance and you are wasting it.”
Wow, Scandal kills me with the subtext, and the irony of the situation. Here you have Ronnie caged and literally in prison yet he is somehow freer than Olivia. Olivia is not looking at Ronnie, she is looking at herself.
Olivia is urging Ronnie to do whatever it takes to get out of here, she is his chance at freedom and instead of taking it he would rather take the high road.What Olivia is actually saying is that Ronnie is what she believes her chance at freedom.
This is where things get a little complex, Ronnie tells Olivia that the President-his Susie will get him out of here and if not he’s on his way out in 3 years but Olivia shuts him down
Olivia: Do you honestly think the President of the United States will have anything to do with you Ronnie? You are protecting someone who doesn’t even remember you. She squahsed you like a bug 11 years back. She doesn’t think about you. She doesn’t visit you. She doesn’t care about you.
My interpreation of Olivia’s monolgue is that she feels abandoned. Fitz doesn’t want anything to do with her and she made sure of that. In 510 she calls the WH and she get’s denied, when she shows up at the WH, Fitz made it clear that Olivia no longer gets to tell him what to do. Olivia, was protecting Fitz: defiance, daddy threatening to murder him, amanda tanner, impeachment- yes Olivia takes matters into her own hands but when it comes down to it, she will protect Fitz because she loves him and she truly sees his worth but Olivia feels neglected, and abandoned. She did all this for Fitz and he doesn’t even remember her. *sidenote don’t think for a second that Olivia didn’t notice Lizzy running to Susan with the phone in her hand, and yes Olivia knew who was on the otherline, ouch.
This is where the monologue gets somewhat complex because Olivia is not just talking about one person or one sitatution but a composition including her parents who have held her prisoner since she was 12 years old, her mom doesn’t think about her, her father isn’t really her father; nobody that she loves visits her or even cares about her.
Olivia is falling apart and dejectedly she feels nobody can help her and nobody wants to.
Olivia is on something serious right now. I seriously want to know if Olivia has taken her meds because there is a problem when Huck is trying to stop you from jumping off the cliff. Olivia is not worried about ruining a little girls life because her life was ruined as a little girl; she is not thinking with her heart or head but she is smelling and she is smelling blood.
Olivia keeps telling herself that Ronnie is her ticket to freedom, he is her escape from prison but when will the moment dawn on Olivia that he is not her enemy- he is not the one in need of saving-she is.
Quinn finally listening to Huck and seeing that their beloved mother of Gladiators has turned into the mother of darkness. Olivia has gone off the rocker and so she phones Abby.
Olivia can’t find her place in this world anymore and because of that she is all over the place but worst of all Olivia has lost all faith, which leads us to Fitz. Once again restoring Olivia’s faith in doing the right thing.
Abby needs a FUCKING medal better yet Fitz needs to give her the purple heart because Abby is slaying! Once Abby saw how serious Quinn was she knew exactly who to call to bring Olivia off the ledge. Abby was the beast and she is my girl.
Excuse me, sir…Can I keep it real with you?!?
When Fitz was being the man of the hour and being a complete dork yet utterly sexy, Fitz had me like.
And the minute he opened his pretty mouth, all I could say was.
While Olivia has lost her way, Fitzgerald Grant is finding his.
Fitz saw Susan messing up in the debate and he called her and asked her if she was having fun and not to worry because she will win it. It seems like to me fitz is showing Susan how he wished his campaign would have gone, he doesn’t want to discourage her the way his father did but Fitz wants Susan to have fun and enjoy what she is doing right now.
Fitz has been Susan’s coach and mentor and I LOVE IT! Fusan (KP named them) is far greater and superior to Mellivia because they have an actual relationship where they respect one another and it’s not this commensalism sort of relationship.
So many are vying for the oval; the power that comes with ruling the world, but none of them are truly equipped and undestand just what it takes to get this office. The oval comes with sacrifices that Fitz knows all to well, which is why he stressed it to Jake but more importantly to Susan.
