Two sides to every story One man’s gloom is another man’s glory Sun to a shadow, rose to a thorn There ain’t no fury like a woman scorned Prince – …
Soundtracks of my life PT #2
My 21 Greatest Prince moments
In honor of my favorite all time singers glorious life I put together my best memories.
- Meeting him briefly in person. Prince headlined the Jam of the year tour in 1997 at the Ervin J Nutter center in Dayton Ohio. I worked at 94.5 FM at the time and was able to secure tickets and get backstage. I had been wanting to see Prince since I was a teen but something always seemed to get in my way but ironically for my first concert I was mainly backstage. I saw the show briefly from the side stage which was still awesome even though I wished could have watched it in its entirety. I had the opportunity to kick it with another legend Miss Aaliyah herself who opened the show and we sat and talked and took pictures. I admit I flirted hard with the R&B queen and don’t apologize even though I took a date. My date was merely a good friend I liked to take to shows so she didn’t mind. She liked Aaliyah also. After scoring some contact numbers I lost my date and wanted to meet Prince. Low and behold I found her ironically in a backroom full of Prince female fans all crowded around him. Besides the security I was the only male so was quite a bit awkward. Prince was perched on a makeshift throne in the sea of lovely ladies, gold outfit on, those crazy heeled boots. I waded through groupieland and found myself right in front of him, I remembered was odd meeting one of my favorite all time performers in such a profound matter. I did all the talking as it seemed the girls were feeding him grapes but that could have been part of the surreal-ness. I stammered out “Hi Prince, great to meet you. Really big fan! I have all your records!” The Purple one hiked his heels up and nodded at me, gave me that well known half smile, half smirk as he knew he ruled all Gotham. He mouthed out a barely audible ‘Thank you’ and we shared a moment of awkward silence as I swear they pushed grapes in his mouth. I semi talked to him and my starstruck date who had happily joined in the groupie cult, “Hey, you ready to go, didn’t even see you in all this.” I motioned around with a bit of sarcasm that he seemed to get a laugh out of. Everyone knew as feminine he could dress and come off as, he could still take your girl. I was cool, I had Aaliyah numbers and my companion had sat on his lap and probably some females lap, was all good. There was talk of after parties which never evolved but that was a very interesting evening indeed.
- Actually catching a full show. In 2000 I was working at 92.1 FM and he was coming to the Cincinnati Music Hall. Still couldn’t afford a show but as luck would have it a co-worker had scored tickets but something came up and they couldn’t attend. They knew I was a fan and offered the tickets. I couldn’t say no! I knew from previous failed attempts you had to take advantage if the right opportunity presented itself. Plus I had lamented about not seeing the full Nutter Center show or any when I was younger. My girlfriend for some odd reason wasn’t a fan so I took one of my buddies and he drove. The show goes down as one of the best overall performances I’ve ever seen in my lifetime amongst Sade, Janet Jackson, the Roots and Public Enemy.
- Recording “Do Me Baby” with all it’s sexual energy, screaming, simulated sex romp at the influential pubescent age of twelve on a cassette tape to play over and over. “Do Me Baby” reeled me in.
- I was sold the first time I heard the synthesized riffs and hard drum loops with a robotic beast bellowing “Don’t Worry I won’t hurt u, I only want u 2 have some fun” of “1999”. That album proved to be a beast itself as every single track jammed!!! The album was a pure party starter front to back setting the standard. Was my first vinyl purchase ever!
- Purple Rain in the theater.
- Hearing “If I was your Girlfriend” wicked groove emulating from a packed car of friends and having to buy “Sign of the Times” immediately. Became my favorite Prince CD another front to back masterpiece.
- Getting my first speeding ticket to “Hot Thing” after mashing the gas to impress passing by females.
- Jamming “1999” when my oldest daughter was born in 1999.
- Attempting an embarrassing simulation of ‘The Beautiful Ones” to be ‘sexy’ for a girlfriend. FAIL! Lol
- Doing a skit to “Let’s Go Crazy” with a buddy in school. We practiced the song over and over until we went crazy with bleeding ears!
- In Chicago a girl I worked with was so hell bent to see the Artist she would sleep with whoever helped score tickets. I was only happy to oblige! 🙂
- Hearing “Erotic City” in a coffee shop! Wait what? Everybody was rocking Prince extensive catalog at time of his death.
