Prince likes to go on stage wearing scanty bikini briefs.

Mark Schwed - UPI

NASHVILLE — You’re not supposed to judge people by the clothes they wear even if the only thing covering their body is tiger-striped bikini briefs. The guy on stage wearing little more than his underwear goes by the name Prince. He prefers not to use his surname He and his touring band have just been unleashed on the music world and it remains to be seen whether they will last longer than the fizzle in a bottle of soda pop. Prince is a sensuous guy who sings about things on his “Dirty Mind” his latest album He wears provocative costumes on stage including the skimpy bikini outfit and bumps grinds and sways to the beat of such songs as “Sexy Dancer” “Uptown” and “Do It All Night.” “People ask us about the way we dress why do we dress so outrageously why does it look like we’re gay?” he says. “One girl asked me about our costumes and I pulled her close and asked her if she’d be more comfortable in just her underwear. She giggled and said she would. For me to be standing on stage in a polyester suit would be kind of constricting. “The stage show stems from the need to be original. A lot of people think we’re sort of strange but if they ever hung out with us they’d see it’s quite normal — the way we dress the way we talk the things we do and the things we write about.” Many of Prince’s compositions will never be played on the radio because of the explicit nature of his lyrics His record company calls it “mature themes.” In other words it’s downright dirty. But Prince believes in telling it like it is and singing about real experiences — including his sex life — without using double-entendres or the innuendo. “I only write about things that occur,” he says. “I’m not going to sit around and make up a bunch of phony stories about fantasies and such and put that out. That would make me a lot of money but it’s not the way it should be done. “I’m not going to bow down to the establishment to make records like they want me to make. That’s why there’s a record sales slump,” says the hairy-chested 20-year-old who produces composes and arranges all of his material and records albums in the basement of his home in Minneapolis. “There used to be an attitude where everybody tried to be as different as they could be. Now, it’s rather dead I’m trying to put some life back into the recording industry at least for me.” If crowd response is any indication his unique approach seems to be working. “We get into some pretty heated situations trying to get out of the joints,” says the long-maned Prince. “People get kind of crazy after every concert. They say they just want autographs but if they ever catch us it always hurts.” Prince can be called a rock ‘n’ roller, a discophile or a romantic, depending on which song he’s singing at the time. Although he’s a switch-hitter when it comes to music his mainstay is heavy-metal rock. One reviewer wrote that Prince “is the first black rocker to gain mass acceptance since (Jimi) Hendrix.” “That’s baloney,” Prince says. “First of all they don’t even know if I’m black. What would they say if I was Chinese? The first Chinese rocker? Also I know nothing about Jimi Hendrix.” “We’re just basically real free do-what-we-want kids” Prince says “We don’t worry about it because we don’t have anything to lose.”

COURTESY OF Kingsport Times