When Fitz sat Susan down and told her about his story, how he did not earn this presidency, how it was stolen for him but most of all Fitz told Susan how he hopes she will not end up like him.
Fitzgerald Grant, you are EVERYTHING and my goodness the light that you are is shining bright even during the darkness. And Baby you earned this Presidency and it was and is your birth-right…I don’t want to see Fitz leave the oval the same way, I don’t want President Obama.
While Olivia has lost her white hat ; Fitz’s white hat has never shine brighter. Fitz is owning up to his setbacks and mistakes, he’s tired of being told what to do and how to think. The White House has made Fitz more jaded-naturally but he is still the man we all feel in love with but he’s more realistic about the sacrifices it takes to obtain ‘The crown jewel of the American Prison system’. Which brings up another point …
Fitz: I’m serving out my sentence in the crown jewel of the America (202)
Olivia and Fitz are both prisoners of their own world, the only difference is that Fitz is looking through and Olivia is looking out. It makes perfect sense for Fitz to come and save Olivia because how many times has she saved him? When Olivia ran to the White House (being self-righetous jealous about Fitz sleeping with other woman) she saw where Fitz was going and where Fitz was heading. Fitz knows it is not easy to change your habits that are herediatry but Fitz is also aware that they are not their father’s keepers.
Fitz does the right thing which is going to Olivia and talk to her because she has done the same for him many times.
That is love people, Olivia has felt abandoned and her real family coming up with this intervention shows just how much they love her. But because Olivia is stubborn and conceded she ain’t haven it.
Not going to lie but I loved the pettyness between Olitz.
Abby and Quinn were chill’n on the sidelines being nosy, and trying to ease drop on their convo. But one minute I have to rewind… When Olivia was walking into OPA she was all smiles, she saw Abby…still smiling but a little confused and then she saw SSA and Olivia knew daddy was here and she was in trouble.
Olitz, they really know how to hurt you but in the right way. Fitz was standing their looking all kinds of scrumptious as he waits for Olivia in her office. Fitz has been in OPA but never has he been in Olivia’s office. While Fitz has always known Olivia to be the smartest person in the room, I think it really struck him that he is really seeing OPA, that he is seeing the layers she has hidden from him, he looks around the room quickly, taking it all in- taking all of Olivia in good and bad.
Olivia quickly walked behind her desk creating space between her and Fitz because she is still clearly affected by his proxomity. Olivia was dropping pheromones like she was willing to drop them panties. When Fitz brings up Ronnie, Olivia is suprised, angry that he knew and Fitz was shocked by Olivia’s actions in which Fitz tells Olivia he came over to give Olivia some advice even though the other person didn’t ask for it, since they do that now.
When Olivia agrees to “keeping it real” she chuckles shortly, not exactly sure how she out of all people can keep it real with Fitz when she is currently keeping from him a big secret.
Fitz decides to keep it real and Olivia can’t miss this oppurtunity to tease Fitz and tell him, whoever told him that “needs to be fired” but you can see that Olivia is actually pleased to see Fitz or at least at first she was until Fitz had to sit her down and tell her that ‘her crazy’ was showing.
Fitz: What matters is that you are back to your same old dirty tricks. How are you not tired of them?
Yes, I knew Olitz was going to be petty and I was just waiting for this moment to happen and it was glorious and true! Olivia is back to her old calculating games and Fitz is simply suprised how she is keeping up with this old crap.
Olivia when she realized why Fitz truly came to OPA.
Olivia was happy to see Fitz until he started talking about the campaign and her being back to her old tricks, which Olivia countered by saying that is exactly what Fitz is doing right now with her. Fitz’s isn’t here to see Olivia, this is what she is telling herself.
Olivia: It’s not like you showed up here, with your charming smile and your cute little sayings-pretending to give me some advice, trying to shame me into not using the same information that will sink your candidate or anything. You’re so above playing games aren’t you Fitz.
