Episode 197: The Purple One

Episode 197: The Purple One
Pat is joined by Guest Co-Host Writer/Director Josh Stolberg to discuss the career of Prince.
From April 23, 2015

With your host:

Pat Francis

00:00:00 Pat welcomes us to the show. We get the usual opening banter between Pat and Kyle. Kyle is munching on a donut, but his youthful metabolism brushes it off the shoulder. They also discuss the new Daredevil TV show on Netflix which they both enjoy. It's like Batman Begins meets Law and Order. But enough about that goodly small talk, we got a guest in studio. It's writer and director Josh Stolberg!
Josh has known Pat's wife Pilar for a long time. In addition to being a writer and director, Josh is also a photographer. Making movies can take a long time, so it's nice to have something on the side to pass the time. He also makes sure not to use Photoshop.
00:05:00 Josh shot nudes of his wife and wanted to shoot nudes of a pregnant Pilar. They've known each other since they were in their 20s. The two met in a touring group of Grease where Pilar was Rizzo. Josh has a picture of Pilar dancing horribly. And then they moved out to L.A. around the same time. Josh is a go-getter when it comes to writing and directing. He puts a lot of hooks in the water. He also wrote Good Luck Chuck with Dane Cook and Jessica Alba.
00:10:00 The reviews were, shall we say, not good. 5% on Rotten Tomatoes. But it did make some money. Josh would prefer the good reviews. He did get his name on a billboard, so that's cool. Josh reads an excerpt from a bad review. What does Kyle think of Good Luck Chuck? "It's fine," Kyle says in the weakest of voices. Josh reminds us that you don't go into it to make a shitty movie; you just put in the same time and effort as other movies. Josh got his start in kids TV and then moved on to movies.
00:15:00 Some more bad reviews: Someone called Domino's Oreo Pizza "the Good Luck Chuck of pizzas." Josh says the marketing didn't help either. The studio billed it as a sweet romantic comedy when it was actually a lot dirtier. The whole studio process is complicated. It's easier to have a baby than to get a studio movie made.
Today's topic is about Josh's favorite artist ever Prince. Josh first heard him with the 1999 album, then he went back and heard his earlier stuff. Josh is a Prince completist and he likes to listen to him in the bath with candles like a true gentleman should. Prince has 32 studio albums, which comes to about an album a year.
00:20:00 Prince has gigantic successes, but he also puts out albums that he know will not sell. It was very exciting yet difficult for Josh to pick out songs. He wanted to choose songs that move him, but also songs that people wouldn't know. Kyle only knows the hits and the Batman soundtrack. Josh has a Batman song on his list, but don't worry Kyle it isn't "Batdance." We get some discussion on Tim Burton's Batman. Pat isn't a big fan of Burton as a director and he didn't like Jack Nicholson as The Joker. He calls him "Jack Nicholson in whiteface." Josh was a bigger fan than Pat because he liked the camp of the TV series. He still has the Batman tin case.
00:25:00 Alright, let's get this funky force started. Josh worried about having the same songs as Pat, but that is not an issue. Josh starts us off with a song from the Batman soundtrack called "Electric Chair". Josh assumed Pat would play the entire Batman album, but he certainly made an ass out of u and me. Fun fact: Kim Basinger appears on the song "Scandalous!" Pat thinks Prince made sweet love to all the women he collaborated with. Hell, I would find it hard not to swoon when Prince was near. He radiates sexual energy like nobody's business.
00:30:00 Pat's first pick is from the album Dirty Mind. It's called "When You Were Mine". Prince played everything on that album, as he did for his first five albums until Purple Rain. Prince even got to produce his debut album For You. Warner Bros. sent a guy down to check in on Prince and reported back that Prince would be just fine. His first album wasn't a success, so Prince had to step up his game and put out better singles. It didn't take long for him to do so. The man has singles up the wazoo. Pat says that that type of artist is dying out.
00:35:00 Pat says that the problem is that record companies don't stick with artists if their first album doesn't do well. Now it's all about touring and merchandise. People also look for singles instead of albums. Josh's next pick, though not a single, is an example of acoustic Prince. He plays "The Truth" from the box set Crystal Ball. Prince is always making music. Every day he wakes up, eats a nice bowl of spaghetti, drinks his orange juice, and heads into the studio.
00:40:00 Up next for Pat is a song called "Fury" from the album 3121. Prince hasn't put out any anniversary re-releases of his stuff. There have been re-records, but no re-releases. Pat wants to know what 3121 means. Inspector Kyle has the info: it's the Bible Psalm 31:21, as well as the album being Prince's 31st release and the release date was on the 21st. Past has seen Prince live only once. Josh has seen him live 15 times, including in smaller venues like the Key Club.
