Prince’s Hot Rock: The Secret Life Of America’s Sexiest One-Man Band
Most influential one-man band
By Debby MillerApril 28, 1983
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.
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.”