Over the past couple of years, I have enjoyed speaking to you and sharing my passion for entertainment with personal stories and photos from my 50 years in the entertainment and music industry. I want to thank you for joining me each month to hear more about entertainment, movies, music, and TV shows. It has been a pleasure to get your comments and thoughts on my features and the great music and movies you have discovered through my blog.
Many of you have followed me to my favorite online shopping site to find a deep selection of CD’s, Vinyl, DVD’s, Video Games, Electronics, Books, Collectibles and more. The knowledgeable staff at DeepDiscount.com offers everything you could possibly want or need with prices you will not find in stores. And, there are no stores that could house or offer the selection you will find at DeepDiscount.com. They will always be my go-to spot to feed my passion for collecting music and movies. I hope you will continue to enjoy your shopping experience there too.
Before we get into this week’s post, I want to thank all of my new subscribers who came in from DeepDiscount.com. Welcome to the Violet Brown Told Me Blog! And to all of my previous subscribers, thank you for always being here!
Hip Hop will celebrate its 50th birthday on April 11, 2023. Throughout 2023 there are many events planned to celebrate the first 50 years. I started preparing for the festivities a little early. In 2022 I created a series of features titled “Hip Hop Hooray.” The series features facts and personal stories of working in the entertainment industry during the rise and evolution of hip hop. Below I am including links to my “Hip Hop Hooray” series. I am so fortunate to be alive and to continue to work in entertainment and music. It is a true honor to have been present and a part of the most formative years of this global phenomenon we call HIP HOP.
Hip Hop has been as important to the history of music as the birth of Rock & Roll.
Both genres of music originated in America, and both continue to evolve into new styles and sub-genres of the original music. The rapid popularity of rock and rap came from young rebellious fans. Both genres were seen as a threat to the establishment and especially to parents. Parents feared this music because it literally took over the hearts and minds of their children. Some parents and older folks called it “disturbing…just noise…devil music…shocking…or a fad that would not last.”
Rock and rap music has withstood the test of time and continues to evolve and gain popularity each year. And despite what was once said…IT IS HERE TO STAY!
Rock and rap music is usually loud, bold, and provocative. It can also be socially conscious, political, and a way to promote the awareness of racial, cultural, and economic issues. The music has greatly influenced the culture of every country and their people.
Today we have rock and hip hop artists creating music together. They often share the same stage at massive music festivals. Most importantly they are sharing the same fans and audiences. The music has been a source of unity by bringing their fans together. Currently hip-hop artists are even collaborating and touring with country artists. Times have changed and…I LOVE IT!
We feel and see the impact of hip hop everywhere
The influence of hip hop has changed the course of music by bringing new styles in music, poetry, art, dance, technology, film, fashion, media, entertainment, and more.
Last year Hip Hop made its way to the Super Bowl with one of the most anticipated and SPECTACULAR half-time shows. On Sunday, February 5, 2023, Hip Hop stunned the world again at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards with a tremendous tribute to the first 50 years of the genre.
I have personal connections to the majority of performers who participated in the Grammy’s joyous celebration of hip hop. In my series “Hip Hop Hooray” I share personal stories with many of these performers, pioneers, visionaries, legends, and “ICONS” of hip hop. If you are a fan of the music I hope you will use the links below to read the first 3 parts of my ongoing series on the history of hip hop. I hope you will enjoy reading and viewing personal stories and photos that I have taken over the “golden and platinum” era of hip hop. Since I am still active in the industry I will continue to include stories and photos with new artists too.
Since this post is really about the joy I felt watching the some of my friends and favorite artists on stage at the Grammys, I want to tell you about a historical hip hop release that includes most of the performers with their BIGGEST…most BELOVED songs.
Last year the prestigious Smithsonian Folkways label released an anthology featuring 129 of the most important songs of the first 45 years of the genre.
This 9-disc set tells the story of hip hop through these powerful and enormously popular songs. Smithsonian’s Anthology of Hip Hop and Rap explores the foundation and the evolution of Hip Hop. It also includes a 300-page coffee-table book filled with essays and rare, never-before-seen photos that span the formative years of hip hop. This is a MUST-HAVE for all fans of the music and it’s culture.