- Making a bomb slow jam mixtape from his catalog.
- Experiencing “Another Lonely Christmas”.
- Laughing at my boy performing a Prince routine for a talent show complete with just a trench coat and briefs.
- Watching Julia Roberts sing “Kiss” in that hot tub in Pretty Woman. Her sexiest look.
- “Sometimes it Snows in April” in Spike Lee’s “Girl 6”, yeah I can dig good romance.
- Doing the “Jungle Love” and “The Bird” (Prince off-shot crew The Time) with a gang of females.
- Getting to know the very cool Maneca Lightner, poster girl for Prince’s Madhouse instrumental band. She used to model and be a burlesque dancer! Now she works with children. 🙂
- In the 35+ years absorbing Prince tunes certain philosophies and lessons seep into your consciousness. His music itself ran the gamut of funk, pop, rock, jazz, blues, etc. etc. he could just not be pigeonholed which was a force unto itself. Prince taught us life lessons in standing up for what you believe in, fair rights for artists, erasing racial and gender boundaries, sociability, sexuality and just downright being the unique being you want to be.
- Some lessons took a minute to sink in. As previously mentioned ‘1999” rocked from front to back. At pubescence I originally didn’t care for ‘Free’ as it was ‘boring’ and seemed out of place. It took me about five years later when we debated using the song for our graduation and facing the world that the message of the song started to take hold. It was recently after numerous wars, the fight with terror, many of our leaders and peers passing away that this song really hit home as we thank God for our blessings “Be glad that you are free, free to change your mind, free to go ‘most anywhere, anytime, Be glad that you are free there’s many a man who’s not, be glad for what you had baby, what you’ve got, be glad for what you’ve got.” This was the start of his social conscious movement and eventually his philanthropy that backed up his vocals. The very definitive of ironic, his compelling words will live on for entirety and remind us how lucky we are as inhabitants of this earth and that he was here to share it with us. Thank you Prince, we got it.
Dave Chappelle came out of hiding recently to promote his new Radio City tour and surprised the world by wearing a suit. Not just any suit, a nice classy designer suit at that, i.e. Dolce Gabbana, Brooks Brothers type when he interviewed with Dave Letterman on June 11th, 2014. http://youtu.be/6wTa4lpyz6Q
People did not know who he was when he arrived.
You see, for the last 20+ years Dave’s uniform has been pretty basic tee-shirts, jeans, sneaks, the occasional hat. We know Dave when we see him on the small screen, films, stages, at the Seven-11 getting a drink, he’s always the same. A suit? Didn’t realize he even owned one, even with all the riches he has amassed being one of the world’s most beloved but reclusive comedians living out in Ohio away from the limelight. Probably a closet full of sneaks, I can see that, probably a gizzillion tee shirts, I can see that. Designer suits? Crickets chirping comes to mind. If he had arrived in a Cosplay costume it would have been less surprising, questionable, but not as confounding.
What really sets Chappelle out from the pack of professional and amateur comedians is his realness, Dave is that funny ass kid that lives down the street that keeps you in stitches just seeing him. His simple facial/body reactions to situations results in hysteria, a roll of the eyes leaves audiences convulsing in laughing fits. Joke wise his comedic timing is impeccable, his pitch solid, its hard to tell what is scripted and what isn’t, it’s a natural feeling when watching him, he is the genuine thing. Why his legacy is so endearing.
It doesn’t surprise anyone his comedic plateau is still on the same elevated level. Yes, he ditched is beloved variety show ‘Chappelle’s Show’ way back in 2006, he hasn’t appeared in a film or television show since 2003 (Yes! Long time!), with a handful of stand up films and hosting a concert series, he hasn’t done shit on camera – but the audience still clamors for him like he is still on top of his game! His recent stage tour – sold out quickly even with high prices; coming in only second to Jerry Seinfield is a testament to his endurance. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jesselawrence/2014/06/17/dave-chappelle-tickets-for-nyc-run-second-most-expensive-comedy-tour-of-2014/
Dave is our dude, we respect him as a person and give well wishes for his need for privacy, at the same time we would love to have the opportunity to party with this man. As Chappelle spoke to James Lipton ‘Inside the Actors Studio’ “The higher up I went, the less happy I was. Once you get famous, you can’t get unfamous. You can get infamous, but you can’t get unfamous.”
