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Revisit pre-fame Prince’s first-ever interview in his high school newspaper

We’re dipping into the Far Out Magazine vault to bring you the very first interview the legendary Purple One, Prince ever gave. Printed in his high school newspaper it sees a star in waiting.

Prince’s affiliation with his home town of Minneapolis, Minnesota hasn’t always been a rich relationship. Despite making it his musical hub from the mid-80s onwards, the singer, like most high school kids, spent much of his formative years despising his hometown for a lack of opportunities for a talented singer such as himself.

Two years before Prince would burst on to the scene in a flash of bravado and funky intent, he was, like many of us, cutting a frustrated figure in high school. Still, even in high school, he remained a figure of interest and he was asked to sit down for his first ever interview as a singer. It would show Prince Rogers Nelson as a star waiting to break free of Minneapolis’ oppressive atmosphere.

The first notions of frustration come from the very off when he was asked where he was born “I was born here, unfortunately.” The singer, elaborated with verve, “I think it is very hard for a band to make it in this state, even if they’re good. Mainly because there aren’t any big record companies or studios in this state. I really feel that if we would have lived in Los Angeles or New York or some other big city, we would have gotten over by now.”

In the character sketch piece, Prince also shares some notable moments in his musical formation, including starting playing the piano at age seven as well as guitar form a very young age. There’s also the subtle but poignant moment in the piece from 1976 as it becomes clear his music teachers, rather than confine the clearly talented musician, let him “work on his own”. He even reveals he’s picked up singing recently. But he doesn’t play with the band because “I really don’t have time to make the concerts.”

The mercurial artist, already taken with his own musical prowess backs it up when reveals that he’s “had about two lessons, but they didn’t help much. I think you’ll always be able to do what your ear tells you, so just think how great you’d be with lessons also.”

Yet he suggests to those looking to pick up the guitar, an instrument Prince would master, “I advise anyone who wants to learn guitar to get a teacher unless they are very musically inclined. One should learn all their scales too. That is very important.” Prince clearly feeling himself as the sage old mystic Senior.

Before making sure his band Grand Central Corporation have their plug in place for the upcoming album, he still seems to have music as a back up plan. “Eventually I would like to go to college and start lessons again when I’m much older.” Obviously, that plan would go awry, though we’re sure he wasn’t too upset.

There you have it, even one of the most talented musicians of all time started off as a frustrated high school kid before he finally made it.

Read the full article below:

Nelson Finds It “Hard To Become Known”

“I play with Grand Central Corporation. I’ve been playing with them for two years,” Prince Nelson, senior at Central, said. Prince started playing piano at age seven and guitar when he got out of eighth grade.

Prince was born in Minneapolis. When asked, he said, “I was born here, unfortunately.” Why? “I think it is very hard for a band to make it in this state, even if they’re good. Mainly because there aren’t any big record companies or studios in this state. I really feel that if we would have lived in Los Angeles or New York or some other big city, we would have gotten over by now.”

He likes Central a great deal, because his music teachers let him work on his own. He now is working with Mr. Bickham, a music teacher at Central, but has been working with Mrs. Doepkes.

He plays several instruments, such as guitar, bass, all keyboards, and drums. He also sings sometimes, which he picked up recently. He played saxophone in seventh grade but gave it up. He regrets he did. He quit playing sax when school ended one summer. He never had time to practice sax anymore when he went back to school. He does not play in the school band. Why? “I really don’t have time to make the concerts.”

Prince has a brother that goes to Central whose name is Duane Nelson, who is more athletically enthusiastic. He plays on the basketball team and played on the football team. Duane is also a senior.

Prince plays by ear. “I’ve had about two lessons, but they didn’t help much. I think you’ll always be able to do what your ear tells you, so just think how great you’d be with lessons also,” he said.

“I advise anyone who wants to learn guitar to get a teacher unless they are very musically inclined. One should learn all their scales too. That is very important,” he continued.

Prince would also like to say that his band is in the process of recording an album containing songs they have composed. It should be released during the early part of the summer.

“Eventually I would like to go to college and start lessons again when I’m much older.”

Source: That Eric Alper

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