Here is a fun fact about my personal connection to this release: I am one of the music insiders who was invited to have a voice in the selection of the songs that would be included on this definitive anthology of hip-hop and rap.
The final songs that were chosen for this ground-breaking and historical release were compiled by a committee of well-respected rappers, scholars, writers, aficionado’s, music critics and industry leaders. The committee was led by rappers Chuck D of Public Enemy and MC Lyte, Jeff Chang, and Mark Anthony Neil (writers and scholars), Bill Adler and Bill Stephney (early Def Jam Executives), Questlove (Co-founder of The Roots, author, film maker and band leader of The Tonight Show) and 9th Wonder (rap artist and educator).
I was asked to submit 100 songs that I felt were worthy of being on this important piece of hip-hop history. I was quite pleased when I saw that many of my selections were loved by the whole group…they made the cut and are on SMITHSONIAN’S ANTHOLOGY of HIP-HOP and RAP.
It is my pleasure to enhance your experience at Deep Discount by offering a little extra information about your favorite Music. Movies, Collectibles and more.
I am excited to share my knowledge, experience, and personal stories from my life as a music industry insider with all of you. I have enjoyed a long career in many positions within the music industry. It has been rewarding to introduce customers to new or classic albums, artists and films. I also had the pleasure of working with new artists, helping them to fulfill their dreams of becoming established artists with millions of loyal fans. Many of these artists have become global superstars. I have wonderful memories and enough (behind the scenes) stories to fill several books. I love sharing interesting and entertaining personal stories and photos connected to my posts…
When I started my blog it was important to lead my readers to the best place to find all of the music and movies that I write about. When I found DeepDiscount.com I knew that I found “the place” that had everything and also offered great value to their customers. I found a shopping experience for myself that I would love to share with my readers. I am now pleased to invite Deep Discount customers to join my blog to hear more about the music, movies and TV shows that you love, and to discover new artists or actors you do not know about….YET!
Check back with me often, and let me know about music, movies, TV shows or topics that you want to know more about. If you find something that you love, tell me about it in the comments. Subscribe to my blog, for FREE and from now until March 31, 2023 all new subscribers will be entered into a raffle to win a $25 DeepDiscount.com coupon code.
Thank You for visiting my blog and if you want to know more about my interesting and exciting history in the entertainment industry check out my “Who’s Violet” page. There I will tell YOU, how a meeting with Eminem led to the name of my blog…Violet Brown Told Me!
I know a little something about all the questions I just presented to you. Along with working in music, I have also spent the last 13 years managing a Fitness Pro and her fitness business. Along with that, I also managed a large gym for 8 years.
Every year I would see the gym fill up through January and become less crowded every month until May.
That was about the time we would get another big burst of business from those seeking a “beach bod” for the summer.
When gyms were forced to close during the pandemic that left millions of us scrambling to find new ways to stay or get fit without the luxury of our gyms. Last year I wrote about my decision to use my home and the great outdoors for my own workouts. I knew that DeepDiscount.com had a huge selection of great workout equipment and DVDs but I did not know how great they were until I used them myself.
I found compact fitness equipment that I could easily transport and use anywhere. I discovered a company called Merrithew that had everything I needed to provide an excellent workout at home or at the park near my house. Their equipment gave me the freedom to workout anytime and anywhere. And their DVD selection provided an excellent variety of new workout options that kept me engaged. I tried new types of workouts that eliminated the boredom of doing the same thing every day.
I found resistance bands, flex bands, an awesome stability ball, strength tubing, yoga accessories, mats and more.I could no longer use the excuse of not being able to find what I needed to workout. DeepDiscount.com and Merrithew had EVERYTHING I needed
I even found something for fitness that my Granddaughter has loved throughout the year.
I picked up the “Merrithew Play and Exercise Kit for Kids” and she loves it. This is a MUST HAVE for any kids that may be spending a little too much time on their tablets, computer, phones, or video games. Yes, my granddaughter has all this expensive stuff but it’s the inexpensive “Play and Exercise Kit” that pulls her away from her screen-time.
