Music: His Highness of Haze

  • Share
  • Read Later

(2 of 2)

The Kid has also been provided, like his real-life doppelgānger, with a black father and a Mediterranean mother. In the movie, Dad cuffs Mom around a good deal: he is a frustrated musician, which explains these bouts of violent temper; she shrieks and screams a lot, which presumably demonstrates her ethnicity. If women are sexual baubles in Prince's songs, in his movie they are tarnished angels who love to have their wings clipped. Apollonia (the "baptismal name" of Newcomer Patricia Kotero, 22) strips down and jumps into an icy lake to win The Kid's approval. The Kid, arrogant, sensitive, injured and defensively sadistic, realizes he has been thoroughly psyched by his parents. He salves the wounds by dedicating a song to his father, performing a tune written by the young women of the band and fetching Apollonia on his motorcycle for a last, cathartic concert.

Elvis did all this, and more, and better, in King Creole and Jailhouse Rock, but each new decade needs its icons. Prince is a suitably odd one for these askew times, albeit something of a miniature. He is frequently photographed from low angles or astride a motorcycle, but when he can be caught in what passes for a spontaneous composition, he seems to be the height of a coffee table. He has the faintly demented courtly charm of Dwight Frye swallowing flies in Dracula, but his sexual charisma is at low tide in the dramatic scenes. All this changes in performance, where part Prince really comes out wailing, part Hendrix, part Screamin' Jay Hawkins. If music alone could make a movie masterpiece, then Purple Rain might have a shot. Its score is ecumenical rock, echoing everyone from Hendrix and Sly Stone to Brian Wilson and Earth, Wind and Fire, yet remaining entirely original overall. It may have the best original rock music ever written for a movie.

"He's like Mozart," enthuses Apollonia. "I visited his house on a lake 20 miles outside of Minneapolis. It is purple. It's pretty. He has a studio in there. He lives in that studio." Apollonia shares a number of things with Prince, including "pretty much the same measurements. I'm 36-24-36 and he's got a well-developed upper torso"; some articles of clothing, such as his suits and her lace tank tops ("He's a ladies' man, not homosexual. He does love his women"); and a phone number. "The hot line, I guess you'd call it," Apollonia says. "That's right by his bed. No one else has the number." But it was in person that Apollonia popped the question.The toughie, the one that provoked lingering silence. Finally Prince had an answer for her. "Anything I can't do? Yeah. I can't cook." &151;By Jay Cocks. Reported by Denise Worrell/Los Angeles

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next Page