What will he think of next?
We’re only halfway through the year, and the list of Prince’s unusual accomplishments in 2007 is as impressive as it is mind-boggling. He gave a typhoon-defying performance at the Super Bowl that made previous halftime entertainers look like hacks (especially McCartney and the Stones). A run of Las Vegas club gigs put the nightlife back in Sin City. And he booked residencies in London and Los Angeles that are even generating buzz in those snooty cultural havens.
Now comes his latest hometown crusade. Today, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer will play a special afternoon set on the eighth floor of the Macy’s store in downtown Minneapolis to promote his new perfume line, 3121. Then, he’ll stage one of only two scheduled concerts outside L.A. and London, presumably a preview of his latest CD, “Planet Earth,” due July 24 (alas, we’ve only heard the single, “Guitar”).
Today’s events are timed to 7/7/07, a big day for Prince, who just turned 49 on the 7th (of June, that is) and seems to favor all things having to do with the luckiest number: He had a 1993 hit called “Seven” (one of his best); he’s playing seven gigs at the Roosevelt Hotel in L.A.; he’s supposedly playing seven songs at the Macy’s gig, etc.
We thought we’d add to the sevens.
7 reasons Prince is still cool
– Did you see that Super Bowl show?
– Dig who showed up at the Roosevelt Hotel on opening night: Diddy, Penelope Cruz, Hilary Swank, Nas, John Legend, Topher Grace, Michelle Rodriguez and even ol’ Suge Knight.
– He gives out free CDs with concert tickets
– He can get great seats at any NBA game.
– Hip, state-of-the-art Web sites.
– What other male star is studly enough to come up with his own perfume and expect women to buy it?
– Best performer in live music today. Period.
7 creative concert ideas
– Reunite with the Revolution.
– The glyph stage at the Super Bowl was great. Bring it on tour.
– Solo tour, solo piano, solo guitar, solo anything.
– Vegas. L.A. London.
– Hire an all-star band, i.e., Larry Graham or Bootsy Collins, Maceo Parker, Booker T. Jones, ?uestlove, John Legend, Robert Randolph.
– Tour with a parade of past female musical partners, i.e., Chaka Kahn, Mavis Staples, Sheila E., Angie Stone, Kate Bush, Sinead O’Connor, Ani DiFranco, and Sheryl Crow.
– Start a show on time for a change.
7 people we’d like to see Prince collaborate with
– Sly Stone
– Joni Mitchell
– Andre 3000
– ?uestlove and/or the Roots
– Jack White
– Bob Dylan
– Any producer with an ego to match (Rick Rubin, Kanye West, Timbaland).
7 songs he played at recent gigs
– “Black Sweat”
– “U Got the Look”
– “Come Together”
– “What a Wonderful World”
7 weirdest Prince marketing campaigns
– The whole name-change/glyph/Artist Formerly Known As bit.
– The perfume idea was odd enough, but how about seeing fans line up at the Macy’s cosmetics counter for today’s show?
– Creating his NPG Web fan club in 2001 and offering online-only releases, an idea ahead of its time.
– Releasing his 1996 set “Emancipation” with three 12-song discs, each exactly 60 minutes.
– Giving away his new CD in copies of a Sunday London newspaper (which prompted area CD shops to not stock the disc).
Charging $3,121 for two tickets and dinner at his L.A. shows.
– Playing Willy Wonka for last year’s “3121” CD. Seven copies contained tickets (purple, not gold) to a private show at his house.
7 best Prince songs of the past 7 years
– “Black Sweat”
– “Dear Mr. Man”
– “On the Couch”
– “Call My Name”
7 reality-TV shows to pitch Prince
– “Prince’s Next Time.” Auditions for a new R&B band, judged by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.
– “Big Brother: Paisley Park.” Contestants are locked in Prince’s fabled Minnesota compound. “It’s 3 a.m.! You’re late for rehearsal!”
– “Flava of Purple.” Auditions for a new female duet partner (read: girlfriend). Judges: Apollonia, Vanity and Sheena Easton.
– “Dancing With Prince.” Splits are encouraged.
– “Prince’s Project Runway.” Don’t worry about being short on fabric or too over-the-top. One rule, though: no purple.
– “Extreme Makeover: Minneapolis.” If he doesn’t like the new look, he bulldozes the house.
– “Prince’s Apprentice.” You’re fired. A new cast for every show.