After I purchased my Merrithew fitness equipment in 2022, I decided to look for some great fitness DVDs that I could use at home. I found excellent choices for myself, and for those who may be starting their fitness journey for the first time, and even some for those who like to “GO HARD” in their workouts. There were DVDs for any type of exercise I could think of. There was something for every need, interest or body part that needed some extra attention.
DVDs were available for all the new and popular workouts too. I found the “Total Barre Foundation Workout,” the “Drum Workout,” and a “Floor-Work Fluid Body Workout.” If you love moving to great music there is a Brazilian Workout called “Dance to Be Fit: Carnival Workout” …a “Bollywood Party Workout” … “Country Dance Workout” and more.
Since Deepdiscount.com is still offering their holiday sale pricing through 1/15/23, I am ready to choose my next workout DVD to motivate me through 2023. I will let you all know shortly which one I chose and how it is going.
Now that I have told you a lot about what I did in 2022 and what I will be doing in this glorious NEW YEAR that is upon us…
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO…IN 2023?
It is never too late to make or start a resolution…even if it is a February, March, April, or May resolution…Just make a commitment to yourself to do something positive towards your health in 2023…..and DO IT!
Everything I mentioned in this feature can be used in the safety and privacy of your own home. You can quietly start a new meal plan, use your new fitness equipment and DVDs, and surprise your friends with a NEW YOU by the summer. It’s all up to you and your start date.
Every meal plan or workout program will work for you if YOU decide to put in the work and follow your plan. DON’T GIVE UP ON YOURSELF!
Get your head in the game, pick a plan, get your equipment, GET SERIOUS, and GET MOVIN!
Use the provided Links to create your own workout space and you will be on your way to a better you in 2023!
Rap travels from the Bronx…to Harlem…to the clubs of NYC…and to RADIO & RECORDS
From the early seventies to 1979, rap was alive and well in the clubs, at house parties and in the parks of the Bronx. Soon everyone wanted to get in the game. MC’s and DJ’s started coming out of the woodwork. Battle rappin’ was becoming a huge thing and rap groups were forming everywhere. Battles became as big in the Bronx and Harlem as some of the sporting events and boxing matches. A well promoted rap battle could fill a venue. And Harlem World located in Harlem, NY was the epicenter of some of the first gigantic rap battles.
When two members of The Cold Crush Brothers left the crew and joined the Fantastic Five there became serious rivalry between the two groups. It did not take long before a new MC joined the Cold Crush Brothers. His name is GRANDMASTER CAZ (a.k.a. DJ Casanova Fly).
On July 3, 1981, one of the most legendary rap battles went down at Harlem World. It was between The Cold Crush Brothers and the Fantastic Five. The prize was $1,000 cash…WINNER TAKE ALL!
Cold Crush had been preparing for a major battle for almost a year and the time had finally come. They were about to go up against some “pretty boys” that seemed to be loved by the ladies….”THE FANTASTIC FIVE”
On the night of the battle, the club was HOT and packed with fans for each group. The winner would be chosen by the audience and the loudness of their cheering. Cold Crush was all about delivering dope lyrics that were also melodic. The Fantastic Five did not have lyrics of substance so they relied on getting the girls up front and screaming for them. Fantastic Five had dance routines, wore flashy clothes, and leaned heavily on their looks and flirting with the girls up front…..
Needless to say, the screaming girls worked and The Fantastic Five took home the $1,000 prize money. Cassette tapes of rap battles and live shows sold quickly throughout all 5 boroughs of New York. The tape of this battle revealed clearly who REALLY should have won the battle. The Cold Crush Brothers “CRUSHED IT” with their clever lyrics. When the underground, bootleg tape of the battle hit the streets “EVERYONE” was talking about the “Cold Crush Brothers.” At the time there were no real record labels signing rappers, and rappers were okay with that. The rap community loved having something that they could call their own. Rap was spontaneous, performed “LIVE” and found in the boroughs throughout New York. The underground tapes were giving The Bronx and Harlem a name in hip hop. Everyone wanted to be present when this music was performed live so the tapes were great for promoting the clubs, parties, and rap battles.
