Former Prince holds court by fax

Michael  Gray

he former Prince is known for doing things his own way, to say the least This is, after all, the man who, during his protracted battle to liberate himself from his deal with Warner Bros., went around with the word "SLAVE". scrawled across his cheek

Furthermore. his next scheduled release. a four-CD live collection called Crystal Ball is to be sold exclusively on his NPG Records by phone order (1-800-Newfunk) . It won't even be manufactured until the singer receives 100,000 advance orders for it.

Notoriously mediashy, the Artist has granted very few interviews in years. That is, until now.

For this tour. Symbol Dude has gotten positively chatty. Well. in a way. The Nashville Banner was told we could, indeed, interview the ex-Prince. However, there were certain conditions. We were permitted no more than five questions.

They had to be submitted in writing, via fax. And there was no guarantee as to when we would receive our responses.

Then the phone call came. We had our answers. According to his press agent, the Purple One had sat down with our fax at 4 a.m., with a head cold. Sounds ... like something Prince would do.

Here are the questions Banner Music Writer Michael Gray faxed off, and The Artist's responses:

Michael Gray: What aspect of your pre-Purple Rain life do you miss the most?

The Artist: This feels pre-Purple Rain. Songs like Face Down typify our renegade stance. From darkness came the light

MG: Do you feel truly emancipated or do you have more business-related headaches than ever?

A: Truly emancipated. There is no feeling in the world like writing a song and knowing that you will own it forever — immense joy.

MG: Do you plan to ever sell your albums in conventional record stores again? Why or why not?

A: Yes. There are still a few honest record men left.

MG: What did Dez Dickerson contribute to the early band? Do you ever miss his talent?

A: Dez was even wilder looking than me. I miss nothing and no one. Attachment is stagnation.

MG: Besides any of your own work. what is the best record you've heard lately?

A: Tingri by John Serrie is great for meditation.