Monday, February 15, 2010


The very first live performance of Purple Rain in Minnesota in 1983. History right here. Please enjoy before this is removed. WOW. I am going crazy right now.

Prince Rogers Nelson was born June 7, 1958, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to John L. Nelson and Mattie Shaw.Prince's father was a pianist and songwriter and his mother was a jazz singer. Prince was named after his father, whose stage name was Prince Rogers, and who performed with a jazz group called the Prince Rogers Trio. In a 1991 Current Affair interview, Prince's father said, “I named my son Prince because I wanted him to do everything I wanted to do.”Prince's childhood nickname was Skipper.

In a PBS interview Prince told Tavis Smiley that he was "born epileptic" and "used to have seizures" when he was young. During the interview Prince also said that “My mother told me, one day I walked into her and said mom I’m not going to be sick anymore, and she said ‘why?’ and I said; ‘an angel told me so.’”

Prince's sister Tyka was born in 1960. Prince's parents then separated when Prince was ten years old and Prince lived with his father. Prince moved out after his father found him in bed with a female friend. Prince moved into the home of a neighbor, the Andersons, and befriended their son, Andre Anderson who later became known as André Cymone).

Prince and Anderson joined Prince's cousin, Charles Smith, in a band called Grand Central while they were attending Minneapolis's Central High School (which later merged with South High School). Smith was later replaced by Morris Day on the drums. Prince played piano and guitar for the band which performed at clubs and parties in the Minneapolis area and was managed by the mother of one of the band members.[citation needed] Grand Central later changed its name to Champagne and started playing original music influenced by Sly & the Family Stone, James Brown, Earth, Wind & Fire, Miles Davis, Parliament-Funkadelic, Carlos Santana and Jimi Hendrix.During this time Prince was also a student at the Minnesota Dance Theatre.

In 1976, Prince created a demo tape with producer Chris Moon in Moon's Minneapolis studio. Unable to secure a recording contract, Moon brought the tape to Minneapolis businessman Owen Husney. Husney signed Prince, at the age of 17, to a management contract and helped Prince create a demo recording at Sound 80 Studios in Minneapolis using producer/engineer David Z. The demo recording, along with a press kit produced at Husney's ad agency, resulted in interest from several record companies including Warner Bros., A&M, and Columbia records. With the help of Husney, Prince signed a recording contract with Warner Bros. records. Warner Bros. agreed to give Prince creative control for three albums and ownership of the publishing rights.[citation needed] Husney and Prince then left Minneapolis and moved to Sausalito where Prince's first album, For You, was recorded at the Record Plant recording studio. Subsequently, the album was mixed in Los Angeles and released in 1978.

Musical beginnings: 1977–80
In 1977, Pepe Willie, the husband of Prince's cousin, Shantel, formed the band 94 East with Marcy Ingvoldstad and Kristie Lazenberry. Willie added Andre Cymone and Prince to the band. Prince composed music for the lyrics written by Willie and played guitar and keyboards on some studio recordings. Prince also wrote for 94 East including the song Just Another Sucker. The band recorded tracks which later became the album Minneapolis Genius – The Historic 1977 Recordings. In 1995, Willie released the album 94 East featuring Prince, Symbolic Beginning which included original recordings by Prince and Cymone.

Prince released the album For You on April 17, 1978. The album was written and performed by Prince, except for the song "Soft and Wet" which had lyrics co-written by Moon. According to the For You album notes Prince produced, arranged, composed and played all 27 instruments on the recording.

The cost of recording the album was twice Prince's initial advance. Prince used the Prince's Music Co. to publish his songs. The single from the album reached #12 on the Soul chart and #92 on the Pop chart. The song "Just as Long as We're Together" reached #91 on the Soul chart.

In 1979 Prince created a band which included André Cymone on bass, Dez Dickerson on guitar, Gayle Chapman and Doctor Fink on keyboards, and Bobby Z on drums. Their first show was at the Capri Theater on January 5, 1979. Warner Bros. executives attended the show but decided that Prince and the band needed more time to develop his music.

