Sunday Item #2

Michaelangelo Matos writes, to point out this charming, meaty mention of his Sign O the Times book by Daniel Handler, in the current issue of the Onion’s AV Club:

Prince, “4 The Tears In Your Eyes”

DH: This is from the B-side disc of his greatest-hits collection. I’m an enormous fan of Prince. As is my butcher, Bobby. Recently, I gave Bobby a copy of this book about Sign ‘O’ The Times from that 33 1/3 series [written by A.V. Club contributor Michaelangelo Matos —ed.], and he was so happy to receive some Prince paraphernalia that he didn’t already own that he came out from behind the butcher counter and gave me a big hug. But first he had to tear off this enormous piece of butcher paper and sort of hold it to his body with his chin so that when he hugged me, meat juice wouldn’t get all over me.

The A.V. Club: You seem to have quite an intimate relationship with your butcher.

DH: [Laughs.] It’s actually because my 2-year-old son has a deep love for African-American men, and runs up to them and talks to them whenever he sees them. One of his first words was “Bobby,” because he likes Bobby so much. So Bobby and I became friends because I sort of chaperone my 2-year-old son on his brief dates with our butcher.

AVC: It’s very Brady Bunch to have a butcher be such an important part of your life.

DH: [Laughs.] It’s nice to talk to Bobby, particularly when a new Prince album comes out, because then the next time I see him, we exchange theories about it. I have a memory of this song being performed via videotape at Live Aid. I don’t remember what it’s a flip-side to, and it might not actually be a flip-side. It just might be previously unreleased. I think Bobby came to respect me as a fellow Prince fan when I told him that I’d been listening to this Prince song in the car right before I arrived at the store called “Cloreen Bacon Skin,” which is this crazy 15-minute-long track that Prince and Morris Day played together, just playing bass and drums and performing this really strange, hilarious monologue for 15 minutes. He said, “Oh, I love that song. And, you know, they loop part of the drum part for another Prince song.” And I said, “Yeah, ‘Irresistible Bitch.'” And he was so impressed by that—that cemented our friendship.

5 thoughts on “Sunday Item #2”

  1. …and the version aired at Live Aid, which is essentially an acoustic version with Wendy & Lisa, is available on the “The Hits: The B-Sides” greatest hits box set…as opposed to the studio version on the USA for Africa album…just as a geeky FYI.

  2. The song “4 the Tears in Your Eyes” was the track that Prince submitted for the USA for Africa album. For whatever reasons, he decided he didn’t want to be one of the people singing on the “We Are the World” track. There was enough controversy generated by the event that the flip side of his “Pop Life” single, “Hello,” actually starts with a reference to media flap: “I tried to tell them that I didn’t want to sing, but I’d gladly write a song instead….”

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