00:45:00 The best time Josh ever saw Prince was in the tiny banquet hall of the Roosevelt Hotel on Sunset. At Midnight, Prince still hadn't gone on and Josh's wife had to leave. Prince finally went on and put on a great show. Then after the show, people were setting up instruments in the lobby like some sort of live jazz thing. Josh decided to stick around. At 2:30 in the morning, Prince came down in his pajamas and jammed for a few hours. Then he left and came back again to play in front of about 2 dozen people.
Josh's next song is he and his wife's first song at their wedding. Off the double album Sign o' the Times, it's the song "Adore". Sign o' the Times is Josh's favorite Prince album. Pat plays his own pick from the album called "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man".
00:50:00 In addition to the funky goodness, Prince also delved into jazzier blues stuff. Josh plays "Old Friends 4 Sale" from the album The Vault: Old Friends 4 Sale.
Purple Rain was the album that took Prince to the stratosphere. He had the top album, top single, and top movie all in one week. Only The Beatles could also hold such a claim. Josh says the movie still holds up. Pat plays the song "Take Me with U".
00:55:00 Prince still looks amazing at 56 years old. It must be all that basketball. Pat wonders what Prince is like on the tour bus after the show. Does he play board games? Josh remembers when he hung out with Rob Zombie, he was the most average guy around. Pat thinks Price floats on a cloud like some ancient deity. Josh has interviews from before the Purple Rain era where he isn't as guarded as he's known to be. Josh plays another song from Purple Rain called "Darling Nikki".
01:00:00 Prince doesn't play that song anymore because he's a Jehovah's Witness. He also changes the lyrics to his sexy songs when he performs live. Prince has always been so mysterious with his identity. Black, white, straight, gay. He plays with people's expectations. Pat Francis plays with people's expectations too. People expect him to be funny, but alas.... We hear Pat's next pick from the compilation album The Hits/The B-Sides. If you listen closely, you can hear a sample of the brake sound from The Flintstones.
Although Sinead O'Connor got big with her version of Nothing Compares 2 U, but Josh has the original guy, and a live version as well from the album One Nite Alone... Live!. Josh urges people to see Prince live because he gives you a complete show.
01:05:00 Prince doesn't play all of his hits live, but if you can get past that, you'll enjoy the show. He'll tease you with the hits, including this next one from Pat. Off the album Lovesexy, it's Alphabet St.. Josh has a story about Wendy Melvin from Wendy and Lisa. Wendy's son is one of the kids on the baseball team that Josh co-coaches. He's never talked to her because he is very nervous, even though he has seen her often.
01:10:00 Josh's next pick is another one from Crystal Ball. It's a live track called "The Ride". Prince knows how to make his guitar talk. Pat asks Josh which album he listens to the most and which one he listens to the least. The most is Sign o' the Times. The least is N.E.W.S. There's nothing really awful about N.E.W.S, it just doesn't grab him as much as the other albums.
Pat keeps the hits going with "Kiss" from the album Parade. It's the soundtrack to Under the Cherry Moon, which is Prince's second movie.
01:15:00 Prince directed Under the Cherry Moon himself, which is probably why it isn't as critically acclaimed as Purple Rain. Josh criticizes Prince for not bringing in experienced directors to guide his movies. He just jumped right into directing. He probably figured that he was so good at music that he could be equally as good at filmmaking. Prince also directed his movie Graffiti Bridge. Josh plays a song from the soundtrack called "Joy in Repetition".
Since the early 2000s, Prince has been putting out albums like crazy. When artists start to get up there in age, they tend to slow down, but not The Purple One. Pat plays an song from his 2007 album Planet Earth called "Guitar".
01:20:00 Josh follows Pat's pick with one of his own, naturally. He plays a song for the onomatopoeia lover in all of us called "Shhh" off the album The Gold Experience.
"I'd rather do you after school like some homework."
- Prince, with the line of the episode
Do you like to walk in through the out door? Well Pat has a song for you. It's "Raspberry Beret" from the album Around the World in a Day. Around the World came out right after Purple Rain, so there really was no way for this album to live up to the hype. Purple Rain sold 22 million worldwide, while Around the World sold around 4 and a half.
01:25:00 It's a good album, but even Prince knew that he couldn't compete with himself. Josh plays another song from the album called "Temptation". Prince has a lot of B-Sides too. There are still a bunch of them not on CD or MP3.
