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Thread started 06/21/19 3:35pm

herb4

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Prince and the PMRC Thing

This came up in another thread and I felt it was worth revisting and discussining. Post # 13 in this thread


https://prince.org/msg/7/...g_10307285

Prince was central to getting this whole weird, fascinating thing going and I've heard it said that he didn't bother with the Senate hearings because he was OK with the warning labels but never seen it confirmed or denied. At a glance, and knowing what I know about Prince at the time and his stance on sex, artistic freedom and pushing boundaries, I have to wonder.

After watching John Denver, Zappa, Dee Snider just crush these pearl clutching senators, I can't help but wonder what Prince showing up would have been like. In some ways, he was the flashpoint of the controversy since he was the most popular act during that time and had three of the "Filthy Fifteen: song writing credits

https://en.wikipedia.org/...rce_Center

Here's Zappa, Snider and Denver for those who haven't seen this

https://www.youtube.com/w...gAF8Vu8G0w


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0Vyr1TylTE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgSjjD6rRu4

Might have been wild to see our man show up and speak

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Reply #1 posted 06/21/19 5:52pm

djdaffy1227

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Glad he didn't go to the hearings. Adds to his mystique! smile

Making love and music are the only things worth fighting for.
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Reply #2 posted 06/21/19 10:43pm

MotownSubdivis
ion

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Most of the Filthy 15 artists didn't bother attending the hearings either. Would've been a waste of P's time.
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Reply #3 posted 06/22/19 1:02am

BartVanHemelen

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herb4 said:


Prince was central to getting this whole weird, fascinating thing going and I've heard it said that he didn't bother with the Senate hearings because he was OK with the warning labels but never seen it confirmed or denied. At a glance, and knowing what I know about Prince at the time and his stance on sex, artistic freedom and pushing boundaries, I have to wonder.

.

He's said so explicitely in an interview, possibly even in one from the time he rarely did those.

© Bart Van Hemelen
This posting is provided AS IS with no warranties, and confers no rights.
It is not authorized by Prince or the NPG Music Club. You assume all risk for
your use. All rights reserved.
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Reply #4 posted 06/22/19 9:44am

herb4

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BartVanHemelen said:

herb4 said:


Prince was central to getting this whole weird, fascinating thing going and I've heard it said that he didn't bother with the Senate hearings because he was OK with the warning labels but never seen it confirmed or denied. At a glance, and knowing what I know about Prince at the time and his stance on sex, artistic freedom and pushing boundaries, I have to wonder.

.

He's said so explicitely in an interview, possibly even in one from the time he rarely did those.


that's what I've been told but I've never seen or heard it.

And before you tell me to google it and call me a lazy retard or something, as you love to do, I did look for it so if you can dig it up and link it I'd be interested and most appreciative.

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Reply #5 posted 06/22/19 11:58am

TrivialPursuit

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I remember this in the 80s. It was all over the media. These heifers wanted a whole system of record ratings. X=Sexual, S=Satanism, V=Violence, etc. It was prophetic in how TV shows are rated now.

It was so weird that John Denver was there. He was such a white-bred safe artist. But it showed me that whether you're someone like Zappa or Denver, you had to stand up for freedom of speech when a bunch of desperate housewives found a new cause.

Prince would've never showed up, but he certainly didn't back down from being who he was and saying what he wanted to say. Madonna didn't either. Some of the other filthy fifteen faded out, but two of the three biggest acts of the 80s (MJ being the first) used this PMRC bullshit to push the envelope even further. Lovesexy's cover or Erotica's content doesn't seem like much now, but back then? Sheeeet, it was a constant kerfuffle. Which I loved every minute of it.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #6 posted 06/22/19 1:14pm

herb4

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TrivialPursuit said:

I remember this in the 80s. It was all over the media. These heifers wanted a whole system of record ratings. X=Sexual, S=Satanism, V=Violence, etc. It was prophetic in how TV shows are rated now.

