Transcription Interview TSShow 27/04/2009 Part 1

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sexymailletf
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29 avril 2009, 13:22

Special Thanx 2 s********9 for the transcript

Tavis: Pleased to welcome Prince back to this program. The iconic musician and producer has been one of music's most popular and prolific acts for three decades and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as we all know, back in 2004.

His latest project is a unique collection of three CDs - "Lotusflow3r," "Mplsound," and "Elixer," which features a talented young singer named Bria Valente. You can get all this at his new website, Lotusflow3r.com. From the new project, here's some of the video for "Crimson and Clover."

[Clip]

Tavis: Good to see you, as always.

Prince: Likewise. Look at us on that camera.

Tavis: (Laughs) Do we look good?

Prince: Looking sharp. I'm feeling new sideburns.

Tavis: Oh, yeah, well. (Laughter)

Prince: Work it, work it.

Tavis: (Laughs) And that black and white is sharp. For the book, the bestselling book "21 Nights," your photographer, Randee, was here - Randee St. Nicholas. Randee was here and I remember that conversation, the two of us talking about the fact that you stayed pretty much clean all the time. It's not like when you're in your house you got on sweats and -

Prince: Randee said that?

Tavis: Yeah, Randee said, "He's pretty sharp all the time."

Prince: Okay.

Tavis: Yeah.

Prince: Well.

Tavis: That's not true?

Prince: Yeah, I sleep like this. (Laughter)

Tavis: You know what? I would believe that except for the fact that I know you don't sleep.

Prince: Yeah.

Tavis: You really don't sleep very much, do you?

Prince: I saw a sign in back said, "Journalist, advocate, insomniac."

Tavis: Yeah. Yeah, well, for you it should be, "The world's greatest musician, insomniac." That's what it is.

Prince: Props to you on your show, seriously. I watch it every chance I get, and Hugh Masekela last night, wow. Joni Mitchell? Yeah, it's just so enlightening.

Tavis: Well, I appreciate it.

Prince: Inspiring.

Tavis: I'm glad you said that, because I was actually - I never told you this story, but one day, when you were on before, I was around town somewhere and we had promoted that you were coming on the next night, and I walked past a group of people and they didn't see me, obviously, and overheard them talking about you and the fact you were going to be on my show the next night.

And one of them said, "Why would Prince go on PBS?" And I was thinking they don't know that Prince watches, like, everything, but indeed watches PBS.

Prince: Well, I keep an eye on you because you have been an advocate and I learn a lot from "State of the Black Union." You've sent it to me and I make a point to try and check it out when I can. And that said, Dick Gregory, the one time I saw him on there, and it just moved me so much I put pen to paper and I owe him money, now.

Tavis: "Dreamer."

Prince: Yeah.

Tavis: I want to talk about the song, "Dreamer," that you dedicate to Dick, and actually four songs I want get you to talk about the lyrics specifically. I'll get to that in just a second.

Back to this PBS thing, though, right quick. I'll come back to that only because you really got into "Unforgivable Blackness?"

Prince: Yeah.

Tavis: What'd you make of that PBS series?

Prince: Oh, it was amazing. I'm in sort of celebration mode right now. I'm just thankful to be alive, I'm thankful to have the friends that I do and the teachers that I do, and I've spent the last year just playing when I feel like it. And I really look forward to this time in my life.

And I happened to come across that show, "Unforgivable Blackness," and the story of Jack Johnson just moved me no end. One of the reasons is that he had to deal with seemingly insurmountable odds all the time. If he would knock somebody down, people from the audience would get into the ring and pick him back up (laughter) so they could continue fighting.

And I just related to it on a lot of different - in a lot of different ways. I've never spoken about this before, but I was born epileptic and I used to have seizures when I was young. And my mother and father didn't know what to do or how to handle it, but they did the best they could with what little they had.

And my mother told me one day I walked in to her and said, "Mom, I'm not going to be sick anymore," and she said, "Why?" And I said, "Because an angel told me so." Now, I don't remember saying it - that's just what she told me. And from that point on, I've been having to deal with a lot of things - getting teased a lot in school - and early in my career I tried to compensate for that by being as flashy as I could and as noisy as I could.

And I just looked - again, I look forward to this time in my life when I could reflect back on it and talk to people like yourself, Dr. Cornel West. When you all come over the house and we sit and just talk about heavy things, I just become thankful. I don't know what else to say other than that.

Tavis: How did you get beyond - because I know you have so many fans of all ages, and I think there are, no doubt, some young people watching who might - who I know, in fact, not might - will be helped by your answer to this question.

As a kid being teased so much - and kids get teased for all variety of reasons, as we know - how did you grow out of that not just into confidence but indeed into excellence? Or maybe I put it in the wrong order; excellence and confidence. But how did you grow out of that? How did you navigate yourself past that?