Such the curse of stardom, but in perspective; Dave our buddy next door, now donning tailored suits in 2014 looking more ‘Miami Vice’ than ‘Half Baked’ has matured into a wiser more knowledgeable father of three who lives on a farm – albeit we believe he can handle it.
Dave obviously loves to make people laugh, and now can do it on his own terms.
Can he be the force that changes the industry? Is he the poster child for talented people to avoid selling there soul for the sake of ratings and riches? Can you make that bling and still be a champion for the masses? Does their have to be so much pressure to bridge the fence or can we just enjoy his talent? You only live once right?
Dave in the tailored suit, hamming it up with Dave, and Jimmy, marketing his latest tour, he looked at home.
Dave recently went back to ‘Inside the Actors Studio’ and this time, he interviewed its famous host and dean, James Lipton – albeit in trademark jeans and a tee, he looked at home. http://youtu.be/cT7KWNGjMrM
Comparing the events, he echos the all time late night champ, Johnny Carson. Yes, I said it, the man every late night host looks up to, tries to emulate, tries to catch his very essence of being.
This could be his calling to continue his craft and cement his legacy. At the same time hold onto his sense of autonomous lifestyle with his family.
Even with all of the celebrity surrounding late night show hosts, who are all basically graduated comedians per say; they still don’t command the comparable scrutiny of tabloids such as TMZ, EW, and worse such as the Enquirer that falls upon our favorite movie stars. Yeah, sure Dave Letterman may stir up a bit of controversy with a mistook joke, or surprise, he has a wife and child – but no where the same frenzy of Tom Cruise or Angelina Jolie acting as a flawed human being we all are, and doing something deemed surprising that the tabloids attack upon.
The disturbed reporter who tried to kiss Will Smith and fondle Brad Pitt, he doesn’t harass Jimmy Kimmell or Seth Meyers. Meyers can go camping with his family in relative autonomy, he just happened to publish his own selfie’s about auto trouble.
The current talk of the country; Fallon was semi-successful in film but has blossomed into a credible talent hosting late night entertainment. While his boyish charm can be a bit offsetting when he gushes like a groupie over some of his interviews, it’s his variety skits that seal his infamy; molded directly from the SNL camp; perfect fodder for Youtube excerpts, news quotes and office chatter. Perfect for Fallon to build and keep his audience, good news for network executives to maintain a healthy rating share and retain advertisers.
Chapelle in comparison busted through the ionosphere with his own branded comedy variety show. The Chapelle Show broke records for a cable network and shot Dave from an indie favorite to the limelight. Why fans remain patient and anxiously await his return. Why he can command upwards of $200 for show tickets after years of silence. Not even Chris Tucker can pull that.
A Chappelle takeover of late night couldn’t even be compared with the recent demise of another comedian’s return to talk show form. Only comparison Chappelle would have with Arsenio Hall is that they are of the same race and would guarantee a high percentage of the urban audience. Other than that, their comedic styles are world’s apart. That would be like comparing the same audience as Fallon vs Steven Colbert who will be bowing in to challenge the former in 2015 when Letterman retires. Two different styles, same generic 18-49 audience the shows are targeted too, we will see how the tide flows once it begins.
A Chappelle late night talk show would dominate for several aspects:
*He is widely considered one of the best comedic forces of a generation. Even in seclusion his popularity has not waned. Through the web and DVD’s he gets passed on to the younger generation.
*His comedic skits catapulted him to infamy. Even with limited room on a talk-show format, his skits alone would be enough for rabid fans to tune in with record numbers and massacre the competition.
*His stand-up demands attention, regardless of maturity, his insane spontaneous bursts, his relatable take on the world @large, his visual aesthetics, his agreeable take on race, culture, politics – audiences love and support him. Regardless of a few naysayers who have hated on him, their malfunction stems probably from their disappointment of not having them bowing down to their beck and call.