It was so weird that John Denver was there. He was such a white-bred safe artist. But it showed me that whether you're someone like Zappa or Denver, you had to stand up for freedom of speech when a bunch of desperate housewives found a new cause.

Prince would've never showed up, but he certainly didn't back down from being who he was and saying what he wanted to say. Madonna didn't either. Some of the other filthy fifteen faded out, but two of the three biggest acts of the 80s (MJ being the first) used this PMRC bullshit to push the envelope even further. Lovesexy's cover or Erotica's content doesn't seem like much now, but back then? Sheeeet, it was a constant kerfuffle. Which I loved every minute of it.

What did MJ do to "push back"? Genuinely curious.

Plus the whole thing sort of backfired rather spectacularly to the point where artists almost NEEDED the parental advisory sticker to have "street" credibility and move records. Artists (or labels at least) would release "clean" versions of the "dirty" album and the one with the sticker would invariabely sell more. Teenagers FLOCKED to the "nasty" records and, in a sense, the amount of objectionable material only got worse as the pushback set in.

Jane's Addiction (I think it was) released an album with nothing but the warning label on the cover. Hip hop and metal acts used it as a badge of honor.

As a parent, I can sort of understand the motivation. I think in their own twisted way they meant well. Protecting my son from some of YouTube's "kid friendly" material requires my constant attention, and that's my job as a parent. But the execution was so misguided, arbitrary and all over the place and the stuffed shirt, late to the game, church wife posturing and pearl clutching on display by the senators and their wives was so out of touch that it was laughable. That Filthy Fifteen song list reads like some uptight old lady did a cursory google search.

What? No "Erotic City", "Sister", "Let's Pretend We're Married" or "Horny Toad"?

"Head"?

...

I can't help but picture Prince strolling out in his purple hooded robe, surrounded by his entourage ala the AMA awards and giving a dissertation on spirituality and introducing his b-side "God" and how he included the lord's prayer in one of his songs into the record. Probably just as well that he didn't but it's interesting to contemplate.

I never read or heard where he commented all that much either way or the other on the "issue" so if anyone has anything, please post it. None of the interviews I've read touch on it. I know Prince softened his act later on around 2000 or so and mentioned "kids in the audience".

When this came up in a different thread, someone posted a cassette image of "Dirty Mind" and it had a "warning: explicit language" label on it. Not the PMRC one. Got me to wondering how that happened since that album was released before this "kerfuffle", as you put it. I assume it was a re-issue.


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Reply #7 posted 06/22/19 1:31pm

Mikado

I don't think giving Congressional testimony would have been Prince's strong suit. Dee Snyder was brash and confident, but Prince probably would have been a bit nervous. Just not a scene I can see him in.

A certain kind of mellow.
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Reply #8 posted 06/22/19 1:34pm

BartVanHemelen

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https://www.rollingstone....ks-189956/

.

Still, that probably wouldn’t prevent the song from getting a parental-warning sticker. “I don’t mind that,” Prince says. “I think parents have a right to know what their children are listening to.”

.

© Bart Van Hemelen
This posting is provided AS IS with no warranties, and confers no rights.
It is not authorized by Prince or the NPG Music Club. You assume all risk for
your use. All rights reserved.
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Reply #9 posted 06/22/19 1:40pm

BartVanHemelen

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herb4 said:

BartVanHemelen said:

.

He's said so explicitely in an interview, possibly even in one from the time he rarely did those.


that's what I've been told but I've never seen or heard it.

And before you tell me to google it and call me a lazy retard or something, as you love to do, I did look for it so if you can dig it up and link it I'd be interested and most appreciative.

.

Here's what I did: I assumed there was a good chance it was in the 1990 RS interview with Neal Karlen, so I looked for that and searched for "warning", et voila.

.

Now look at what I said: "one from the time he rarely did those". Now look at https://www.princevault.c...Interviews and look for the interviews he did after the PMRC was established. Did you look those up and look through them? I bet you didn't, because this 1990 one is basically the first interview he did since that happened.

