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We’re not in a bad period where everybody is evil, or where everybody is buying into all this stuff. A lot of people are just confused.

I mean… the way things are, they’re a lot worse than they were in the early seventies. It’s an atmosphere that I recognize. It’s the atmosphere that made me do Horses. Because I looked around and thought “What the hell’s going on?”, you know, “what’s wrong with people?” They’re forgetting who they are. And um, in some ways, we’re forgetting who we are. New generations will make records or write poems or get involved in politics. There are always good people that are ready to make change. And you know, I feel discouraged sometimes, especially in my country – my country is very discouraging. But on the other hand, I just, I don’t know what it is…but…I mean life is beautiful.

We have a relatively short life span. But of all the things that we can get, you know, all the material things, life is the best thing that we have. And if you’re living and you’re breathing, you have a chance. And I just think at any moment people can start turning things around. You know, for me, just the fact that you asked a question like that, I think is optimistic.

I still feel young. I don’t feel like like your grandma I’m talking to you. You know – we’re like two humans…not that there’s anything wrong with a grandma. I’m just saying that I don’t feel severed by that. Because what we’re doing is we’re communicating. And that’s what…that’s how change will be made. And uh…I don’t know, it’s a rough time. All I can say is you know, try to be happy and take care of your teeth.

Drink a lot of water. And take care of your teeth, because if you don’t, it’s really a drag when you get older. So keep your teeth clean. I really spend a lot of time talking to people about their teeth because my generation had the worst teeth and the worst dental care. And when you get older, it’s a pain in the ass.

People think ‘It’s just your teeth’ and so they’re worried about their kidneys or their liver. But your teeth are really important. So, take care of your teeth as best you can. Drink a lot of water. Cultivate your mind. And try to be happy. Because the world is fucked up. I can’t pretend, or say “Oh, it’s not as bad as you think.” Yes, dear, the world is fucked up.

And a lot of reasons it’s fucked up is my country. But with all that, as an individual…I tell my kids too…you know…you like to think of yourself like a captain, and you’ve got this little boat. And sometimes the weather’s good, and you’re just sailing, and sometimes big storms hit, and you know, you’re in a stormy sea, but just ride it out, ride it out. Because it’s good to be alive.

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The Beastie Boys recorded a version of this song to be featured on their debut album, Licensed to Ill, The lyrics, tempo and melody were substantially different but on the chorus portion “How can you laugh” used a sample of the original Beatles recording without securing permission to do so. In the January 13, 1987, issue of the Village Voice, Greil Marcus reviews the track, writing:

The old Beatle screamer, scheduled for Licensed to Ill but chilled by new copyright owner Michael Jackson because of supposed bad language, this is circulating, even on the radio. On one hearing, it sounds more like the Beach Boys having fun with “Barbara Ann” than the bloody killer rape job you might expect.

The song was indeed deleted from the final track list at the last minute due to licensing restraints but can be found on some Beastie Boys bootlegs.

Who better to get acting advice from the great Robert DeNiro, even if it’s only for a small scene you have in a little movie? That you’re directing. And your name is Martin Scorsese. And the little movie is the classic 1976 film Taxi Driver.

When George Memmoli, the actor who was to play a man stalking his wife who hails a ride with Travis, was injured on another movie, Scorsese agreed to play the character, and asked DeNiro on a few pieces of advice.

Here’s the “Sick Passenger” scene featuring Scorcese.

On Sign o’ the Times, Prince brought in a three-LP record, and everybody wanted to reduce it to one record, because they thought in that way you could get the very best material and have a huge, huge hit. But he rebelled against it and wanted to put it out as it was. Lenny Waronker (President of Warner Bros. Records) talked to management and said, “You know, instead of putting out a three-album set, let’s reduce it to two, which would make it stronger and better and more effective in the marketplace.” Management told Prince what Lenny had said. And so Prince called Lenny, and he said, “I hear you don’t like my record.” And Lenny said, “No, that’s not the case. I only think there should be some editing of the record.” And then he did something very interesting. He talked about Maxwell Perkins, who, you may remember, had a biography written about him by Scott Berg called Editor of Genius, and he told Prince about how he edited Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Tom Wolfe. And he said every one of them permitted him to do it, and in every case, it improved the book. When Prince heard that, he said, “You know what? I’m gonna go back to Minneapolis,” because he was at Sunset Sound at the time they were talking. He went back to Paisley Park, worked all night and cut the record down to two albums.

