Skip navigation

I’ve been asked, “What was it like to create and perform music with Prince?”. My rebuttal was usually a tongue in cheek, “Ask him what it was like to create and perform with me.”
– Drummer Sheila E. following Prince’s death.

I am sick and tired of the post-mortem myth making as to the role of women and especially the role of female musicians in Prince’s career. The following article from Jezebel.com is bathing in denial and revisionism:

Prince Spent His Life Elevating and Mentoring Women
http://themuse.jezebel.com/prince-spent-his-life-elevating-and-mentoring-women-1772479454

Prince Spent His Life Elevating and Mentoring Women“? Oh really? Tell that to Prince’s powerful soul singer Rosie Gaines, whom he failed to give co-writing credit and even failed to pay her for her contributions. Tell that to Sandra St. Victor. Madonna said it best in Rolling Stone: Prince had a harem of disposable women with whom he made records and whom he discarded as soon as he was done with them. This statement by Madonna is corroborated by the interviews that attorney Alex Hahn took of former Prince colleagues for his book Possessed; The Rise and Fall of Prince. Quoting from the book:

p. 178: “Gaines sent much of her weekly wage (about $ 2,200) home and had only $800 to her name when the tour ended. Just the same, she put her belongings in a truck and drove from Minneapolis to her home in Pittsburg, California, quitting the band for good. Although he would later work with Prince in the studio on several occasions, she would long harbour resentment about what she considers an absense of complete credit for her songwriting contributions on Diamonds and Pearls. ‘A lot of those were ideas the band came up with’, Gaines asserted. ‘He told us before doing [Diamonds and Pearls] that we were going to be like a family, we’re all going to do it together, and we’re going to share in it together, and we all trusted him. That’s our fault for not getting it on paper.’.
When Gaines approached Prince about songwriting credit, he made it clear that he considered Diamonds and Pearls his work, and he disagreed hat she deserved more money.”

 

p. 179: “Life on the road was also sometimes hard for young Mayte Garcia. Although Prince continued to treat her as a girlfriend-in-waiting, he took no steps to insulate Mayte from the rambunctious, male-dominated atmosphere that surrounded the tour. Gaines recalls on several occasions seeing Mayte in tears on the bus and in dressing rooms, apparently overwhelmed by feelings of homesickness. When Mayte was summoned to the inner sanctum and felt the glow of Prince’s attention, it felt magical. But at other times, left to her own devices, she was simply a confused teenager with no one to talk to.
As Rosie Gaines watched the Prince-Mayte courtship unfold, she marveled at how much this young woman resembled his previous girlfriends, both in looks and temperament. She was another young woman who could not have been easier to manipulate. This would likely be another relationship was would persist only until Mayte – like Kim Upsher, Susan Moonsie, Susannah Melvoin, and Anna Garcia before her – grew up enough to object. “She was too young to have her own thoughts yet, and Prince liked that,” Gaines remembered. “But I knew that would change.”.”

 

p. 181: “Alan Leeds, who in 1989 surrendered his post as Prince’s tour manager, to become president of Paisley Park Records, “He never displayed the ability to park his own agenda. When he produced PattiLaBelle, it sounded like a Prince record. It became his vision, not the artist’s.”

 

p. 184: “There remained few if any strong female confidants in his life (a role that Rosie Gaines briefly fulfilled), as young companions like Anna Garcia, Mayte Garcia, and Carmen Electra were discouraged from offering their opinions and served primarily as pretty muses.”

 

p. 205-206: “St Victor had assumed that she and Prince would work together face-to-face in the studio, where an artistic dialogue could take place. (…)  St Victor came to see that he had no intention of treating her as an equal partner, but simply wanted to make use of whatever interesting ideas she might have to offer. She realized that her frustration was probably quite similar to that experienced by other independent-minded female artists, such as Rosie Gaines, who had worked with Prince. While the notion of collaborating with him had at first seemed like the opportunity of a lifetime, it had, for the moment at least, ended disappointingly.
“When Prince shines that light on you, that energy, that respect, that admiration, it’s easy to want to put your life in his hands,” St. Victor reflected. “It’s a very bright warm, God-like light. But when he shuts it off, you’ve never known cold like that.”

p. 229: “Old friend Rosie Gaines participated [on the 1999 remaster], but says she again was not paid.”

