Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Prince breaks 33-year silence!

Fans know that Prince is notoriously media-shy, almost entirely withdrawing from interviews after a couple of early, awkward encounters with journalists at the start of his career.

Those of us who saw his hilariously bizarre appearance on BBC Two's The Sunday Show (Prince wore a scarf over his face and refused to speak, whispering his answers into his then-wife Mayte's ear) formed a sort of understanding that he'd never give away much to anyone with a TV camera.

The media freeze has thawed in recent years - coinciding both with his becoming a Jehovah's Witness and a decline in record sales. He's done a few Oprah-type interviews, which were predictably self-congratulatory and unprobing, and gave an interesting insight into his creative process to Guitar Player Magazine in 2000.

But those of us looking for back-story and biography were resigned to gleaning what we could from the pop icon's former collaborators and friends (this interview with Wendy & Lisa is fascinating on Prince's work ethic and prolificacy, for example).

So imagine my surprise when the dimunitive superstar popped up for a two-part, in-depth interview on Tavis Smiley's PBS show this week. He delves into his troubled childhood, his musical inspirations and his decision not to vote in the last election. He also confirms that he had epilepsy as a child, something he first alluded to in the lyrics to The Sacrifice Of Victor on 1992's "Love Symbol" album.

Less pleasingly, he reinforces the idea that he's completely batshit mental by preaching about his belief in Chemtrails - the conspiracy theory that says emissions from commercial airliners are purposely laced with chemical agents for secret purposes. Oh dear.

Amazingly, the full video is up on the PBS website, but here's a taster to whet your appetite:

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