In October 1979, Prince released a self-titled album Prince, which was #4 on the Billboard R&B charts, and contained two R&B hits: "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?" and "I Wanna Be Your Lover". Prince performed both these songs on January 26, 1980, on American Bandstand. On this album, Prince used Ecnirp Music – BMI.

Prince's next album Dirty Mind was "certified gold" and the single "Uptown" reached #11 on the Billboard chart and #1 on the R&B charts. Prince was also the opening act for Rick James' 1980 Fire it Up tour.

Controversy era: 1980–84
In 1980 Prince released the album, Dirty Mind, which he recorded in his own studio. Dirty Mind contained sexually explicit material, including the title song, "Head", and the song "Sister". In February 1981, Prince made his first appearance on Saturday Night Live, performing "Partyup".

The songs on Controversy were published by Controversy Music – ASCAP a practice he continued until the Emancipation album in 1996.

In 1981, Prince formed a "side project" band called The Time. The Time released four albums between 1981 and 1990, with Prince writing and performing most of the instrumentation and backing vocals, with lead vocals by Morris Day.

In 1982, Prince released a double album called 1999 which sold over three million copies.The title track was a protest against nuclear proliferation and became his first top ten hit in countries outside the U.S. With his video for "Little Red Corvette" he joined Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie as part of the first wave of black artists on MTV.[citation needed] The song "Delirious" also placed in the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The album was also number six in The Village Voice's annual Pazz & Jop critics poll for 1983.

[edit] The Revolution: 1984–87
During this period Prince referred to his band as The Revolution. The band's name was also printed, in reverse, on the cover of 1999 inside the letter "I" of the word "Prince". The band consisted of Lisa Coleman and Doctor Fink on keyboards, Bobby Z. on drums, and Brown Mark on bass, and Dez Dickerson on guitar. Following the 1999 tour, Dickerson left the group for religious reasons. In the 2003 book Possessed: The Rise and Fall of Prince, author Alex Hahn says that Dickerson was reluctant to sign a three year contract and wanted to pursue other musical ventures. Dickerson was replaced by Wendy Melvoin, a childhood friend of Coleman. At first the band was used sparsely in the studio but this gradually changed during the mid-1980s.

Prince's 1984 album Purple Rain sold more than thirteen million copies in the U.S. and spent twenty-four consecutive weeks at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart. The film of the same name won an Academy Award and grossed more than $80 million in the U.S.

Songs from the film were hits on pop charts around the world, while "When Doves Cry" and "Let's Go Crazy" reached #1 and the title track reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. At one point the #1 film, #1 single, and #1 album in the U.S. were Prince creations.[citation needed] Prince won the Academy Award for Best Original Song Score for Purple Rain, and the album is ranked 72nd Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.The album is also part of Time magazine's All-Time 100 Albums.

Prince performing in Brussels during the Hit N Run Tour in 1986 After Tipper Gore heard her 12-year-old daughter Karenna listening to Prince's song "Darling Nikki" she founded the Parents Music Resource Center. The center advocates the mandatory use of a warning label ("Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics") on the covers of records that have been judged to contain language or lyrical content unsuitable for minors. The recording industry later complied with this request.

In 1985 Prince announced that he would discontinue live performances and music videos after the release of his next album. His subsequent recording Around the World in a Day, held the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 for three weeks.

In 1986 his album Parade reached #3 on the Billboard 200 and #2 on the R&B charts. The first single, "Kiss", reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was originally written for a side project called Mazarati. That same year the song "Manic Monday" which was written Prince and recorded by The Bangles, reached #2 on the Hot 100 chart.

The album Parade served as the soundtrack for Prince's second film, Under the Cherry Moon. Prince directed and starred in the movie, which also featured Kristen Scott Thomas. In 1986, Prince began a series of sporadic live performances called the Hit N Run Tour. The European tour went to Europe in the summer and ended that September in Japan.

After the tour Prince fired Wendy & Lisa and replaced Bobby Z. with Sheila E.. Brown Mark quit the band while keyboardist Matt Fink remained. Prince then recruited new band members Miko Weaver on guitar, Atlanta Bliss on trumpet, Eric Leeds on saxophone, Boni Boyer on keyboards, Levi Seacer, Jr. on bass and dancer Cat Glover. (Wikipedia)