Prince: That's a good question. The first thing I did is of course I went into self and I taught myself music. My father left his piano at the house when he left, and I wasn't allowed to play it when he was there because I wasn't as good as him. So when he left I was determined to get as good as him, and I taught myself how to play music and I just stuck with it and I did it all the time.

And sooner or later, people in the neighborhood heard about me and then they started to talk about me. And it wasn't in a teasing fashion; it was more like wow, look what he can do.

And there's something about having people around you giving you support that is - it's motivating, and once I got that support from people then I believed I could do anything.

And I had a lot of really good teachers. My best friend, Andre Cymone, his brother, Eddie, I'm entirely indebted to in this regard. He used to tell me, "Man, your songs are better than anybody's on the radio. You can do whatever you want to do." And I just kept rolling with it, kept rolling with it.

Eventually I went out to New York and I got turned down my first time, but I just wasn't - I felt like Jack Johnson then, too. I just wasn't going to be put down.

Tavis: Back to this excellence thing, though. Talk to me about excellence. It's clear that you are head and shoulders above pretty much everybody else in the world of music.

Prince: Oh -

Tavis: That's my assessment, and a whole lot of fans agree. We all say amen? Amen. (Laughter) See that? So it's pretty clear you're head and shoulders above everybody else. But talk to me about how we who are not Prince can aspire to the level of excellence that you portray in what we do every day?

Prince: Well, everybody's talented at something, and that's what makes the world go around. And we all need each other, and again, it's about good mentoring and good teachers. I had a lot of good people around.

The other thing I have to point out, though, is that - how can I put this - my father was so hard on me, I was never good enough. And there was something about that - it was almost like the army when it came to music. It's like, that's not even close to - he'd say, "It's not even close to what I'm doing." And he'd play again, and I could hear it.

John Blackwell, my drummer, he's the same way. His father taught him the same way. We learn like that. We learn from being shown. It doesn't come from books and just reading it, we need to be shown. So just having really good teachers and a bar that's so high - you know, Tiger Woods, and we can go on and on and on.

Tavis: You've talked a couple of times about your father, which you don't do in public and I appreciate your opening up in that way. Help me understand how - I'm trying to juxtapose, knowing you as I do - everything about you is love. You create love in the space that you occupy. When folk come into your world, they feel the love.

Love is in your lyrical content; your whole life is about a love of humanity. I'm trying to juxtapose how you got to this place of being love when you had this relationship with your father that obviously didn't always exhibit love. You could have been - you could be a very mean person now. Why not?

Prince: Well, I have a mean side, yeah.

Tavis: Let me back up, then. (Laughter)

Prince: I can go there. I'm a fighter, I'm very competitive. I think from him being so hard on me that - the one thing I got out of it is I understood that in his harshness he wanted me to excel. He used to say things like, "Don't ever get a girl pregnant. Don't ever get married." Don't this, don't that.

When he'd say these things, I didn't know what to take from it so I would create my own universe. And my sister's like that, a lot of my friends are like that - the ones that I still have - early musicians and things like that. Creating your own universe is the key to it, I believe, and letting all the people that you need occupy your universe.

Tavis: To your friends that you referenced a moment ago, how have you chosen, how have you decided to maintain the friendships that you have maintained over the years, and what's your barometer for knowing whether or not those friendships are beneficial? Does that make sense?

Prince: Yeah. You can tell where they're beneficial if someone's respectful of you; respectful of you when they're not around you. I find that most people are pretty respectful in front of my face. When they're not around me, sometimes you hear them say some pretty hurtful things.

And I don't know if they think it won't get back to me or if I don't care or if I think I'm above it or whatever, but I remember them as I remember them, and we were in love then and we should be in love now.

It's a hurtful place, the world, in and of itself. We don't need to add to it. And we're in a place now where we all need one another, and it's going to get rougher. So I kind of hope that people, when they hear that, they don't think that I'm going to lash back out at them, because I'm not like that, I don't - I've never done that.

I've heard a lot of things from a lot of different people - a lot of pretty famous people. A lot of journalists. A lot of my work is judged based upon my personality or my past work as opposed to where we are now, and I am - I don't know, I just - it is hurtful sometimes.

Tavis: How difficult is it to live in a world - and to your earlier point, which I take, it's a brilliant point; the world is already mean enough. We don't have to add to it. But how do you contextualize, emotionally, having much of your work judged by your personality rather than on the merits of the work?

Prince: Well, one reason is because I like criticism. I like constructive criticism from smart people. I'm thankful enough to - or blessed enough to be able to say that Miles Davis was a friend when he was alive, and he was a wonderful mentor and really, really funny.

