CYNTHIA HORNER RECALLS PRECIOUS PRINCE MEMORIES!
BACK IN THE DAY, THE ARTIST THAT THE WORLD WOULD COME TO KNOW AND LOVE BY THE NAME OF PRINCE, CONTACTED RIGHT ON! MAGAZINE’S CYNTHIA HORNER IN AN ATTEMPT TO GET COVERAGE IN THE POPULAR PUBLICATION. THE YEAR WAS 1979 AND THE PROJECT WAS FOR YOU. HERE, WE EXCERPT PART ONE OF THIS INTERVIEW.
BY CYNTHIA HORNER
Prince is a mystery man. His record company biography is a collection of information similar to a Right On! fact sheet. It simply tells his name (the name he chooses to use), his age, and the fact that he’s the youngest producer in the history of Warner Bros. Records.
When you finally meet him; he’s still a mystery. It’s no wonder that Right On! (one of his favorite magazines) is one of the few publications that’s granted the opportunity to meet him, because those who have, have gone away unsatisfied. Why? Because Prince refuses to talk about himself. Getting answers from him is like trying to pry open a clam.
It’s not that he’s trying to keep himself a mystery; he just doesn’t have much to say. Sometimes it’s because he’s being a tease, and other times because he really doesn’t know what to say.
When I was sitting in a recording studio listening to him play an intricate piece of music on equipment I’ve never even seen before, I was amazed at the talents this eighteen-year-old genius possesses. His finesse on these instruments is better than musicians twice his age. Sunglasses temporarily hide his resemblance to one of the Sylvers, but outside in the bright sunlight, your struck by his handsome looks, his wistful, longing expression, and his glorious head of hair. Surprisingly, this strong masculine figure is really short—no more than about 5’2″ probably.
“Prince’s home is in Minneapolis, Minn., a city, not typically known for producing music giants the way California and New York churn them out. His musical background consists of piano playing father (the person who insisted his first name be Prince) and a mother who sings. No, he didn’t grow up taking music lessons. “I took one piano lesson and one guitar lesson/’ he recalls. “I didn’t learn anything. I taught myself.”
Thinking back, he laughs for a second and reveals a tiny part of his nature. “I’m stubborn,” he said, his brown eyes boring right through me. ”I took a few music classes in school but mainly, I worked on my own.”
Prince was rarely photographed with journalists, but Cynthia Horner became his friend/confidant.
TO BE CONTINUED…..
NO PART OF THIS INTERVIEW MAY BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION OF THE PUBLISHER
A PRINCE MEMORY SHARED BY A LABEL EMPLOYEE:
Teddy Astin worked with Prince when the young artist was signed to Warner Bros. Records. He recently told Cynthia Horner, When I heard Prince’s first album “For You” before it was released in April 1978. I knew he was going to be a very special artist. As I was reading the liner notes, I couldn’t believe what I was reading. (He wrote, all of the music, Sang all the lyrics, played all of the instruments and produced the album). I knew I had to get busy quick and let the world know who “Prince” was. I started planning his first promotional tour. radio airplay, in-store appearances, radio interviews, autographs signings, etc. You see, I was the Warner Brothers Promotion Manager for The Carolinas.
Warner Brothers Records, gave me carte blanche to do anything and everything I needed to do to make it happen. The rest is history.” This photo was taken of Teddy Astin and Prince @ WGIV Charlotte, NC, where he conducted his first radio interview during his first stop on the promo tour.