Prince was really into Jedi mindtricks. Here is how Alex Hahn describes Prince’s tendency to mess with people’s heads, especially when it came to his younger proteges:

p. 149: “[Anna] Garcia [= Prince’s then 17 year old future girlfriend], while not on the payroll, was another one of Prince’s minions. He placed a premium on docility and preferred to have her just listen to him create music or brainstorm plans for the future; her opinions were not welcome. But whatever her doubts about this arrangement, Garcia remained very much smitten by Prince and was hopeful that she would, with her eighteenth birthday approaching, emerge as his primary romantic interest. He remained enchanted with her as well, largely because she remained something of a blank template on which to sketch his fantasies. He particularly delighted in playing mind games with Garcia where he would describe a hypothetical situation and ask how she would handle it. When she responded in a way that he perceived as “wrong”, he assumed a disapproving air; when he liked the answer, he was encouraging and affectionate. Garcia resented the manipulations and felt as if Prince were trying to turn her into a different person.”

Not only did Prince replace Vanity with a lookalike in Apollonia just before he began filming Purple Rain, he did it in such a way so that Vanity would see Apollonia, realize how alike she and the new woman were and thus understand that to Prince either one of them was just a replaceable cog in the music making machine that was Paisley Park at the time. Here is how Alex Hahn describes it in his book:

p. 63: “Shortly after recruiting Apollonia, he took her to a Los Angeles club where he had heard that Vanity would be partying. Vanity, who had not yet learned anything about her replacement, was shocked to see a woman dancing nearby who looked like a mirror image of herself. The message was clear: In Prince’s world, anyone was replaceable.”

And last but not least, lesbophobe sexist Prince had demanded that his former colleagues Wendy and Lisa hold a press conference to “apologize” to the public for being lesbians as a condition for reuniting with them:

p. 241: “Ex-Revolution drummer Bobby Z. Rivkin, who visited Paisly in 2000, was forced to listen to Prince and Larry Graham engage in a homophobic rant, according to another former band member whom Rivkin told about the meeting. Prince explained to Rivkin that prior to any reunion of the Revolution (and idea discussed several times over the years), Wendy and Lisa would be required to publicly renounce their homosexuality. As Rivkin listened incredulously, Prince said he would insist that the women hold a press conference and “apologize” for their lifestyle.”

Nothing more amusing than to have to watch lesbians of all people defending Prince on my timeline, when Prince was a documented lesbophobe. The public record plainly shows that Prince did not treat his female musicians fairly, that he basically exploited his female musicians to showcase only his personal artistic vision, not theirs, and that he considered these women replaceable cogs in his music making machine. Can we stop all this post-mortem myth making and look at the facts please?

BTW, you know who else likes Prince? This one does, having recorded THE WORST COVER EVER of Prince’s song for Sinéad O’Connor, “Nothing Compares 2 U”. He abbreviated the song title at the time to prevent Prince from having it removed from Youtube, like Prince did with many other online covers of his songs during his lifetime, a trick which apparently worked to preserve the song. Oh well, let’s take solace in the thought that Prince died having never heard this abomination:

 

Here is how O’Connor originally had described her encounter with Prince:

“I did meet him a couple of times. We didn’t get on at all. In fact we had a punch-up.” She continued: “He summoned me to his house after ‘Nothing Compares 2U’. I made it without him. I’d never met him. He summoned me to his house – and it’s foolish to do this to an Irish woman – he said he didn’t like me saying bad words in interviews. So I told him to fuck off.” She said “He got quite violent. I had to escape out of his house at 5 in the morning. He packed a bigger punch than mine.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sin%C3%A9ad_O’Connor#Remarks_about_Prince