And he could critique something you've done by humor and out of love rather than just call you a punk and just dismiss you. (Laughter) He wasn't like that, because people he cared about he tried to help.

When people criticize my work and attack my personality, it doesn't help me; I can't do anything with it. I don't know what they want. I've asked writers this before and a lot of times they tell me that they just write for each other. They're not really writing for (laughter) - "Oh, I really got him that time, didn't I?" Like, okay, well. I don't know, nobody learns anything from it, really.

Tavis: Who's qualified - I want to connect these two things. I said earlier that you were head and shoulders above everybody else in the music world and most musicians, I think, even acknowledge that. Who's qualified - and maybe qualified is the wrong word, but it's the one I'm going to go with. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Who's qualified to critique your stuff these days? You mentioned Miles Davis. Who's qualified to critique you?

Prince: Oh, anybody.

Tavis: Music critics? Fans? Other artists?

Prince: Yeah, I don't mind - anybody, if they do it with a sense of love, if they're trying to show me something about the work that they really feel is important for me to know. And I don't see a lot of that in journalism today. Most journalists are just lazy.

Tavis: You said you liked being critiqued and you love constructive criticism from smart people. How do people critique you if you are so ahead of your time, as you have proven to be consistently? If you're so ahead of your time, how can they critique what they ain't even caught up to?

Prince: Because they - listen, if they don't feel what I'm doing, they're going to let me know. If it's somebody I love they're going to tell me they don't feel it and they'll tell me the reasons why. And I can appreciate that. I write all the time, I record all the time.

Tavis: I want to go back to Jack Johnson because he's still in the back of my head. I can't get him out of my head where this conversation is concerned. Who have you felt most often like in the ring fighting the record industry? Like Jack or the opponent?

Prince: Oh, like Jack.

Tavis: Like Jack?

Prince: Yeah.

Tavis: Tell me why.

Prince: Well, because I knew I was right. We talked about this in our very first interview and conversation together. It's obvious now that artists are supposed to own their master recordings. In the future, it'll be unconscionable to even think you can take somebody's creation and claim ownership of it.

See, unfortunately, this discussion's going to start to barrel into a discussion about the human genome and the DNA and all the rest of it. When it gets there, then we're going to be in the deep water. See, so it's better to start the conversation now before we get into God talk.

Tavis: There are four songs that I want to ask you about, and I did what I have never done before, which is to actually print these lyrics out. Some of them, I'm - since the record is so new I'm learning some of them. I've got some of it memorized.

Prince: Who gave you the lyrics, though? I've seen some really strange rewrites of my stuff. I've seen one time they said the lyrics to "When Doves Cry" was "Dig, if you will, the picture of me, Marvin Gaye, and the kids." (Laughter)

Tavis: Well, you know what?

Prince: And then there was another one. This person will go unnamed. She didn't speak the English language too good. She had a really cute daughter, so that's why we was acquaintances. (Laughter) But she swore up and down "Little Red Corvette" was "Pay the rent collect."

Tavis: Well, you know what?

Prince: So you need to let me check that.

Tavis: Yeah, yeah, yeah - I'm a fast learner, so I'm not going to read none of these on the air. I'm just going to ask you about the songs and about the lyrical content, and for those who don't have the record, you can go to Lotusflow3r.com and get it and follow along at home. Even if you're two or three days late, you can play this back and follow along.

In no particular order, since we mentioned "Dreamer" first, tell me about "Dreamer."

Prince: Oh, well, when I saw the "State of the Black Union," Dick Gregory really moved me and a lot of my friends. I show it to everybody who comes over the house, especially White folks, because they need to hear that, so that they know more about all of us. Because what he said affects all of us.

He said something that really hit home about this phenomena of chem trails and when I was a kid, I used to see these trails in the sky all the time and I'd say, "Oh, that's cool - a jet just went over." And then you started to see a whole bunch of them and the next you know, everybody in your neighborhood was fighting and arguing and you didn't know why, okay?

And you really didn't know why. I mean, everybody was fighting. So he started riffing about the chem trails and he started to say things that hit home so hard, and I would recommend that everybody try to get what he said online or wherever, and try to get a copy of it and just listen to it, because I was so moved that I had to write the song.

The other thing is the first line of the song says I was born on the same plantation in the United States of the red, white and blue, and we live in a place now that feels just about like a plantation.

We're all indentured servants. When I found out there were eight presidents before George Washington, I wanted to smack somebody. I wanted to know why I was taught otherwise. Just tell me the whole story - I'll fill in the blanks. But don't tell me something that you think I'm supposed to know.

Tavis: We're indentured servants and we've got a Black president now?

Prince: Well, I don't vote. I don't have nothing to do with it. I got no dog in that race.

Tavis: And for those who would cuss me out and slap me in person if I didn't ask you why?