Pat plays another song from Prince's 2000s discography. It's "Musicology", off the album Musicology. Prince has worked with people like Madonna, Sheena Easton, The Bangles. That smart, sexy bastard. Has he and Lenny Kravitz collaborated on anything, wonders Pat. My guess is that if Lenny and Prince stood next to each other for too long, their combined sexiness would blow up half of California.
01:30:00 Up next for Josh is his favorite B-Side. From the compilation album The Hits/The B-Sides, it's the song "She's Always in My Hair". It's also his wife's favorite Prince song.
Hey 1999, 1999 called and they want their year back. See what I did there? Ha ha ha that's funny, I'm funny. Pat plays the song "Little Red Corvette". Josh follows this up with a song from the same album called "D.M.S.R.". The original CD version omitted that song because there wasn't enough room for it.
01:35:00 Here's another fun fact: Prince played uncredited keyboards on Stevie Nicks' "Stand Back." Steve Lukather plays guitar on the song. Steve was very close to being on the show and the date was set, but his manager forgot to remind him about it. (Spoiler alert: Pat finally recorded an episode with Steve, which will be Rock Solid's 200th episode.)
Pat's second to last Prince song is off his latest album Art Official Age which came out last year. It's called "Breakdown".
Josh's second to last Prince song is off of Diamonds and Pearls, it's the song "Willing and Able".
01:40:00 For his last pick, Pat chooses a song where Prince namechecks himself on an album where he didn't even have a name. Off of Love Symbol Album, the song is called "My Name Is Prince". That is a funky brew to end all funky brews.
Josh's last pick another live track from One Nite Alone... Live!. It's the live version of "The Beautiful Ones (Live)". Is Prince married? He used to be. He had a child who died very young because of a birth defect, but he has no other children. Pat considers Prince to be the guy who would have kids late in life.
01:45:00 U got the look, so now u get the plugs. Kyle wrote a screenplay! He hasn't given it to Pilar yet, to the shock of many. Those damn young kids and their hubris. He describes it as Dante's Inferno with Jack Black. Josh knows the business, the man wrote Piranha 3-D for crying out loud. The smallest residual check he ever got was for 3 cents. Pat has news on the donation button: If you donate $20 or more to the podcast, Pat will send you a nice token of his appreciation: A CD of live performances at Rock Solid Studios over the many years. Plus you can hear some bonus pre-show ramblings by guests and co-hosts. You can find Josh on Twitter @joshstolberg and go to his website JoshStolberg.com.
01:50:00 This was a very fun (and funky) show. Thanks to Josh for joining the program and providing mirth and whimsy on this journey through the land of Prince. Pat ends the show with "1999" from the album 1999.
Time Song Album Artist Who
00:25:00 Electric Chair Batman Soundtrack Prince Josh
00:30:00 When You Were Mine Dirty Mind Prince Pat
00:35:00 The Truth Crystal Ball Prince Josh
00:40:00 Fury 3121 Prince Pat
00:45:00 Adore Sign o’ the Times Prince Josh
00:45:00 I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man Sign o’ the Times Prince Pat
00:50:00 Old Friends 4 Sale The Vault: Old Friends 4 Sale Prince Josh
00:50:00 Take Me with U Purple Rain Prince Pat
00:55:00 Darling Nikki Purple Rain Prince Josh
01:00:00 Peach The Hits/The B-Sides Prince Pat
01:00:00 Nothing Compares 2 U (Live) One Nite Alone… Live! Prince Josh
01:05:00 Alphabet St. Lovesexy Prince Pat
01:10:00 The Ride (Live) Crystal Ball Prince Josh
01:10:00 Kiss Parade Prince Pat
01:15:00 Joy in Repetition Graffiti Bridge Prince Josh
01:15:00 Guitar Planet Earth Prince Pat
01:20:00 Shhh The Gold Experience Prince Josh
01:20:00 Raspberry Beret Around the World in a Day Prince Pat
01:25:00 Temptation Around the World in a Day Prince Josh
01:25:00 Musicology Musicology Prince Pat
01:30:00 She’s Always in My Hair The Hits/The B-Sides Prince Josh
01:30:00 Little Red Corvette 1999 Prince Pat
01:30:00 D.M.S.R. 1999 Prince Josh
01:35:00 Breakdown Art Official Age Prince Pat
01:35:00 Willing and Able Diamonds and Pearls Prince Josh
01:40:00 My Name Is Prince Love Symbol Album Prince Pat
01:40:00 The Beautiful Ones (Live) One Nite Alone… Live! Prince Josh
01:50:00 1999 1999 Prince Pat