And here is The Boy with his friend Felizol ruining Prince’s “Kiss” beyond all recognition at a live show. And notice here again how The Boy tried to prevent a Youtube takedown from Prince by spelling the title of the song backwards, as “Ssik”, to prevent it from being discovered:

Advertisements

13 Comments

  1. I think it is very disrespectful to Prince of how this article or book posssed the rise and fall of Prince book how was he a sexiest? Really he has helped alot of musicians especially help those get off record labels such as Warner Bros and look how they are doing him now they sold his music to universal music group just wrong for them to do that is just evil Prince was always good with the ladies in his life all this stuff what I just read is bullshit to me all of it is mean.

  2. Reblogged this on El Martillo de Suarez.

  3. What about Boni Boyer,the female keyboard player before Rosie Gaines ?

      • drs. Efthimia Dilpizoglou
      • Posted June 25, 2017 at 5:15 pm
      • Permalink
      • Reply

      What about her

  4. Now this just goes to show to all the clueless minded people who fantasize about Prince only loving Mayte,he didn’t love her.. Mind games, control, intimidating.. They all where just sex and fantasies to him.. Can’t prove it, but I still believe that Mayte was pregnant when they got married and that the only real reason that he married her.And now that he’s dead she has planned to take in as much money as she can with this tell all book about her delusional fantasies of a loveless relationship with him, not saying that he didn’t care about any of them in a caring sense.. When someone plays mindgames with you and then looking to have sex with you all in the same breath, that’s not love it’s called lust…He started screwing her at eighteen and married her at twenty two,why it took four years to get pregnant? I believe that baby was someone else and she needed to get him all to herself, so she played the pregnancy card..He was already dating Nona Gaye and had just spoke of marrying her. IJS…

      • drs. Efthimia Dilpizoglou
      • Posted June 25, 2017 at 5:16 pm
      • Permalink
      • Reply

      Do you have any proof for all these claims?

  5. The covers of his music suck so he should have had them taken down and if you o wn the song you can do that.

      • drs. Efthimia Dilpizoglou
      • Posted June 25, 2017 at 5:18 pm
      • Permalink
      • Reply

      Some Prince covers are alright, but that Kiss cover is one of the worst I have ever heard. So is his cover of Nothing Compares 2U. I dare you to listen to it, it´s the most awful thing you´ve ever heard https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QX_GiVprNKo

  6. Dead or alive you cant please all the a$$ wholes they come after you because jealously knows no bounds What did you create today that will last forever he will be talked about and remembered for years and I doubt if you will be a foot note !!! Prince4ever peace and be wild

      • drs. Efthimia Dilpizoglou
      • Posted June 25, 2017 at 5:19 pm
      • Permalink
      • Reply

      Good for him. Your point?

  7. Prince, character wise, was no better or no worse than any of the other male celebrities that came before him or after him. This whole diatribe sounds like normal behavior for a male in that type of environment. Though I do not agree with the mistreatment of women, I don’t see any clear evidence where they were forced to accept any of the bad treatment that they accepted. Most women in this environment are looking for something for nothing, if the truth be told. If he didn’t pay people for their contribution, then his estate should be held accountable. In this article you could easily replace Prince’s name with the Eagles (notorious for sleeping w/underaged girls…in the real world we know this as rape), David Bowie (another well documented molester), The Rolling Stones, or host of other well known people in the music business. Their horrendous behavior didn’t cast a bad shadow on their accomplishments nor should it do so for Prince. All aspiring musicians should remember that it’s not called the music business for nothing…business should be first. Get all agreements in writing and have them looked over by a lawyer to make sure that you’re not being stiffed. If anything…that’s what this article has helped me understand.

      • drs. Efthimia Dilpizoglou
      • Posted August 17, 2017 at 12:42 am
      • Permalink
      • Reply

      Thank you for your contribution. Most artists are dirt poor and cannot afford to hire civil counsel to go over every contract shoved before them. In fact most of them don’t work with contracts nowadays but on an ad-hoc basis.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: