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Thread started 07/22/18 7:02pm

rdhull

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Was no traditional bass line in WDC a big deal to you?

Listening to a podcast (Heat Rocks) episode where Meshell Ndegeocellois the guest in a talk about the Purple Rain album once again brought comments about there being no bass line in WDC. TBH, that never made me perk up . It was nothing that made me feel any different than it already being a great song because the bass drum was the bass for me. Its not like I was listening for a bass beat in this future of the funk song anyways. There was a lot more going on even though it was minimalist. Was no traditional bass line in it big deal to you?

And everytime I scratch my nails down someone else's back I hope you feel it.. WELL CAN YA FEEL IT?!
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Reply #1 posted 07/22/18 8:01pm

Seahorsie

crysball Not really. I think it is probably like when the Impressionist painters first burst onto the art world, or the guy who invented the Crock Pot. Everyone stands back and says, "My God, I wish I had thought of That!" But....you...didn't, he did.

Good morning children...take a look out your window.
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Reply #2 posted 07/22/18 8:11pm

Lovejunky

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rdhull said:

Listening to a podcast (Heat Rocks) episode where Meshell Ndegeocellois the guest in a talk about the Purple Rain album once again brought comments about there being no bass line in WDC. TBH, that never made me perk up . It was nothing that made me feel any different than it already being a great song because the bass drum was the bass for me. Its not like I was listening for a bass beat in this future of the funk song anyways. There was a lot more going on even though it was minimalist. Was no traditional bass line in it big deal to you?

No..I didnt even notice until people started talking about it.

In other words

When Doves Cry lacks nothing..

“LOVE IS THE MASTERPLAN”
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Reply #3 posted 07/22/18 8:12pm

rdhull

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Lovejunky said:

rdhull said:

Listening to a podcast (Heat Rocks) episode where Meshell Ndegeocellois the guest in a talk about the Purple Rain album once again brought comments about there being no bass line in WDC. TBH, that never made me perk up . It was nothing that made me feel any different than it already being a great song because the bass drum was the bass for me. Its not like I was listening for a bass beat in this future of the funk song anyways. There was a lot more going on even though it was minimalist. Was no traditional bass line in it big deal to you?

No..I didnt even notice until people started talking about it.

In other words

When Doves Cry lacks nothing..

My sentiments exactly.

And everytime I scratch my nails down someone else's back I hope you feel it.. WELL CAN YA FEEL IT?!
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Reply #4 posted 07/22/18 9:13pm

EddieC

No. Didn't ever notice it myself. I mean, a lot of songs have fairly non-descript bass lines, and I guess if you'd asked me about it before I saw its absence discussed, I would have said it just thumped with the drum. I probably thought it did.

So why does it get so much talk? Because it's something definite that people can point to, and say that's different. When people know something is truly remarkable, they can't always find what actually needs to be remarked on about it. EVERYBODY can understand the idea that most songs have bass lines, but this one doesn't. That's genius, or at least it will do as a marker of it in someone people want to describe that way. It probably doesn't MAKE the song in anyway, but people want to understand greatness/genius, even if they don't achieve/possess it themselves. So Prince is a genius! How? Why? He writes funky songs without bass (I have no interest in arguing about whether When Doves Cry is funky--I've heard this "point" made with exactly that description). Someone says it, it sticks in people's heads, everyone thinks they have to bring it up ALL THE TIME. And it serves, for people who don't think about Prince often, as a definite "Yeah, that's brilliant!" factoid.

So, people who are trying to pump out a Prince-related article have it as a go to, especially if they're doing an interview. Few people are willing to just let the interviewee lead--and most subjects probably wouldn't necessarily go in a usable direction if there weren't some prompting and directing by the interviewer, who might not really know much about Prince but can hit on this subject with a quick bit of googling. It's probably easier for the people being asked, too--maybe a little boring, but easy, to have pretty much standard subjects and set answers to give.

It's really only a problem for those of us who read large amounts of this stuff. Yes, I've heard the he pulled the bass out and the first time I heard it, whoa, I just didn't get it, but then the tenth time, WOW it was the most mindblowing I ever heard, and ONLY PRINCE WOULD HAVE HEARD WHAT TO DO!!!!! story before, in fact I've heard it a few times THIS WEEK--but not everyone has, and even if they have heard it a time or two, the effect isn't to bore them, it's to make them feel a bit smart, kind of in the know. They're like, yeah, I knew that. Sure, we want to strangle them when they try to make small talk with this piece of information--but hey, it's more than most people know.