One night an R&B diva who had some radio hits under the name “Little Sylvia” (known for Pillow Talk & Love Is Strange) went to a party at a club in Harlem. Sylvia also had her own record label called “Platinum Records” which was not doing well. At the party she noticed the DJ who was also on the mic as an MC. He went by the name “Love Bug Starski.” Sylvia could not take her eyes off of him. After leaving the club she could not get “Starski” out of her mind. She saw something fresh and new that she felt could be big someday. It was not long until Sylvia Robinson founded the first hip hop record label…SUGAR HILL RECORDS. She and her son went out in search of a rapper that could thrill the world like she was thrilled watching “Love Bug Starski” in that Harlem club.
Sylvia Robinson and her son went to a local pizza shop to meet up with a guy who managed the Pizza spot and some of the local rappers. One of the rappers he managed was an amazing writer and member of the Cold Crush Brothers, “Grandmaster Caz.”
Sylvia and Joey rolled up and parked in the front of the shop and they asked, “Big Bank Hank” and a couple of his friends who also rapped a little to come out to the car to audition for her new record label. Big Bank Hank did not have lyrics of his own, so he started rapping lyrics that he knew. Those lyrics belonged to Grandmaster Caz (who was also known as Casanova Fly). Hank also managed Caz.
Sylvia loved what she heard from all three of the guys. They went by the monikers of Big Bank Hank, Wonder Mike, and Master Gee. Although she was only looking for one rapper to sign to her record label she decided that all three should be signed as a group. Sylvia Robinson did not know that Big Bank Hank’s lyrics were taken from another Rapper that Hank happened to manage.
Sylvia signed all of them and they became the “The Sugar Hill Gang.” Now Hank was in a real jam because he had no writing or real rapping skills of his own. He called his friend and client that he managed Grandmaster Caz. Hank asked Caz if he could borrow his lyric book to use some of his lyrics and rhymes. Caz thought if Hank’s group took off that it would be a break for him and “Cold Crush” as well. Caz handed over his precious lyric book to Hank. Back then, getting a record deal was new territory so Caz did not fully understand what could happen to him by handing over his “coveted and priceless” lyric book.
When The Sugar Hill Gang released their first BIG single “Rappers Delight” it took the world by storm. The song exploded on radio and the charts. It even cracked the Top 40 charts. The lyrics of Grandmaster Caz were now popular and made famous by “Big Bank Hank.” Fans were now rapping along to the lyrics of “The Sugarhill Gang”…so they thought!
FUN FACT (for everyone but Grandmaster Caz)
When Wonder Mike introduced Big Bank Hank in the beginning of Rappers Delight, this is what went down on the record.
Wonder Mike said….
“Well, so far you’ve heard my voice, but I brought two friends along….And next on the mic is my man Hank: come on, Hank, sing that song”
Then Big Bank Hank said…..
“Check it out: I’m the C-a-s-an-the-o-v-a, and the rest is f-l-y”
Hank didn’t even change the part in the song that actually spells out Caz’s original moniker, CASANOVA FLY. When Rapper’s Delight and the Sugarhill Gang shot to world-wide fame and fortune, our man C-a-s-an-the-o-v-a…f-l-y never saw a “p-e-nn-y” of royalties.
Caz did NOT get paid. The lyrics were “straight-up stolen,” No songwriting and credit and NO PAY! There were also other parts of the song that sounded much like lyrics that were performed during live sets in the clubs. It kind of makes you wonder how many lyrics were truly original and written for “Rappers Delight”
FUN FACT #2:
Rapper’s Delight was originally a 15-minute song that was recorded in just ‘ONE TAKE’. Black radio played the entire 15-minute version of the song but that was not suitable for pop radio, so the guys recorded a 7-minute version that introduced pop fans to the infectious hit song.
FUN FACT #3
I have always found this verse remarkably interesting…….
“A time to break and a time to chill To act civilized or act real ill But whatever ya do in your lifetime Y’never let a MC steal your rhyme!”
FUN FACT #4
In the classic hip hop film “Wild Style” from 1983, Grandmaster Caz plays himself. This film is a must see and one to own for all old-school hip-hop fans.
