Prince’s Hot Rock: The Secret Life Of America’s Sexiest One-Man Band
Most influential one-man band By Debby Miller – April 28, 1983
Obtained from and crediting source: Rolling Stone Magazine – 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.
Good Evening, this is your pilot, Prince, speaking” comes out of the loudspeakers, all softness and breath, full of welcome. It’s a flight you may not have taken before. Brace yourself, he ought to say. This is “International Lover,” something the globe-conquering Prince claims to be, and this is his live act, which takes place on a grand, two-tiered stage hung with gigantic Venetian blinds. In high-heeled boots, a flouncy ruffled blouse and a purple quasi-Edwardian suit, Prince begins to climb to the higher level, taking long strides that end in a hip-locking sway, a Rita Hayworth sort of walk. “You are flying aboard the Seduction 747,” he rasps. “To activate the flow of excitement, extinguish all clothing materials.” Standing alone on the upper riser, Prince simply points a finger, and – you imagine this happens every time Prince extends his long index finger – a brass bed materializes. Stripping off his jacket, his shirt, unbuckling his belt so that a long strap hangs between his legs, Prince climbs onto the mattress and begins to undulate over the bed. “We are now making our final approach to satisfaction. Please bring your lips, your arms, your hips into the up and locked position for landing,” he says, panting, and lets out a piercing scream that seems to announce the sudden fall from the sky of the flight of Seduction 747 – and Prince and the bed disappear.All cocky, teasing talk about sex, that’s Prince. Forget Mr. Look So Good; meet the original Mr. Big Stuff. He’s afraid of nothing onstage: ready to take on all the desires of a stadium full of his lusty fans, ready to marry funky black dance music and punk white rock music after their stormy separation through the Seventies, ready to sell his Sex Can Save Us message to anybody who’ll give his falsetto a listen. Nor does anything scare him when he’s at home alone, composing. Out comes a paean to incest called “Sister,” a song called “Head” about a bride who meets Prince on her way to be wed and says, “I must confess, I wanna get undressed and go to bed,” and a song called “Jack U Off.” He even advised the president, “Ronnie Talk to Russia.” So bold that half of his material is radio-censored, Prince is wailing, “Guess I should have closed my eyes when you drove me to the place where your horses run free/Cuz I felt a little ill when I saw all the pictures of the jockeys that were there before me” (in “Little Red Corvette”), while Lionel Richie is everywhere on the radio with “Truly, I love you truly.”