.

So yeah, I question your "research" very much.

© Bart Van Hemelen
This posting is provided AS IS with no warranties, and confers no rights.
It is not authorized by Prince or the NPG Music Club. You assume all risk for
your use. All rights reserved.
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Reply #10 posted 06/22/19 6:54pm

djdaffy1227

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TrivialPursuit said:

It was so weird that John Denver was there. He was such a white-bred safe artist. But it showed me that whether you're someone like Zappa or Denver, you had to stand up for freedom of speech when a bunch of desperate housewives found a new cause.

John Denver's "Rocky Mountain high" was banned from many radio stations back in the day. He understands what it is like to be censored. He explained that at the hearings.

Making love and music are the only things worth fighting for.
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Reply #11 posted 06/22/19 7:08pm

PennyPurple

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BartVanHemelen said:

.

Here's what I did: I assumed there was a good chance it was in the 1990 RS interview with Neal Karlen, so I looked for that and searched for "warning", et voila.

.

Now look at what I said: "one from the time he rarely did those". Now look at https://www.princevault.c...Interviews and look for the interviews he did after the PMRC was established. Did you look those up and look through them? I bet you didn't, because this 1990 one is basically the first interview he did since that happened.

.

So yeah, I question your "research" very much.


[Name calling snip - luv4u]

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Reply #12 posted 06/22/19 8:08pm

TrivialPursuit

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herb4 said:

TrivialPursuit said:


Prince would've never showed up, but he certainly didn't back down from being who he was and saying what he wanted to say. Madonna didn't either. Some of the other filthy fifteen faded out, but two of the three biggest acts of the 80s (MJ being the first) used this PMRC bullshit to push the envelope even further. Lovesexy's cover or Erotica's content doesn't seem like much now, but back then? Sheeeet, it was a constant kerfuffle. Which I loved every minute of it.

What did MJ do to "push back"? Genuinely curious.


I never said MJ pushed back. I said, "two of the three biggest acts of the 80s (MJ being the first)..." The push back was two of the three. Who's the third/first? MJ. The three big artists of the 80s was MJ, Madonna, Prince. The latter 2 of the 3 pushed back. The first of the three, in case anyone wondered, was MJ.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #13 posted 06/23/19 5:56am

TheBigBang

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PennyPurple said:

BartVanHemelen said:

.

Here's what I did: I assumed there was a good chance it was in the 1990 RS interview with Neal Karlen, so I looked for that and searched for "warning", et voila.

.

Now look at what I said: "one from the time he rarely did those". Now look at https://www.princevault.c...Interviews and look for the interviews he did after the PMRC was established. Did you look those up and look through them? I bet you didn't, because this 1990 one is basically the first interview he did since that happened.

.

So yeah, I question your "research" very much.

[Snip - luv4u]

I fail to see what needs to be moderated in that comment. He didn't name call or curse. Absolutely nothing inflammatory. I think some of you need a little thicker skin. I'd say grow up, but it's almost more like you need to be born first.

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Reply #14 posted 06/23/19 6:18am

rogifan

I was always amused that Purple Rain led to the parental advisory label. The album is pretty tame. But I suppose at the time his popularity made him an easy target.
Paisley Park is in your heart
#PrinceForever 💜
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Reply #15 posted 06/23/19 7:05am

udo

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PennyPurple said:

[Snip - luv4u]

.

Dicks are made for ....

Why complain about the shape and form of things instead of the actual message?

That might be why mods do what they do.

Pills and thrills and daffodils will kill... If you don't believe me or don't get it, I don't have time to try to convince you, sorry.
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Reply #16 posted 06/23/19 9:17am

herb4

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BartVanHemelen said:

https://www.rollingstone....ks-189956/

.

Still, that probably wouldn’t prevent the song from getting a parental-warning sticker. “I don’t mind that,” Prince says. “I think parents have a right to know what their children are listening to.”