It was a fantastic analogy, and one that would really have impact, because Prince was smart enough to understand the values of those literary figures.

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A new report from Influence Central’s new report called Kids & Tech: The Evolution of Today’s Digital Natives is coming out this week. The report—which is a subsection from a larger, ongoing study of 500 women across the USA—details findings on the way that kids are using technology and reveals several interesting insights. The highlights include:

  • The average age for a child getting their first smartphone is now 10.3 years
  • Tablets have surged from 26% to 55% usage as kids’ device of choice during car rides. Smartphones trail at 45% (up from 39% in 2012).
  • 64% of kids have access to the Internet via their own laptop or tablet, compared to just 42% in 2012
  • 39% of kids get a social media account at 11.4 years. 11% got a social media account when they were younger than 10.

Additionally, some of Influence Central’s research paints a picture of parents who are relaxing a little bit about their kids’ access to the internet which is enabled by so many devices.

  • While 85% accessed the Internet from a room shared with the family in 2012, that number dropped to 76% today, and 24% now have “private” access from their bedrooms (compared to 15% in 2012.)

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After many years of turning down interview requests, legendary Warner chief Mo Ostin recently conversation with HITS Magazine’s Bud Scoppa. That exchange appears in its entirety in their most recent print edition; below are a couple of key excerpts.

[Prince] said something quite interesting to Lenny Waronker. He said, “One of the things I want to make sure is that you don’t make me black.” He just wanted to be treated like all artists. He wanted to be Fleetwood Mac; he wanted to be The Beatles, The Rolling Stones; he didn’t want to be restricted to being an R&B artist. He was right—when he went into pop, when he went into rock, whatever he did, he did it extraordinarily well. I remember when we signed Duke Ellington at the very beginning of the history of Reprise, Duke said to me, “I don’t want to be categorized as a jazz artist.” He said, “I’m a musician and do every kind of music.” And Prince had pretty much the same idea.

He always had autonomy. I mean, the power of the creativity, his inventiveness, daring, he was always pushing boundaries, all of those things made us say to ourselves, “Hey, this guy is the real deal.” Norman Granz once said to me, “I never tell Oscar Peterson how to play piano. Don’t get in the way — get out of the way.” We knew how good he was, and he was what he was.

Justin Bieber posted a message to his Instagram this week writing that he is “done taking pictures” and won’t participate if fans see him out in public. It brings up an interesting question – what do celebrities owe their fans? The ones that have given money to them, allowed them to become celebrities in the first place? What do the fans owe their heroes? Time away from the spotlight? Peace and quiet during a dinner in a restaurant? It’s too late for society to develop new rules, but good on Bieber for laying down the rules on how he wants to conduct his life and sanity. Many have been at his level of success, few have survived with mind intact.

A photo posted by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on

“Being an 18-karat manic-depressive and having lived a life of violent emotional contradictions, I have an overacute capacity for sadness as well as elation. I know what the cat who wrote the song is trying to say. I’ve been there—and back. I guess the audience feels it along with me. They can’t help it.” – Frank Sinatra

Like everyone else on the planet, Toronto’s Choir! Choir! Choir! were devastated to hear that Prince had died. To pay their respects, they invited 1999 singers to Massey Hall in Toronto on Monday, May 2, and, over the course of a couple hours, they learned thearrangement to When Doves Cry. It was a beautiful and emotional evening that included a performance of Purple Rain by Sabrina Wan + Brad McGoey from the Regent Park School of Music, and a sighting of Le Petit Prince. After all the parts came together, they shot this video, which is the next best thing to having been in the room. Then they went to Yonge-Dundas Square to sing it one more time.

I was at Massey Hall, and it was an emotional, killer evening. This is what is sounds like when his fans sing and cry.