Prince's fans love 'mys­tique' of the vault

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

Prince's for­mer key­board player Tommy Bar­barella be­lieves the "mys­tique" sur­round­ing the late mu­sic leg­end's vault of un­re­leased mu­sic is more in­ter­est­ing than the re­al­ity of it. Tommy recorded and toured with the 'Pur­ple Rain' hit­maker from 1991 to 1996 and saw what tapes and record­ings the song­writer had stored away at his Pais­ley Park es­tate in Chan­has­sen, Min­nesota. The vault con­tains var­i­ous demos, un­heard songs, live record­ings and footage of re­hearsals and con­certs that Prince never made pub­lic and since his death in April 2016 at the age of 57 his es­tate has been sort­ing through the ma­te­rial and plan­ning re­leases. As a friend and em­ployee of Prince, Tommy can un­der­stand the in­trigue around the mu­sic that ex­ists but he isn't sure if the re­al­ity can live up to the fan­tasy of the vault. Speak­ing to BANG Showbiz, the mu­si­cian said: "What I think is, and I'm sure there's a lot of great stuff in the vault, but I think the idea of the vault - the mys­te­ri­ous mys­tique of it - is much more in­ter­est­ing to peo­ple than the con­tent. I re­mem­ber hear­ing about 'The Black Al­bum' for years, and peo­ple had boot­leg copies and there was all this hype. Then, when I fi­nally heard it, I thought it was good but it can't live up to the hype. Then it was re­leased and did noth­ing." Tommy - who is tour­ing Prince's mu­sic as part of a new line-up of The New Power Gen­er­a­tion, which in­cludes Mor­ris Hayes and An­dre Cy­mone among oth­ers - still finds it amus­ing that the vault is an ac­tual phys­i­cal en­tity filled with tapes, videos and DVDs. He said: "What I will say is that it is ac­tu­ally a vault, I mean who has a vault? It's like an Egyp­tian crypt or some­thing. It does need to be cat­a­logued and pre­served." And An­dre - who was part of Prince's first ever tour­ing band be­fore they parted ways in 1981 - isn't sure if all these un­heard songs should be re­leased. He said: "Some things might be bet­ter left alone; these songs are in the vault for a rea­son."

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