Monday, June 4, 2012
“Joy—It’s in the Dictionary, See J” –Interview with C.J.
Good news: I have another interview under my belt! As I said in last week’s entry, I spoke with Minneapolis’Star Tribune columnist C.J., who has covered Prince for almost 20 years. As Prince fans may or may not know, C.J. was the alleged inspiration for Prince’s song “Billy Jack Bitch” from the 1995 album “The Gold Experience.”
I had a wonderful time speaking with C.J. She was very helpful and fun. She gave me some additional details about her face-to-face encounter with Prince, but she had some interesting insights into his spiritual development.
“He’s flirted with a lot of different religions,” she said. As I mentioned in an earlier post, previous biographers have said that Prince attended both a Seventh Day Adventist church and a Methodist church as a kid. However, C.J. talked about Prince exploring other faiths not based in Christianity.
Like others I’ve interviewed, C.J. believes that Prince is genuine in the Jehovah’s Witness faith that he is committed to today. Finding out that Prince went proselytizing door-to-door in Minneapolis certainly helped her come to that conclusion.
Unfortunately, she doesn’t think that Prince’s Minneapolis-based family, friends or associates will speak to me. “It’ll be difficult for you to get people to talk to you because I know he has made them sign confidentiality agreements,” she said. As you know, I’ve heard about that roadblock many, many times, and I don’t intend to give up (in fact, I’ve observed that many people have spoken to other biographers on the condition of anonymity)!
She did recommend that I contact Jimmy Jam, the legendary producer and former member of the group The Time (created by Prince) who is now based in California. “He might give you some insight…and he doesn’t owe Prince anything,” she said.
I’m looking forward to adding her perspective to the book, and investigating the tips she gave me.