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Reply #5 posted 07/22/18 10:46pm

SkipperLove

When I was a kid, I noticed the lyrics more than anything. Am I alone in thinking that WDC has some of his best lyrics. Even as an adolescent, I thought they were profound.

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Reply #6 posted 07/22/18 10:53pm

PeteSilas

Lovejunky said:

rdhull said:

Listening to a podcast (Heat Rocks) episode where Meshell Ndegeocellois the guest in a talk about the Purple Rain album once again brought comments about there being no bass line in WDC. TBH, that never made me perk up . It was nothing that made me feel any different than it already being a great song because the bass drum was the bass for me. Its not like I was listening for a bass beat in this future of the funk song anyways. There was a lot more going on even though it was minimalist. Was no traditional bass line in it big deal to you?

No..I didnt even notice until people started talking about it.

In other words

When Doves Cry lacks nothing..

me either, i was barely 16 and didn't know anything about proper production, however, the point that has been made was that the sound was unique because of having no bass, that was true, even i realized that at 16, that i was hearing something unusual, not to mention the classical keyboard solos, totally unexpected at that time in rock music.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #7 posted 07/22/18 10:56pm

FragileUnderto
w

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Lovejunky said:

No..I didnt even notice until people started talking about it.

In other words

When Doves Cry lacks nothing..

Exactly. what i didnt know doesnt really matter

Cant believe my purple psychedelic pimp slap pimp2

And I descend from grace, In arms of undertow
I will take my place, In the great below
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Reply #8 posted 07/22/18 10:58pm

PeteSilas

also, i think it was a whole lot more than "no bass line" the opening with those wierd animalistic noises, the scattery guitar sounds that mimic the confusion our narrator feels, the simple vintage minneapolis keyboard riff, Prince's screams, lots of stuff special about the song. ad in the video and alot of us alienated, lonely teens found our kindred spirit.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #9 posted 07/22/18 11:08pm

SkipperLove

Pretty much the way I feel about the song, musically and lyrically. I didn't notice the bassline. In some ways, the lyrics could give all those "whiny" alternative rock folks a run for their money. (not dissing on nirvana but their songs aren't nearly as compassionate). In fact, I find WDC's lyrics more poignant because they are compassionate. Doves to me represent innocence and grace. Prince's song is less self-pitying because he tries to understand how his own behavior may have led to him being left alone in a cold world. Its a lament about our fall from grace when we argue due to emotional confusion/pride and then subsequently turn a cold eye to each other.

PeteSilas said:

also, i think it was a whole lot more than "no bass line" the opening with those wierd animalistic noises, the scattery guitar sounds that mimic the confusion our narrator feels, the simple vintage minneapolis keyboard riff, Prince's screams, lots of stuff special about the song. ad in the video and alot of us alienated, lonely teens found our kindred spirit.

[Edited 7/22/18 23:16pm]

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Reply #10 posted 07/23/18 12:18am

Lovejunky

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PeteSilas said:

also, i think it was a whole lot more than "no bass line" the opening with those wierd animalistic noises, the scattery guitar sounds that mimic the confusion our narrator feels, the simple vintage minneapolis keyboard riff, Prince's screams, lots of stuff special about the song. ad in the video and alot of us alienated, lonely teens found our kindred spirit.

I was 23 and I recall where I was when I first heard it...

the room

the decor

and the feeling that I wanted to hear it again ...

“LOVE IS THE MASTERPLAN”
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Reply #11 posted 07/23/18 4:30am

RJOrion

first time i heard it, i remember being blown away that the beat had such a tribal sound... i did notice after a couple listens that there was no bass...no bassline wasnt that big of a surprise, partly because he had already done that with "something in the water" on his previous lp
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Reply #12 posted 07/23/18 4:54am

Se7en

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The intro guitar (about 10 seconds) is amazing when you stop to realize what's being done. Check out YouTube - there are tutorials showing how complex that part actually is.

The lyrics (as someone above stated -- and no, you're not alone) are pure poetry. They are some of the best of his entire career. The choruses have that "auto-biographical" theme that the movie does.

The screams throughout.

Then there's the keyboard outro, which is also cool but might be the one thing that dates this song to the 80s.