Wow! Talk about a rant. My goodness, I am not sure how anyone can’t see that this woman has got it bad for Fitz, and can we take this moment and appreciate that Olivia admitted that Fitz has a charming smile and that she likes his cute little sayings that make her feel all warm inside and that she believes Fitz is trying to manipulate her because he knows what he does to her.
When Lizzy runs off to hand Susan the phone did anyone see the look on Olivia’s face…that’s right Olivia knew who was on the phone and who Fitz was calling to talk to.
Olivia is one crazy, jealous, sexually frustrated woman and Fitz ain’t helping her situation.
While Olivia is not thinking clearly and seeing everyone as the enemy, at least she is still able about to think about the anaconda and her girl parts that beated with her pulse when he was in her office…back to petty.
Fitz: I suppose if there were ever any manipulation going on, you would be the first to recognize it.
I have been saying this for some time but Fitz was due to clap back Olivia because everyone and their mama has clapped Olivia- Rowan, Jake, Huck, Quinn, Mellie…Nobody has been more deserving than Fitz to put Olivia in her place and boy did he give Olivia a verbal and figurative ass whoop’n.
Olivia with her self-righteous ass has the nerve to say that Susan is a liar and that she lied to him; Fitz.
How can Olivia talk about anyone lying to Fitz when she is keeping the biggest secret from him, yes it’s her body and her choice but still. Olivia you really need to think about your own actions and stop trying to place the blame on others.
Then Olivia brings up FItz believing in Mellie at some point because otherwise why did he marry her or have children with her…Olivia you do remember what Fitz said on the campaign trail right…
Seeing that they aren’t going anywhere Fitz opens up to Olivia and tells her the truth that he’s trying to be better, which Olivia knocks. At last he tells Olivia that he wants Susan to earn this presidency, that he doesn’t want what happened to him to fall on her because when Fitz looks at Susan he sees himself in her- the person he was before the world came falling at his feet, and the person he wanted to be; good, clean, unscathed by the corruption and deceit that comes with politics.
Fitz is finding in Susan a person to look up to and admire, a person who is trying to be better.
Olivia is trying to play it cool and pretend that Fitz didn’t affect her but he did and he does.
Fitz is saying everything that Olivia needs to hear and feel. This is their chance to right their wrongs- this is their chance to fix the things that were once broken- this is their chance at redeeming themselves- this is their chance at freedom.
Olivia and Fitz are not those people anymore, they have changed and evolved and learned from their mistakes. Fitz doesn’t have to go around and be the victim and Olivia doesn’t have to be the monster anymore; they can just be Livvy and Fitz.
This entire episode Olivia has been looking for her exit, her chance at freedom and at that moment you can see that Olivia knew what her real freedom will consist of, which is to be tied to this beautiful man standing right in front of her.
While Fitz spoke to Olivia’s heart it didn’t change her frame of mind because Olivia has gotten to the point where she isn’t sure who is her enemy and who is her friend. And to be fair, Olivia should be conflicted about what is real and what is not. Last episode Rowan pulled at her heartstrings telling her that if she buried Edison then she would be just like him and that he would hate for Olivia to try and be something she is not. Everytime Olivia tries to do the right thing she falls and falls miserably. Yes, Fitz is here and it is everything she wanted it to be but she can’t shake this feeling that this is all a ploy used to make her lose once again. I really want to hug Olivia because she clearly is moved by Fitz and she so desperately wants to run to him but if she does then will he run away or was it all just a dream.
I want to make this clear that Olivia was going to go through with her actions of destroying Susan but when Ronnie commited sucide because of her…while she was upset and saw that she has gone too far, Olivia wasn’t too upset but she knew she needed help which is why she ask Quinn for a favor, and Quinn called Abby who then delievered the person she needs more than ever; Fitz.
Olivia was waiting for Fitz to show up for her, she was looking at the window holding breath until she saw him enter her building. Fitz showed up for Olivia because he loves her and he knows what it feels like to be the product of a monster.
Olivia talks and tells Fitz she wants to win this campaign desperately but that she wants to do it the honorable way- something they both believed in at one time.
