Prince Teases $10 Ticket Prices and Releases From His ‘Vault’
By Scott T. Sterling
It’s a forgone conclusion that Minneapolis music icon Prince moves in mysterious ways.
He lived up to his ethereal reputation this week with a pair of secret shows in London, the first of which was an extremely intimate affair in the living room of singer Lianne La Havas, where his new band, 3RDEYEGIRL, performed for an audience of 10 people. It was followed by a late-night show at Camden’s Electric Ballroom.
“I probably feel just as gobsmacked as you and everyone else here. What we’ve witnessed is very special,” La Havas told a BBC 6 Music News journalist in attendance at the living room show, where Prince rolled out two new songs from the upcoming Plecturn Electurn album, including first single, “PretzelBodyLogic” (which he debuted on TV sitcom, New Girl, following this year’s Super Bowl).
“[Prince is] sharing music in the way it should be shared,” La Havas added. “Just off the cuff, whenever you feel, just let people know, tell your friends and then… play.”
The living room show doubled as a UK press conference, where Prince discussed a wide range of subjects, including his desire to charge a mere $10 (about £6) per ticket for the band’s tour of England.
“This is a new band, people are getting something new,” Prince said in regards to budget ticket prices, calling the UK tour “open ended…we’re going to be here until people don’t want to hear us anymore.”
Prince also downplayed the recent charge that found him filing a lawsuit against 22 internet users who posted live bootleg videos to the Internet, which was subsequently dropped. “Nobody sues their fans,” he said. “I have some bootlegs of Lianne [La Havas] but I wouldn’t sell them. But fans sharing music with each other, that’s cool.”
He also teased fans with talk of revealing music from his legendary “vault” of unreleased recordings, in part to counter the numerous demo versions of older material floating around on the web.
“When you hear something [on bootleg] you’re just hearing something that’s not finished,” Prince said. “A song from 1985 might come out in 2021. I have a whole organization who look after stuff.”
Chatting about recent recordings made at Bryan Ferry’s London studio (“I was listening to a lot of Cocteau Twins at the time”), Prince proved not to be big on nostalgia with the claim that he didn’t even realize 2014 will mark the 30th anniversary of his landmark album, Purple Rain. So don’t hold your breath for an expanded reissue anytime soon.
“Everything looks different to me, because I was there,” he explained of any Purple Rain memories. “I wrote those songs, I don’t need to know what happened.”