Although Grandmaster Caz received no writers credit or pay for his contribution to “Rappers Delight,” he is often acknowledged as the writer that took hip hop to the mainstream with the first “hit rap record.” Rappers Delight has now sold over 14 million copies…and counting.
In addition to Caz’s lyrics being stolen, the songs track also included a replayed sample of Chic’s “Good Times.” The two writers of “Good Times” sued Sugar Hill Records for copyright infringement. Writers, Nile Rodgers, and Bernard Edwards are now credited as songwriters on “Rappers Delight.”
My personal relationship to Rappers Delight….
Back in 1996, I had the concept in mind for an album that would be a tribute to some of the biggest rappers of the past.
Prominent rappers were asked to record “remakes” of their favorite rap songs that paid homage to the original songs and rappers.
On November 25, 1997 “In tha Beginning There Was Rap” was released and I was the Executive Producer.
Erick Sermon of EPMD, Keith Murray, and Redman (who had a close relationship with the Wu Tang Clan) recorded their remake of “Rappers Delight” for the album under the name “DEF SQUAD.” Their version also became a huge hit that pushed my album to #4 on the hip hop charts and into the Top 20 on the pop charts. Within two months the album achieved gold status, selling over 500,000 copies.
If you read Part 1 of “HIP HOP HOORAY” you heard that one of the true honors of my life was working with “DJ Grandmaster Caz” at the United Nations club in LA. In addition to being an important writer and MC, Caz is an enormously talented DJ.
Thanks to all of you that have sent messages concerning my hip hop features. I am glad that you enjoy hearing about the beginning of this important and historical era in hip hop.
I will be writing about several things that come to mind for October, but I will also keep the features coming on Hip Hop….Part IV is in the works now, so come on back for more!
Could your taste in documentaries lead to finding your perfect mate?
I recently read a friends post that said “I found my perfect match; we like the same documentaries”…could there be some truth in this statement?
I have been in my relationship over four decades and it’s true for us. We might argue about some TV shows to watch or what to have for dinner but when it comes to Docs, we are always on the same page.
Are we birds of a feather, flocking together?
We often learn a lot about each other based on the music, books, and movies we like. I have noticed that the best way to spark up a conversation and to get to know new friends is by asking them about the music, books, or their favorite movies, and podcasts. When they reveal their favorite documentaries, it’s probably the most telling. This gives a clear picture of the interests that are important in their life. When you hear the subjects and topics of their documentaries you will usually know if you are sticking around for more conversation or running off to your “imaginary meeting”.
Everyone seems to have favorite documentaries.
And just like the old saying, “there is someone for everyone” there are documentaries for everyone. No matter what you are interested in, you will find a podcast, or documentary for your viewing or listening pleasure (and even your guilty pleasures).
I love documentaries about Music, Art, Crime, History, Politics, Animals, the Environment, and something I like to call “twisted topics.” Twisted topics could be dark, shocking, edgy or anything my twisted mind finds appealing at the time. I am always open to watching documentaries to learn more about other things.
In August I will be featuring some of my favorite documentaries and films of special interest. Since I have so many based on a lot of topics I am going to break them up by my interests.
Since I view documentaries as an “ART” form, I have chosen “ART DOCUMENTARIES” as my first post in this series of “GREAT DOCUMENTARIES”
I want to give shout out to the amazing and talented members of the Long Beach Arts Council. I am proud to live in a city that is so supportive of the Arts and the Artists that flourish within Long Beach, California. Our art council participates in many things throughout the city. And as they should since Art surrounds us throughout all that we do.
I hope you will take the time to enjoy the trailers I have provided and to add some of these great documentaries to your own collections.
Exit Through the Gift Shop
This is the inside story of street art.
What happens when fame, money and vandalism collide? This is one of the most provocative art films ever made…a Banksy film!
Can watching movies with friends or groups of people that seem similar to you lead to being in a cult?
WHAT IS A CULT MOVIE?
There are many CLASSIC FILMS that are considered to be a masterpiece like Harry Potter, Star Wars or The Titanic. But there is also a plethora of movies called “CULT FILMS.” These films have a low budget, low box office numbers and a low following compared to the most “popular” movies with extremely devoted followers.
