Tag Archives: Prince

Weird Al

I got this off Weird Al’s Wikipedia page:

On numerous occasions, Prince has refused Yankovic permission to record parodies of his songs. Yankovic has stated in interviews that he has “approached him every few years [to] see if he’s lightened up.” Yankovic related one story where, before the American Music Awards where he and Prince were assigned to sit in the same row, he got a telegram from Prince’s lawyers, demanding he not make eye contact with the artist.

Paul McCartney, also a Yankovic fan, refused Yankovic permission to record a parody of Wings’ “Live and Let Die”, titled “Chicken Pot Pie”, because McCartney is a vegetarian and found the parody to be improper.

I have new respect for Al. Technically, as long as he pays for the privilege, he can cover/parody anyone he wants to. He asks to maintain good karma in the community. Most artists go along, some even playing on the sessions or appearing in the videos.

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Crazy cassette purchase day.

I’ve been reading a book called “The New Jim Crow”. You should read it. It lays it all out. It makes this blog post seem less crazy than it otherwise might seem.

I owned my first car at the age of 25. It had a cassette player. Oh, the power I felt, having a 1987 Chevy Spectrum with a cassette player. Now I could cruise down the road and listen to all my band’s crappy live performances at the same time. I owned a few cassettes that my friend Mike Barth made for me, from old b-sides and other things for which we shared a penchant. But one day I decided to purchase three cassettes made by real record companies by three artists whose previous albums had torn up the charts. I took a chance on Prince, De La Soul, and George Michael. I regret the first, adored the second, and was ambivalent about the third.

I think Vinia Mojica (at 1:34) is just stunning in this video. Note the Chicago sample “Saturday in the Park”, as well as the “Grease” sample.

After “Faith”, I figured this CD would blow up, but it did not, and his attempt at social commentary conflicted sharply with his squeaky-clean image. Too bad. He has real talent.

Then there is the soundtrack to what is by far the worst movie musical I have ever seen, and I’ve seen “Phantom of the Paradise”.

So I was thinking about music that I’ve heard in my life that really stunned me. Like “I’ve NEVER heard anything like this before.” Most of these pieces came to me in the form of the last remnants of free-form FM emanating from either Buffalo or Toronto. I thought I’d share some with you, my loyal readers and fellow amateur musicologists. Some are sort of lengthy, but I think you’ll find them as rewarding as my squishy brain did.

The first time I heard this, I was at my friend Michel Weber’s apartment in Buffalo. I had never heard anything like it.

I had forgotten at that moment that I had seen Public Enemy open for the Beastie Boys in 1987. I couldn’t help but feel PE was the better act.  I remember I was with my ex-girlfriend because she’d say things like “Are you gonna take me to see the Beastie Boys?” and “Are you gonna take me to see ‘Beatlemania’ at the Tralf?” and I never said no. Sadly, I ruined any chance of sexy-time reconciliation by treating her fragile countenance like Chris Farley treated his cafe dinner roll in “Tommy Boy”.  Substitute the word “sex” for “sale”.

Forget, if you can, as you watch this next video, the subsequent Flavor Flav TV show and all that shit, and LISTEN to the background sounds and voices. I was disappointed that the Bomb Squad didn’t play as big of a role in subsequent releases, but these first two albums were the seminal height of craft, and had they continued on that path I would have hung in there. I didn’t.

Then this happened:

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