Prince: Well, the reason why is because I'm one of Jehovah's witnesses and we've never voted. That's not to say that I don't think Barack Obama - President Obama - is a very smart individual and he seems like he means well. Prophecy is what we all have to go by now.

It's very interesting. I did a sold-out concert in London and we played 21 nights in a row, and all the concerts were sold out. When I would watch television over there and you'd see the United Nations feed - the direct feed from the United Nations - you'd hear them talk a lot about religion. You'd hear the bible mentioned constantly.

This is not what we're used to in the United States. It's almost as though there's no need for god and no need for religion and justice in politics. So there's supposed to be a separation of church and state over here.

We can't have a separation of state and morality, though, and songs like "Dreamer" and even "Feel Good," it's the same thing.

Tavis: I've got good news and bad news. The bad news first, since I like ending on good news. The bad news is I'm out of time for this show. The good news is I think that if I lean on my friendship I might be able to get Prince to stick around for, like, another 12 minutes, and if you tune into this program tomorrow night we can finish our conversation.

It's never over, but we'll continue it, talking about these other three songs from the new CD, "Lotusflow3r," at Lotusflow3r.com you can get it. I want to ask you about these other three songs tomorrow night and then this fine artist who he referenced earlier - you can take fine any way you want to take it - this fine artist he referenced earlier in this conversation, Bria Valente -

Prince: Oh. (Clapping)

Tavis: Yes. Bria will join us tomorrow night as well.

Prince: Now you're talking.

Tavis: So tomorrow night - yeah, now we're talking.

Prince: All right.

Tavis: So tomorrow night, part two of our conversation with Prince and Bria Valente with us tomorrow night as well. She's one of the three CDs in this new "Lotusflow3r" package of three CDs. Prince, thank you for coming on.

Prince: Thank you.

Tavis: Appreciate it.
Tinitir
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29 avril 2009, 15:41

Merci bien pour la transcription!
Il est bien plus aisé de profiter de cette interview en la lisant, plutôt qu'en l'écoutant, en tout cas vu mon humble niveau en anglais. :)
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sexymailletf
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29 avril 2009, 18:05

Photos de la HD

Image

Image
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chane
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29 avril 2009, 19:39

Où la HD...où ça? 8O
et la deuxième partie, elle est quelque part?
Merci :wink:
"En fait on n'est pas vraiment en 2010... on est en 1010"
- Prince -
woufwolf
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29 avril 2009, 21:01

Tu as bien du courage de te donner ce mal.
Merci beaucoup.
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chane
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29 avril 2009, 22:31

Oui oups pardon j'ai oublié...merci pour la transcription c'est plus facile comme ça. :D
"En fait on n'est pas vraiment en 2010... on est en 1010"
- Prince -
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ma911
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30 avril 2009, 00:04

merci pour le boulot

a+
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Vincent2Paris
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30 avril 2009, 08:52

Merci pour la transcription.
J'attends la Partie 2 avec la même envie ;-)
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slimongi
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30 avril 2009, 10:55

Vincent2Paris a écrit :Merci pour la transcription.
J'attends la Partie 2 avec la même envie ;-)
J'ose espérer qu'il évoquera ses futurs projets ? (Nouvelle Tournée/autres projets studio?...)

:roll:
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dafonk
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30 avril 2009, 11:03

slimongi a écrit :
Vincent2Paris a écrit :Merci pour la transcription.
J'attends la Partie 2 avec la même envie ;-)
J'ose espérer qu'il évoquera ses futurs projets ? (Nouvelle Tournée/autres projets studio?...)

:roll:
Il parle d'un album de Jazz avec John Blackwell et Rondha Smith qu'il voudrait distribuer un peu comme LotusFlow3r par contre rien sur une tournée.
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slimongi
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30 avril 2009, 11:13

dafonk a écrit :
slimongi a écrit :
Vincent2Paris a écrit :Merci pour la transcription.
J'attends la Partie 2 avec la même envie ;-)
J'ose espérer qu'il évoquera ses futurs projets ? (Nouvelle Tournée/autres projets studio?...)

:roll:
Il parle d'un album de Jazz avec John Blackwell et Rondha Smith qu'il voudrait distribuer un peu comme LotusFlow3r par contre rien sur une tournée.
Merci!!

PS>Putain toujours pas d'accords avec WB pour 1 éventuelle remasterisation de son back catalogue :cry: (vieille rengaine je sais!)
Elvis Paisley
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30 avril 2009, 23:44

dafonk a écrit : ... par contre rien sur une tournée.
Pour ça, il se réserve pour le Jay Leno Show du 28 mai prochain... 8)
De toutes façons, il va faire les States, comme d'hab !
Sim Theury is my hero ! (Mais faut dire que des fois il déconne grave...)
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