“When they go low, a specific cult film audience sometimes goes high.” I consider cult films to be high art, especially the classic Cheech & Chong films.
If you have never seen Reefer Madness I highly suggest seeing it with a group of friends and “unique snacks”
Cult films can be hilarious, horrific, bloody, gory, sexy, strange, evil, weird, naughty, scary and something the popular kids and their parents just don’t understand.
While the mass majority of movie goers shy away from films with questionable content, there are legions of “cool misfits” that just can’t get enough of cult films. In fact, they often see these films over and over again. They are passionate and dedicated to their favorite “off-beat” films. They shout-out dialogue and quote lines from their favorite films. You are highly likely to see people dressing up as characters or actively participating at a local midnight showing of some of the films that made it to “CULT CLASSIC” status .
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is a cult-classic and the “KING of CULT FILMS.”
“The Rocky Horror Show” started in 1973 as a play in London. The play became a movie and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” premiered on September 25, 1975. For 47 years there have been audiences all over the world dressing up like Frank N. Furter, Riff Raff, Rocky, Columbia, Magenta, Brad, Janet and the other 49 characters. They bring their own props to the midnight shows, they sing, shout out replies to lines in the movie and they famously do the “Time Warp.”
Let’s see if YOU remember how to do the “Time Warp”…no worries, no one is looking
Although I have seen the movie many times I am proud to say that I was one of the original members of the audience at The Roxy Theater on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood that attended the live production over a nine-month run in 1974. For the movie premiere myself and my Road Dawg Sheila, went on a bus with cast members from The Roxy theater in Hollywood to the United Artists Theatre in Westwood, California.
The Roxy live audience was much like the midnight movie audience, we dressed up, sang loudly and everyone did the time warp. This was definitely one of the “BEST” times of my life. Shout out to “Sheila” who joined me for many “Rocky” nights at The Roxy. I know she is reading this “cult movie” feature because she is still a cool, unique, weirdo, misfit.
Cult films are NOT to be watched alone.
You must share the “dark beauty” of your favorite cult films with your wackiest, most unique, weird, nerdy, and strange, mis-fit friends. These are typically the friends who are most likely to have ALL their badges from ALL their years attending Comic-Con. And they are always ready to tell you how each year was better than the rest…(these same friends may also be the ones most likely to have body parts in their freezer)….just kidding about the freezer but they WILL have those Comic-Con badges and wristbands.
Do you have what it takes to be a Cult Leader or are you more of a follower?
If you are considering having a CULT MOVIE party or a CULT MOVIE marathon, at your house or a venue, you should take on the role as the “CULT LEADER” for the day.
The CULT LEADER chooses the CULT FILM or films to bring to the party.
The followers usually bring the party favors, the junk food and the “brewskis”
It is not easy to recommend Cult Films because they are usually tailored to the specific taste of the viewers. For instance, there are cult groups that are enthusiastic about women’s prison films, naughty nurses, or nuns, while others love zombies, cannibals, and gory horror films.
I will offer some suggestions for a party with a mixture for those who like the popular, big budget cult films and for those that like to dig-deep into the freaky cult film vault.
HERE ARE THE MOST POPULAR CULT FILMS THAT MOST PEOPLE CAN ENJOY.
There are far too many popular Cult Films to name them all, but now you have a few choices to get your party started.
For those of you who like to dig deep for the hard-core cult films there are a ton more to choose from. Just read the titles because they often give you clues to the content of the films
Look for key words like Zombies, Sex, Evil, Girls, Women’s Prison, Naughty Nurses, Terror, Horror, Blood, Gore, Hell and all your favorite guilty pleasures. You will find the perfect films for those misfit friends I spoke about earlier in this feature.
Most music fans would agree that “PRINCE WAS A LEGEND”
When Prince Rogers Nelson was born, did his mother have a premonition that her baby boy would grow into his ROYAL NAME and RULE MANY GENRES of MUSIC?
PRINCE was PERFECTION…he was a MUSICAL GENIUS…he MASTERED 27 INSTRUMENTS…he was a PROLIFIC songwriter and composer…he had AMAZING GUITAR SKILLS…Some call Prince a GUITAR GOD (some say GUITAR HERO)
Prince was a Singer, Songwriter, Composer, Producer, Actor, Innovator, Game-changer, Music Mogul, GENIUS…ICON and a LEGEND!