*Dave is relatable. A grounded individual, as said, the zany guy next door. Black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Indian, he’s our boy, our buddy. Why people believe he’s approachable, why he’s easy to talk too even if he’s cracking jokes on you. Dave has midwest roots, we’re everyday everyman out here. You see Dave at the gas station, long as you don’t approach him like a psycho and be cool he’ll be cool with you.
Being accessible, his persona supports captivating interviews. To ham it up with celebrities and influential people, evoke classic conversational pieces, pulling out emotions in a relaxed state, Dave has all the possibilities to channel Carson. He already has great taste in artists, expand on it.
*Dave could rest on his legendary status already. Within a short 10-year span he went from the bottom to the top, his stand-up and show sealed his fate. He’s touched the new generation through word of mouth and the ever-present media, dvd’s, Tivo, Youtube, Vimeo, Vevo, etc; etc; If a comedian can keep the same status by NOT doing anything – imagine the frenzy he would leave with a another daily gig.
*Best for him, with his net worth and legend status he can write his own ticket. If a network wants him, they better beg, roll, over and take a treat. Yes, they would have to be his bitch. He has that clout, the money bag advertisers know this, networks knows this, Dave knows this. They don’t want him to walk again, the contract will be solid, no BS, lay it on the table. That table has turned, he is driving now.
Which leads too, whatever he decides to do, whatever official comeback, whatever will top what he’s already accomplished; is he planning an official comeback or he goes J.D. Saligner on us again and retreats back to his safe haven. Stand-up is his roots, his tree of life, but any comedian knows to be up there with the greats such as Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, Seinfield, one must keep building, keep being in the public eye, keep relevant. Kevin Hart is milking this right now, little man is everywhere and is reaping the benefits. On the other side Kat Williams had a few issues, fell out of the spotlight, and will understandably have a long road to return to his previous popularity.
That’s life in the public eye, if you answered your calling and achieved it, how you deal with it after you reach a certain plateau is how the world will forever remember you. If bucking the spotlight one of the most noblest things is to give back to society, be a philanthropist, a mentor, support a cause and embrace it. If you still want sold out shows when you’re in your 70’s like Cosby, keep working.
Note**CBS is currently holding the fate of the Late Late Show featuring Craig Ferguson in its hands. The comedian has announced his retirement as of Dec. 2014. No replacement has been announced. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/style-blog/wp/2014/04/28/craig-ferguson-announces-he-will-leave-late-late-show-in-dece
Dave Letterman’s production company, Worldwide Pants, was holding the fate of its two premiere shows but CBS pulled its mega power and immediately announced Stephen Colbert would be taking over Letterman’s Late Show when he retires early 2015. Craig had been promised the show. The Late Late Show’s future is currently in limbo. While CBS played roulette with the syndicated Arsenio Hall show, they left him hanging after he was squeezed out by Jimmy Fallon taking over the Tonight Show. They need to save face as the public has been upset over this ill-advised decision for cancellation just months after publicly renewing Hall. If they don’t save Arsenio, they should offer this show to Chappelle. Dave is cool with Dave, they should bring it to the table together since the network dissed on both Ferguson and Hall. Would be a win win for everybody involved and be a historic moment.
He may have to smoke E-cigs while on a major network and tone down his profanity. Other than that, watch out, he would ultimately control late night.
Dave, what do you think? You down?
Television late night talk shows has claimed its 1st victim and unfortunately it’s our beloved Arsenio Hall!! http://highlighthollywood.com/2014/05/arsenio-hall-show-canceled-cbs-tv-distribution-changes-mind-on-second-season-highlight-hollywood-news/
Not sure if they will keep the same creative progressive niche without my man here, hope they studied well!
You may have to cut your celebration of the belated return of the controversial adventures of Riley, Huey and Grandad a little short. The Root is reporting that Aaron McGruder, creator and executive producer, has had no input in the upcoming fourth season of the Adult Swim series airing on the Cartoon Network. McGruder alleged on Facebook awhile back that the series had been “hijacked”.
Adult Swim issued an official statement:
“This season was produced without the involvement of Aaron McGruder, when a mutually agreeable production schedule could not be determined.”
The Boondocks is set to return on April 21 according to the series official Facebook page.
Both parties aren’t giving details on just what led to McGruder’s departure from the show that originally started out as a comic strip while he was in college at The University of Maryland. It was a cartoon that had bold commentary of African-American…
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