All those things combined, maybe there was not ROOM (let alone NEED) for a bass guitar?!

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Reply #13 posted 07/23/18 7:49am

TrivialPursuit

rdhull said:

Listening to a podcast (Heat Rocks) episode where Meshell Ndegeocellois the guest in a talk about the Purple Rain album once again brought comments about there being no bass line in WDC. TBH, that never made me perk up . It was nothing that made me feel any different than it already being a great song because the bass drum was the bass for me. Its not like I was listening for a bass beat in this future of the funk song anyways. There was a lot more going on even though it was minimalist. Was no traditional bass line in it big deal to you?


It wasn't. The media, in whatever form, made it a big deal. There were other spartan songs out there. A lot of New Wave was often sparse or had a lot of space in them. And frankly with my bass knob cranked to 10, a kick in a song like WDC felt like a bass anyway. Hell, the kick always stays in pocket with a bass line anyway, so it was there even though it wasn't. I noticed it more after people started talking about it.

But even most of the media didn't click into it as much as they wanted us to think until someone pointed it out to them.

Noticing it did make it more interesting, but then again - when you're a Prince fan, it was just a Tuesday, really.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #14 posted 07/23/18 7:55am

TheFman

I never noticed it until the internet. I never missed it cause it feels as there is one anyway.

[Edited 7/23/18 7:55am]

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Reply #15 posted 07/23/18 8:48am

RodeoSchro

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Heck yes! It was earth-shaking, and completely different than anything else on the radio at the time.

It's easy to forget how that song was received, since it's been 34 years. And if one wasn't an adult back then - or at least in their late teens - then there's almost no way one would be able to digest that song in the environment that existed back then.

But it was a BIG deal.

Second Funkiest White Man in America

P&R's paladin
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Reply #16 posted 07/23/18 11:12am

PeteSilas

SkipperLove said:

Pretty much the way I feel about the song, musically and lyrically. I didn't notice the bassline. In some ways, the lyrics could give all those "whiny" alternative rock folks a run for their money. (not dissing on nirvana but their songs aren't nearly as compassionate). In fact, I find WDC's lyrics more poignant because they are compassionate. Doves to me represent innocence and grace. Prince's song is less self-pitying because he tries to understand how his own behavior may have led to him being left alone in a cold world. Its a lament about our fall from grace when we argue due to emotional confusion/pride and then subsequently turn a cold eye to each other.

PeteSilas said:

also, i think it was a whole lot more than "no bass line" the opening with those wierd animalistic noises, the scattery guitar sounds that mimic the confusion our narrator feels, the simple vintage minneapolis keyboard riff, Prince's screams, lots of stuff special about the song. ad in the video and alot of us alienated, lonely teens found our kindred spirit.

[Edited 7/22/18 23:16pm]

the ironic thing for me, when i was a teen, i never thought he was sincere, with all the glitz and glitter and rock star posturing, i never thought for a minute that the lyrics were actually autobiographical. as it turns out, he was telling us his story, right there, with a truth so pure.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #17 posted 07/23/18 11:16am

PeteSilas

Lovejunky said:

PeteSilas said:

also, i think it was a whole lot more than "no bass line" the opening with those wierd animalistic noises, the scattery guitar sounds that mimic the confusion our narrator feels, the simple vintage minneapolis keyboard riff, Prince's screams, lots of stuff special about the song. ad in the video and alot of us alienated, lonely teens found our kindred spirit.

I was 23 and I recall where I was when I first heard it...

the room

the decor

and the feeling that I wanted to hear it again ...

some critic said that the result of such a strange approach was that "you remembered where you were when you first heard it". It was generally true for me, I think I first saw the video when it premiered, or maybe it was when i was at a kids club either way I remember where I was the first few times i heard it. Also, i don't think we were used to hearing that kind of passion in those years, it was freaky.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #18 posted 07/23/18 11:19am

coldasice

Kiss doesn’t have one eitger, journalists never bring that up though.
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Reply #19 posted 07/23/18 11:21am

coldasice

PeteSilas said:



SkipperLove said:


Pretty much the way I feel about the song, musically and lyrically. I didn't notice the bassline. In some ways, the lyrics could give all those "whiny" alternative rock folks a run for their money. (not dissing on nirvana but their songs aren't nearly as compassionate). In fact, I find WDC's lyrics more poignant because they are compassionate. Doves to me represent innocence and grace. Prince's song is less self-pitying because he tries to understand how his own behavior may have led to him being left alone in a cold world. Its a lament about our fall from grace when we argue due to emotional confusion/pride and then subsequently turn a cold eye to each other.




