Prince, whose unprecedented name change to an unpronounceable symbol back in the 90's that I wrote about here a couple of days ago, is back in the news this week. This news headline grabbing time the artist formerly known as The Artist Formerly Known As Prince (1993-2000) is unhappy with the work of Prince fanboy/toy maker Troy Gua - the creator of the cute and clever homage Tiny Artist and the Le Petit Prince project all of which he created a year ago. But, following a no-nonsense cease and desist order this week by the Purple One, tomorrow afternoon (Nov 16) at 6pm (Minneapolis time) Gua will legally have to erase all online content related to Le Petit Prince. On his Facebook wall this week the Seattle based Gua wrote of his musical hero's unexpected shutdown. "I simply do not wish to fight with my hero, and it is terribly disheartening to think that he may hold ill will towards me and this project" Troy Gua, who is a major Prince fan, blended his appreciation of his favorite artist with his appreciation of the puppetry of Thunderbirds creator / super-marionation pioneer Gerry Anderson.
As well as being the work of a tirelessly creative mind it was also Prince's way of getting a dig in at his record label (Warner Brothers) who he made it well known he was quite unhappy with. Disgruntled with his contract and wanting to get out of it, he was further aggravated when he discovered that he could not do so. However when he realized he could contractually change his name, this he did as a sort of revenge act. Prince used that symbol, which was a combination the symbols for female (♀) and for male (♂), up until he finally got out of his Warner contract seven years later.
However the change from word to unheard of (and unpronounceable) symbol presented a headache for his label and a problem for many at the time including radio DJs, record store clerks, and journalists who did not have this unique character on their keyboard in their computer. Hence his label's publicity department sent out floppy disks (like the one pictured below) with a custom font of the unique symbol attached. However most journalists ignored using it altogether as it was troublesome for use in most computers at the time. Instead they called it "Love Symbol" or "Love Symbol #2" - as in the 1992 album that the symbol first appeared on.
Purple Rain // Friday, September 21, 2012 at Cinefamily
Before scientists confirmed the formal discovery of the Higgs boson, Prince had already located the key to limitless sexual frenzy in this Oscar-winning crowning achievement of ‘80s culture. In his semi-autobiographical film debut, Prince plays The Kid, a Minneapolis club musician as alienated by his tumultuous home life as he is talented on stage. Sharp-dressed & quick-tongued scene-stealer Morris Day (from the band The Time) is his rival, both in music and in affection for sultry singer Apollonia. As the competition heats up, shirts are removed, hips gyrate, guitars ejaculate and Prince and the Revolution scorch the soundtrack with hits “When Doves Cry,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” and of course, “Purple Rain.” But will the power of music be able to transcend & transform The Kid’s life as well as our own? Find out for yourself when a rare 35mm print of this energizing musical phenomenon lights up the Cinefamily screen!
Dir. Albert Magnoli, 1984, 35mm, 111 min.
$12, Free for Cinefamily members
Cinefamily // 611 N Fairfax Avenue // Los Angeles // 90036