.


thanks.


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Reply #17 posted 06/23/19 9:33am

herb4

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BartVanHemelen said:

herb4 said:


that's what I've been told but I've never seen or heard it.

And before you tell me to google it and call me a lazy retard or something, as you love to do, I did look for it so if you can dig it up and link it I'd be interested and most appreciative.

.

Here's what I did: I assumed there was a good chance it was in the 1990 RS interview with Neal Karlen, so I looked for that and searched for "warning", et voila.

.

Now look at what I said: "one from the time he rarely did those". Now look at https://www.princevault.c...Interviews and look for the interviews he did after the PMRC was established. Did you look those up and look through them? I bet you didn't, because this 1990 one is basically the first interview he did since that happened.

.

So yeah, I question your "research" very much.


aaaannnd, there we go.

You are the king. I bow to your talents, smartest person on the org.

Really glad I asked.

Charming

Here's what I did:

I googled: "Prince PMRC interview", "Did Prince object to the PMRC warning labels?" and "Prince comments on the PMRC and warning stickers." And didn't find it so I asked for help.

I guess my investigative journalist career is over. You can get out of my thread now if you want and go yell at teenagers to get off your lawn. I'll PM you if I need your encyclopedic research skills again. Thanks again.

...

On topic:

I agree Prince made the right call by not appearing. It would have been an absolute circus and, as much as I would loved to have seen it just for the spectacle (and I loved Prince), I can't see him coming off well for some reason, at least at that stage of his career. This was 8 months after the whole We Are the World fiasco where Prince had already taken a public relations hit of sorts - being perceived as a prima donna and such - and his level of fame around that time was far bigger than Zappa, Denver or Snider's from a mainstream standpoint that his mere presence would have become the entire story.

Any fuck up or mistatement on Prince's part would have been magnified and run into the ground with soundbites. I think having Zappa, who was always very intelligent but percieved as a weirdo, Snider going in there and looking insane but coming off as very articulate and then Denver with the slam dunk was well enough.








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Reply #18 posted 06/23/19 10:53am

Revolution81

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This thread needs a parental advisory warning

My fathers got a shotgun...I hope he doesn't use it
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Reply #19 posted 06/23/19 3:29pm

herb4

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TrivialPursuit said:

herb4 said:

What did MJ do to "push back"? Genuinely curious.


I never said MJ pushed back. I said, "two of the three biggest acts of the 80s (MJ being the first)..." The push back was two of the three. Who's the third/first? MJ. The three big artists of the 80s was MJ, Madonna, Prince. The latter 2 of the 3 pushed back. The first of the three, in case anyone wondered, was MJ.


Oh, may bad. I misunderstood your post.
Sorry about that one

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Reply #20 posted 06/23/19 9:54pm

mbdtyler

BartVanHemelen said:

https://www.rollingstone....ks-189956/


.



Still, that probably wouldn’t prevent the song from getting a parental-warning sticker. “I don’t mind that,” Prince says. “I think parents have a right to know what their children are listening to.”



.



This actually ain't all that surprising. It sounds like Prince was more conservative than a lot of people realized, from some of the stuff I've read on here.
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Reply #21 posted 06/24/19 2:54am

WhisperingDand
elions

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The touch down dance might have gone on a tad longer than necessary, but the Bortman does deliver when directly prompted / provoked 10 out of 10 times. I'd never actually seen the interview before myself but it's in line with what I'd expect, fantastic citation all around.

Personally, I mean, I figure Prince doesn't show up for We Are the World, he's not showing up for this. While I can see the appeal of Bizarro World super ostentatious Bono-esque socio-political advocate Prince, like others I definitely appreciate and value the mystique all around. I would rather he not participate, lay low, and express a more contrarian-than-expected reaction. It made for a cooler artistic portrait to be commanded by his own whims and values rather than the ones society would more expect/appreciate.

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