Today, on April 21, 2022, it has been 6 years since PRINCE left us.
Prince fans will NEVER forget where they were and what they were doing on the morning of April 21, 2016, when they were hit over-the-head with the news of the passing of PRINCE. For me it was unbelievable and 6 years later it is still UN-REAL.
I had the rare opportunity to visit Prince at his private estate and production complex…PAISLEY PARK.
I was there on October 26, 1996, for a private listening party with Prince and 12 other fortunate music execs to hear his new album. The album was “Emancipation.” It was a triple album, so we were alone with Prince for more than 4 hours as he played and discussed all 36 songs on the album. After hearing the entire album Prince asked us if we wanted to stick around for a “demonstration.” We were not exactly sure what his demonstration would be but the invitation to stick around longer with Prince was “music” to our ears.
His demonstration turned out to be the MOST AMAZING and INTIMATE PRINCE SHOW we would EVER see!
The 13 of us….stood in his massive sound stage room where Prince usually rehearsed for all his major tours including his famous super-bowl performance.
Prince left us alone in the room and told us to have some snacks. The beverage of the night was delicious juices…NO ALCOHOL WAS ALLOWED AT EVENTS IN PAISLEY PARK. Prince was never much of a drinker – he only enjoyed a little red wine on special occasions.
After about an hour wait, all lights went out and we were standing in total darkness. Then a purple spotlight hit the middle of his giant “all-white” stage. Purple smoke started to spew out of fog machines that were on each side of the stage.
Prince stepped into the spotlight with his guitar. We could vaguely see the other band members through the purple fog/smoke.
Prince proceeded to give us a private show with a full band. I stood right in front of the stage, looking up at him as he played 10 songs. Song #2 was Purple Rain and he stood right at the edge of the stage. I could have touched his feet. He played Purple Rain for 13 people as though he was playing it for the Super Bowl….I felt as though I could faint…it was over-whelming.
We later found out that we had seen a rehearsal for a live show he was recording at Paisley Park. The special show would have an audience full of hardcore Prince fans. The show aired on MTV, BET & VH1 in November of 1996. The show was to promote and celebrate the release of his (triple) “Emancipation” album (released on Nov. 19, 1996)
Our special Prince show is “The most memorable show of my lengthy career in music” I have witnessed so many amazing and special shows, but this PRIVATE, INTIMATE PRINCE show for 13 people tops my list of the MOST MEMORABLE SHOWS OF ALL-TIME!
I am not going to get into specific albums by Prince, but I will invite you to use the link below to check out my feature on…PURPLE RAIN (written on 6/18/21).
I will end with my most treasured item and moment with Prince……….
On November 20, 2001, Prince released his 24th album on NPG Records along with Redline Entertainment.
The album was “The Rainbow Children” and I was a buyer for Wherehouse Music.
I was told that my sales rep was bringing something special to me from Prince. I had been given a few things from Prince over the years but this time my sales rep walked in with a CD. He asked me to play track 12, called “Family Name”. I listened closely for several minutes but nothing was standing out until I reached about 6:09 of the 8:17 minute song. It was at that moment in the song where Prince was jammin’ on his guitar and he said, “make a sound”
then all music ceased and he very clearly said, “Violet Brown.”
Then he went back to jammin.’ I could not believe my ears and it made me very emotional.
ALBUM: Rainbow Children
SONG: “Family Name” (Track #12…Verse 6)
(Found at 5:50-6:10 of the song)
People, people what’s your name? Maybe, we should start all over Let everybody get in the game Put up a one gloved fist Make a sound, Violet Brown
“The Rainbow Children” is not easily found but my blog sponsor deepdiscount.com carries an extensive catalog on all artists.