PeteSilas said:



also, i think it was a whole lot more than "no bass line" the opening with those wierd animalistic noises, the scattery guitar sounds that mimic the confusion our narrator feels, the simple vintage minneapolis keyboard riff, Prince's screams, lots of stuff special about the song. ad in the video and alot of us alienated, lonely teens found our kindred spirit.




[Edited 7/22/18 23:16pm]



the ironic thing for me, when i was a teen, i never thought he was sincere, with all the glitz and glitter and rock star posturing, i never thought for a minute that the lyrics were actually autobiographical. as it turns out, he was telling us his story, right there, with a truth so pure.


They aren’t. He’s said before those songs were written in character for the movie.
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Reply #20 posted 07/23/18 11:39am

SkipperLove

That doesn't mean there are not nuggets of truth in there. He is demanding, bold, and his mother (according to P's sister) did never seem to be satisfied. There was arguing in his family. IT doesn't mean his "white" mother was being beaten by his father in their house when he was a struggling 24 year old musician who everyone called "the Kid". But there are probably nuggets. The song is just universal enough to be true. If you believe Mayte, the song did encapsulate Prince and his family pretty well.

coldasice said:

PeteSilas said:

the ironic thing for me, when i was a teen, i never thought he was sincere, with all the glitz and glitter and rock star posturing, i never thought for a minute that the lyrics were actually autobiographical. as it turns out, he was telling us his story, right there, with a truth so pure.

They aren’t. He’s said before those songs were written in character for the movie.

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Reply #21 posted 07/23/18 11:50am

ThatWhiteDude

SkipperLove said:

When I was a kid, I noticed the lyrics more than anything. Am I alone in thinking that WDC has some of his best lyrics. Even as an adolescent, I thought they were profound.

Nah, you're not alone I love the lyrics.

"Like books and BLACK LIVES, Albums still MATTER."
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Reply #22 posted 07/23/18 11:53am

PeteSilas

ThatWhiteDude said:

SkipperLove said:

When I was a kid, I noticed the lyrics more than anything. Am I alone in thinking that WDC has some of his best lyrics. Even as an adolescent, I thought they were profound.

Nah, you're not alone I love the lyrics.

fuck the lyrics, the poem on the album that reflected the lyrics were better and blew my mind as a kid.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #23 posted 07/23/18 11:59am

ThatWhiteDude

PeteSilas said:

ThatWhiteDude said:

Nah, you're not alone I love the lyrics.

fuck the lyrics, the poem on the album that reflected the lyrics were better and blew my mind as a kid.

What poem?

"Like books and BLACK LIVES, Albums still MATTER."
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Reply #24 posted 07/23/18 12:01pm

nextedition

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I never understood the big deal. Never thought about it until i read about and now people still talk about it like it was the most amazing thing ever. Lol.
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Reply #25 posted 07/23/18 12:13pm

PeteSilas

nextedition said:

I never understood the big deal. Never thought about it until i read about and now people still talk about it like it was the most amazing thing ever. Lol.

it was the critics who made a big deal of it, whether us average joes noticed it or not, i don't even know. I didn't, not really, but like i say, it was catchy just because something wasn't right. even if we didn't know about a bass, growing up on american music, your ears are used to hearing it even if you don't know what it is.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #26 posted 07/23/18 12:29pm

PeteSilas

ThatWhiteDude said:

PeteSilas said:

fuck the lyrics, the poem on the album that reflected the lyrics were better and blew my mind as a kid.

What poem?

