I was pretty intimidated. Prince was trying to make me at ease. He wrote on a piece of paper: W-R-E-C-K-A-S-T-O-W. He said, “What’s that?” I don’t know. He said, “Say it again.” He said, “Say it faster. What is it?” I said, “I don’t know.” He said, “Where do you buy your records?” I was just this suburban Norwegian coming into that whole thing. We all laughed, and that kind of broke the ice. He ended up putting that bit into a movie [“Under the Cherry Moon”].
Rock star Prince and +250 friends held a purple masquerade at the Prom Center in St. Paul to celebrate his 27th brirthday. Prince flew in people from all over the United States, said Harry Givens, owner of the Prom Center. "It’s great,“ Givens said. "It’s a masquerade and the ballroom’s never been decorated like this in my 30 years." An estimated $20,000 was spent on the party to create a “carnival atmosphere”.
Inside were giant spiral purple staircases, two big brass beds, glittery booths, candies everywhere, mirrors, mannequins, international food stations, pinball machines and even Pee Wee Herman, according to one guest.
Security was unusually tight and the press wasn’t allowed inside.
• A Love Bizzare - w/
Eddie M. (sax), Sheila E. (drums)
Prince And The Revolution open the show with the first public performance of "A Love Bizarre”, which would see release over two months later on Sheila E’s “Romance 1600” album.
• Mutiny - Prince (bass), St Paul Peterson (vocals), Susannah Melvoin (vocals), Eric Leads (sax), Eddie M (sax), Jerome Benton (vocals), Sheila E (drums)
Another new song follows as Prince and The Revolution are joined by St. Paul Peterson, Susannah Melvoin and Jerome Benton from The Family for an over 14 minute version of their song “Mutiny”. St. Paul sings lead on this performance. The Family’s album would not see release until September of that year, so this was another new song to those in attendance.
• Sheila E drum solo
• Sometimes It Snows In April - Prince, Wendy, Lisa, Sheila E.
This song would not see release for almost another year, on the “Parade” album in March, 1986. The song is a work in progress at this point as Prince sings the first two lines of the song, then it becomes an instrumental performance.
• Irresistable Bitch - Prince and The Revolution + Eddie M. & Eric Leeds on sax
The first familiar song of the night starts a 30 minute non-stop funk marathon
• Possessed • The Bird • Drawers Burnin
“Possessed” then runs into a brief workout on The Time’s “The Bird” featuring Jerome Benton helping with the chants. This leads into the seemingly improvised “Drawers Burnin’”, a hilarious song with Prince singing in his ‘Morris Day voice’ and Benton again backing him up on the chant. This song has also been referred to as “Burn It” in the past.
• Holly Rock -
Prince & the Revolution + Sheila E (timbales) Eddie M & Eric Leeds (sax)
The night closes with a 13 minute version of "Holly Rock". Again a debut as this song would not be released until September on the “Krush Groove” soundtrack
Prince (vox, bass), Bobby Z. (drums), Brown Mark (bass), Wendy (guitar), Lisa (keyboards), Dr. Fink (keyboards)
*Guest(s) Sheila E. (vox, drums), Jerome Benton (vox), Susannah Melvoin (vox), St. Paul (vox), Eddie M. (sax), Eric Leeds (sax)
St. Paul, Susannah, Eric, & Jellybean are back together for the much anticipated follow up to their 1985 self-titled debut! The track list for Gaslight is as follows:
Drummers & Healers
Over The Canyon
When You Go
Last House On The Block
Having heard tracks 1, 2, 3, 5, part of 4, 6 & 7, and 10, I can assure you it’s as new as it is familiar. They’ve inked deals in the U.S. and the U.K. for store wide distribution in September. For me, I’m picking up a hard copy or three.
Unfortunately, because of costs, and other factors, Clare Fisher hasn’t returned to do strings on the album. But don’t underestimate Paul’s ability to put some silk on this record! The true musicianship and songwriting abilities of these people so evident (and I think often underrated) on this record, if on no other record before. They are sweet people, and know the fans are ready to partake. Seriously - BUY IT! You will not be disappointed! Wendy & Lisa play on the album, as does Susannah’s husband Doyle Bramhall, II (the solo you hear on “Drummers and Healers” is one I watched him do - IN ONE TAKE! TRUTH!) “Leeds Line” is the expected, and funky ass, instrumental, highlighting Eric’s horn playing. “The Vigil” will move you to tears - one of the most tender, and emotional ballads I’ve ever heard come from Minneapolis.
If you’re a Prince fan, and/or a fan of The Family, I can’t see why you wouldn’t buy this CD when it drops.
PS For those that don’t know, The Family was formed after The Time broke up in 1984, during Purple Rain. Left over members Jellybean Johnson, Jerome Benton, and St. Paul were put together with Wendy’s (of Wendy & Lisa) twin sister (and Prince’s then-girlfriend) Susannah, and Eric Leeds, to form The Family. 26 years later, the reformed (sans Jerome), and write this fucking fantastic album. The Family first recorded “Nothing Compares 2 U” in 1985, way before that bald chick got her paws on it. 8 years after it’s initial release, Prince finally recorded his own (live) version and released it on The Hits/The B-Sides in 1993.
I can’t begin to tell you how much I’ve waited, longed for, and down right coveted the release of this album. It’s just that good.