Olivia thought that darkness must fight darkness but Fitz is proof that even through the darkess days, light can still shine through regardless of how small the crack may be. The light can overcome the darkness.
Fitz asked Olivia if her drink in the corner was scotch and she corrects him.
Fitz gives Olivia the look that we have all given her this episode: Do Better.
Olivia actually smiles- a real smile and you can see that Olivia is trying to keep herself together but she is geniuely happy to be here with him in her office. She smiles softly because she is kinda agreeing with Fitz subtly that she could do better which she subtly admits that she could and should, but this moment is organic and natural- their aren’t cameras, their aren’t people watching (besides Abby and Quinn, SSA) it’s just Olivia and Fitz. It doesn’t matter where they are at, they will always find the other.
The entire time Fitz is walking and talking, Olivia’s eyes never leave his because he is here and he’s real. ‘Sunny’ plays a song that has been played before but not by the same artist but interestingly though both times this song has been played it was during an imagintive place and circumstance. Dreaming comes easily to Olivia because it’s all that she knows and has- she dreamt of her parents, the family she never had but oh so deserves, and she dreamt of a peaceful life where she could be with Fitz finally. The dreams she once thought were possible she can’t find. Which makes that final scene all the more sweeter. In 401, while with Jake on a island was a fantasy , and in 410 when she dreamed of her perfect Fantasy that encompasses her and Fitz in Vermont alone and away from all those who wish to keep them parted.
There is a reason for this song and the lyrics following their actions because Fitz standing there in front of her is Olivia’s dream but only this time it’s real. Fitz appears to Olivia like a dream and he truly is the manifestation of her dreams; her world has and is falling apart yet when she looks at him she see’s the truth. Fitz loves Olivia for who she is. Through the darkness, Fitz is her beacon of light, slowly guiding her home.
While on the road to self- actualization Olivia got lost along the way, but fortunately her family came through for her and showed her the right path to carry on her journey; this does not mean that Olivia is saved but that she is able to see who is real and true and who is not.
Everyone is moving on and moving towards being and doing better. Olivia feels rejected that she can’t turn to anyone because the people she loves have left her; her family abandoned her yet it was her real family that came through for her. That is love. Quinn, Huck, Abby and Fitz are all trying to be better and move on but as they have been moving forward they saw that they lost Olivia along the way. They could have let her go down with the devil’s thunder but that’s not what family does- that’s not what love does. Fitz picked Olivia up and dusted her off and told her that she was okay and that they can work on being better together and separately.
Olivia saved Fitz countless times and it was time that Fitz saved Olivia from her self.
Can we talk about Olivia kinky-with a bit of freaky Pope eye fucking Fitz. Fitzgerald Grant made Olivia’s lady bits quiver and to be honest- mine too. I’m not sure who’s girl-parts trembled more mine or Olivia’s but the entire time Olivia was looking at Fitz like:
And guess what I don’t blame her! I have been saying this for a while but the split was good and truly for the best. Olivia needs to work on herself and find who she is and who she wants to be and Fitz needed to do the same, but the beauty of these two is that regardless of the distance between them, they will always find their way back to each other because soul mates always do.
Olivia gave up on wearing the white hat and generally speaking she gave up on being the person she wanted to be but with her light back and his love shining like the sun he is. Fitz is guiding Olivia along her journey home.
Sunny: “ My life was torn like a windblown sand, And the rock was formed when you held my hand. Sunny one so true, I love you “
How perfect was it that, the episode ended with Olivia staring at Fitz as the song says the words Olivia feels ‘Sunny, one so true, I love you’.
Olivia doesn’t know who she is and who she wants to be, but at this very moment she’s with Fitz and that is more than okay with her.
*Sidenote= I’ve said this for months about Olitz falling in love on the trail, how the trail would take them back to the start, to the moment where they first met and how both of them knew that they would never love another person the way they love each other. Because I had a feeling about them reconnecting on the trail, I wrote a story-it might be a one-off, not to sure but it is here and you should read. P.S it was written before this episode so if you see this similarites that is total coincidence.