Dig if u will the picture - of u and I engaged in a kiss. The sweat of your body covers me. Can u picture this, my darling? An ocean of violets engulf our persons. A bird screams. At 1st, I think it's u and u thought it was me. Oh, if only violets could talk. Insecurities. Do u know who u are? Then it doesn't matter who screamed 1st. Did it matter who ate of the apple 1st? The end result was negative. Can u pass me the pepper? Why, because u told me salt was bad 4 me. I thought u liked eggs. I thought u liked me. Well, eggs are the only thing I can make besides a baby. Why do u look at me like that? What are u thinking? I know u better than u think I do. There's this purple suspicion that lurks in the anals of my mind that u and I are alike in more ways than 6. Can u relate? oh yeah? Then what's the difference between a beautiful man and an ugly man with money? Nothing - as far as you're concerned. Do u still want 2 spend the night? Good. Come on. U said u would wash my hair. Shall we go swimming 1st? U can't swim. Wonderful. "I'll teach u 2 swim, I'll teach u 2 try, I'll teach u 2 laugh, but not 2 cry. I'll teach u 2 trust me when u think I lie, I'll teach u 2 love me until we die." It's from a song I wrote. Do u believe that? U do? Well, I lied. I just made it up. Pretty good, huh. It's not nice 2 lie. I think we're on the right track. Shall I wash u 1st or shall u wash me?



Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #27 posted 07/23/18 1:34pm

ThatWhiteDude

PeteSilas said:

ThatWhiteDude said:

What poem?

Dig if u will the picture - of u and I engaged in a kiss. The sweat of your body covers me. Can u picture this, my darling? An ocean of violets engulf our persons. A bird screams. At 1st, I think it's u and u thought it was me. Oh, if only violets could talk. Insecurities. Do u know who u are? Then it doesn't matter who screamed 1st. Did it matter who ate of the apple 1st? The end result was negative. Can u pass me the pepper? Why, because u told me salt was bad 4 me. I thought u liked eggs. I thought u liked me. Well, eggs are the only thing I can make besides a baby. Why do u look at me like that? What are u thinking? I know u better than u think I do. There's this purple suspicion that lurks in the anals of my mind that u and I are alike in more ways than 6. Can u relate? oh yeah? Then what's the difference between a beautiful man and an ugly man with money? Nothing - as far as you're concerned. Do u still want 2 spend the night? Good. Come on. U said u would wash my hair. Shall we go swimming 1st? U can't swim. Wonderful. "I'll teach u 2 swim, I'll teach u 2 try, I'll teach u 2 laugh, but not 2 cry. I'll teach u 2 trust me when u think I lie, I'll teach u 2 love me until we die." It's from a song I wrote. Do u believe that? U do? Well, I lied. I just made it up. Pretty good, huh. It's not nice 2 lie. I think we're on the right track. Shall I wash u 1st or shall u wash me?



Thanks for posting that poem Pete. Never read it before, it really is awesome. Prince was a very giftet writer.

"Like books and BLACK LIVES, Albums still MATTER."
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Reply #28 posted 07/23/18 1:53pm

PeteSilas

ThatWhiteDude said:

PeteSilas said:

Dig if u will the picture - of u and I engaged in a kiss. The sweat of your body covers me. Can u picture this, my darling? An ocean of violets engulf our persons. A bird screams. At 1st, I think it's u and u thought it was me. Oh, if only violets could talk. Insecurities. Do u know who u are? Then it doesn't matter who screamed 1st. Did it matter who ate of the apple 1st? The end result was negative. Can u pass me the pepper? Why, because u told me salt was bad 4 me. I thought u liked eggs. I thought u liked me. Well, eggs are the only thing I can make besides a baby. Why do u look at me like that? What are u thinking? I know u better than u think I do. There's this purple suspicion that lurks in the anals of my mind that u and I are alike in more ways than 6. Can u relate? oh yeah? Then what's the difference between a beautiful man and an ugly man with money? Nothing - as far as you're concerned. Do u still want 2 spend the night? Good. Come on. U said u would wash my hair. Shall we go swimming 1st? U can't swim. Wonderful. "I'll teach u 2 swim, I'll teach u 2 try, I'll teach u 2 laugh, but not 2 cry. I'll teach u 2 trust me when u think I lie, I'll teach u 2 love me until we die." It's from a song I wrote. Do u believe that? U do? Well, I lied. I just made it up. Pretty good, huh. It's not nice 2 lie. I think we're on the right track. Shall I wash u 1st or shall u wash me?



Thanks for posting that poem Pete. Never read it before, it really is awesome. Prince was a very giftet writer.

it's so prince, funny, wierd, deep, mysterious, loopy;Prince.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #29 posted 07/23/18 1:56pm

SkipperLove

Yep. That's why we love him.

PeteSilas said:

ThatWhiteDude said:

Thanks for posting that poem Pete. Never read it before, it really is awesome. Prince was a very giftet writer.

it's so prince, funny, wierd, deep, mysterious, loopy;Prince.

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