THE RECORD LABEL FORMERLY KNOWN AS A BUNCH OF JERKS
Prince, funk megastar and the weirdest human being ever to be born in Minnesota, spent much of 1993 entangled in a massive legal battle with Warner Brothers over Prince’s musical output, largely because Prince refused to release albums in accordance with the label’s promotion cycle. While his legal team battled for control of Prince’s master tapes and image, Prince did things his own way, first by deciding to only appear in public with the word SLAVE written on his face, then by famously changing his name to “the symbol of Love” or possibly “the symbol of Venusian Seahorse Trumpet” (supposedly this was to prevent Warner from cashing in on the Prince name and image) and finally by swearing to fill out the rest of his contract with a series of “best of” albums full of back-catalog songs.
While the stunts did draw attention to his legal dispute and started a conversation about the rights of the artist, more than anything else they served to remind everyone who might have forgotten that Prince (sorry, Venusian Seahorse Trumpet) was kind of an odd guy.
The dispute with Warner Brothers was settled in ’94, and The Artist Etc. Etc. reclaimed the name Prince after a divorce and the release of his album Emancipation. As for being the weirdest Minnesotan alive, Prince has lately encountered stiff competition from Representative Michelle Bachmann (R-Lizard People) even though she was born in Iowa and can’t play the bass.