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    Prince’s Hot Rock: The Secret Life Of America’s Sexiest One-Man Band

    Most influential one-man band

    By Debby MillerApril 28, 1983

    Obtained from and crediting source: Rolling Stone Magazine – http://www.rollingstone.com

    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.

     

    Rolling Stone
    Prince on the cover of Rolling Stone. Richard Avedon

     

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    “Prince has brought a boldness out of black entertainers again,” says Alexander (O’Neill – there’s a penchant for first names only in this crowd), a Minneapolis singer who fronted an early version of the Time. “Jimi Hendrix and Little Richard – they always dressed bizarre. Now Prince is doing it in a new era. He’s making a lot of entertainers wake up to things. You’re making a statement in life. It’s all about being your own self. Like Prince says, ‘It’s all about being free.'”

    Why so much sex? someone asked him once. “My songs are more about love than they are about sex,” he answered. “I don’t consider myself a great poet, or interpreter à la Moses. I just know I’m here to say what’s on my mind, and I’m in a position where I can do that. It would be foolish for me to make up stories about going to Paris, knocking off the queen and things of that nature.”

    Prince was just seventeen when he co-wrote, with studio owner Chris Moon, the single from his first LP, a song called “Soft and Wet.” Already, they had considered the commercial potential of an innocent sexuality. “That was the original concept,” says Moon, “and it’s stayed true to that. I had a conversation with him on the phone about a year ago, and I said, ‘I see you’re still staying with the “Soft and Wet” theme. But you’re making it a little more blatant. What is this I hear about “Head”?’ And he goes, ‘Yeah, well, I decided to make it a little more straightforward so that everyone would get it.'”

    Everyone does seem to be getting it these days, including Prince’s dad. “When I first played the Dirty Mind album for him,” Prince has said of his father, “he said, ‘You’re swearing on the record. Why do you have to do that?’ And I said, ‘Because I swear.'”

    Prince, apparently, is not a character played out in the music. “His persona is Prince, onstage and offstage,” says his friend and personal manager, Steve Fargnoli. “He’s just as outspoken and outrageous offstage, in his business dealings.” But he is shy, Fargnoli adds, and he says what he has to say about his politics and music on his records, not in conversation. And soon, he’ll be saying it all in a movie: Prince has written the film treatment and most of the score for a musical that he’ll also act in. “He is demanding of himself and of everyone who works around him,” says Fargnoli. “You always have to be on your toes. He doesn’t play by the rules.”