Trying To Get To You

Friday, July 13, 2007

Bootleg Friday: Prince, 1983

It’s been a quiet but busy past few days at A Deeper Shade of Soul, as I’ve been learning how to use Garageband so I can do some basic home recording and do some podcasts for you all, which will be coming within the next ten days or so.

Certain artists just remind me of summer. One of them is Prince. Perhaps the association of summertime around Prince is due to the summers of 1983 and 1984, when I was at Camp Na-Sho-Pa in the Catskills. Yours truly wasn’t exactly the most popular of campers, but they had a radio station where I DJ’d for the first time and there were some very cool counselors who turned me on to some great music, including Prince, who I heard for the first time in the summer of 1983. It seemed like 1999 was on an endless loop in my bunk – not because the kids my age liked it (Billy Joel and Journey were the most popular artists amongst my peers, which partly explains why I had such an occasionally hellish time), but because the counselors insisted. Thank the good Lord that they did.

A year later it was a different story. By this time, Purple Rain had just been released and “When Doves Cry” had a firm grip on the #1 single position on the Hot 100 (keeping “Dancing In The Dark” at #2, much to my annoyance). Prince was popular, and wherever I went, I could hear the album. (I won’t even go into the first time I heard “Darling Nikki,” amidst a crowd of increasingly horny 13 and 14 year old boys who thought it was the most incredible thing in the world that someone said “masturbate” in a song.)

So in that spirit, today’s installment of Bootleg Friday is a tremendous Prince show from Providence, Rhode Island in 1983. It’s a snapshot of an artist who is in full command of his vast talent – soul singer, guitar God, bandleader supreme and last, but certainly not least, sex symbol. Not even James Brown asked, “Is he (your boyfriend) fine/Does he have an ass like mine?” Listening to it, it makes the explosion of Purple Rain seem pre-ordained.

Download: “Dirty Mind” 2/10/83, Providence, RI
Download: “How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore” 2/10/83, Providence, RI
Download: “Lady Cab Driver” 2/10/83, Providence, RI
Download: “International Lover” 2/10/83, Providence, RI
Download: “1999” 2/10/83, Providence, RI


Anonymous said...

Prince is King. Even today - at 49 - he's still one of the most exciting live performers around. He reminds me of Ray Charles in the sense that he gives you a fairly comprehensive history of American popular music when you listen to his catalogue and especially when you see him live (which I have 7 times and which I still highly recommend). Thanks for the post! P.S. Garageband rules, too!

Ben Lazar said...

What is mind-boggling about Prince is just how multi-faceted his immense talent is. He does EVERYTHING incredibly well. (Although is songwriting has been spotty for years.)

One of my favorite recent rock stories is from my friend John who was at the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame show in either 2004 or 2005 when during the jam session, Prince did a solo on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" that was stunning. John was standing next to Springsteen as they watched the performance on a monitor, and Springsteen just shook his head in amazement.

Anonymous said...

that solo during the rock n' roll hall of fame was incredible. i recall tom petty looking annoyed as it appeared as if he was trying to end the song while prince was ignoring (or blowing through) the cues...

prince made that jam all about him, threw his guitar into the crowd and stormed off the stage the way chuck berry would've. while the band's expression seemed to be "how dare he?". i was thinking "how rock & roll!" and harrison's kid was smiling ear-to-ear.

he made the room a little less stuffy. god bless him for it.

i would also add that his superbowl halftime show was the best i've ever seen.

Anonymous said...

Yes SIR! Speaking my language. Great post Ben. The blurb about the Boss watching the HOF performance on the monitor. The merging of my two favorites... priceless!

Anonymous said...

What more can be said about our man Prince? Simply The Man.

Q: is it me, or is the recording level much lower on "Dirty Mind" than the other tunes? It's killing me, because "DM" is my fave Prince tune ever, and this version is off the chain! Thanks for the links - you rock.

sexy said...