It was at a Goapele show in Hollywood where I had the rare opportunity to see Prince again. I was seated upstairs in a V.I.P area at a great table with 3 of my friends. A waiter came over and asked if he could seat 2 more people at my table. I said
“yes” and I noticed he was bringing Raphael Saadiq and another man to my table. Raphael sat down next to me which was fine because I know him well. When I looked at the other man I was shocked to see it was Prince. I whispered to Raphael that after the show I needed to speak to Prince. With so many eyes on Prince, he never seemed to make eye contact with anyone. He just sat and watched Goapele as she gave an outstanding performance. At the end of the show Raphael tapped my arm and then he said to Prince “This is Violet Brown, she is the…” and before he could finish Prince stood up and took my hand and said “I know exactly who she is. She is the buyer at The Wherehouse.” I then looked right into the eyes of Prince and told him how much the mention of my name in his song meant to me. As I was telling him how much his gesture touched my heart, I got emotional and started to cry. Raphael found this to be funny which made me a little embarrassed, but it did lighten the moment and helped me to calm down. This is one of my most memorable times with Prince.
Just in case you may be wondering who Goapele is and why Prince went to see her that night, just check out her video for “Closer.”
If you would like to add any of the 39 Prince studio albums…or the 5 live albums…or perhaps some of his 17 video releases to your personal collection….check out the full selection of Prince music and movies available from my blog sponsor DeepDiscount.com here (Prince on DeepDiscount.com)
Come back to see which ROCK LEGEND I feature next…..DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE???
Do you have a favorite film that you could watch over and over and……..over again?
This is the film that I could watch daily. In fact, I can just play it in the background as I work or drift off to sleep. The soundtrack is one of my favorite soundtracks of all time. This amazing soundtrack features the music of Cat Stevens who also happens to be one of my favorite singer songwriters.
A few years ago, a dear friend sent me a limited and numbered edition of the soundtrack on vinyl. It was a collectors’ copy so I did not play it and I chose to listen to the soundtrack in other ways.
Today as I was browsing through Deepdiscount.com, I noticed that a 50th Anniversary Edition on vinyl and CD was just released on 2/11/2022. The price is FANTASTIC, so I am picking up the 50th Anniversary edition on both vinyl and CD so I can play it at any time without the worry of scratching my collector’s edition. And by the way, my numbered, collectors’ vinyl copy was selling for nearly $1000 online.
HAVE YOU SEEN HAROLD and MAUDE, or has it been years since you have seen it?
I was just 17 years old when the film Harold and Maude was released. The trailer for the film had me from the first note of Cat Steven’s “If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out.” Then came the dark humor of the trailer and I was sold on seeing this film. When it was first released in 1971 it was not successful at the box office. I suppose the trailer was a little too dark for most people, but my twisted mind LOVED this film.
The stars of the film, Ruth Gordon and Bud Cort were magical together. They were loveable, funny, and carefree together. Maude at age 79, believed in living each day to the fullest and trying something new, every day. Harold was a 19-year-old boy, obsessed with death. He drove a hearse and attended the funerals, daily, of people he did not know. It was at one of these funerals where he first noticed Maude, who also was obsessed with attending funerals. These two finally get together and become friends and even lovers that learn to enjoy and experience life together in a whole new way. Harold comes alive and experiences joy with Maude that he had never felt before.
As their relationship grows we are taken through some of the funniest and most touching moments I have ever felt from a film. And as the story of Harold and Maude unfolds, we hear the beautiful music of Cat Stevens.
After 50 years, HAROLD and MAUDE still thrills new viewers. As word of mouth spreads it has become a CULT CLASSIC!
In the 80’s I was able to share this film with my own sons and they got the same feeling as I did when I first saw the film.
In 1997, Harold and Maude was preserved in the National Film Registry. The American Film Institute ranked the film at #45 of the 100 Funniest Films of all-time.
If you have not seen Harold and Maude, I hope my feature has sparked your interest in this film. If you have seen it, I hope you will see it again after reading this. Share the beauty of Harold and Maude with your loved ones.
Get the film….Get the 50th Anniversary Soundtrack while it is in stock and on sale……
And….IF YOU WANT to SING OUT, SING OUT!!!!!!
Harold And Maude (Original Soundtrack) on CD available here.
Harold And Maude (Original Soundtrack) on 180 gram vinyl – This is already sold out but more may become available here.