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West Coast Sound: Burger, Fries and a Prince Remix CD 

Music ed takes Weekly readers for a ride

Wednesday, Apr 8 2009
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In the wake of Prince’s much decried three-show evening at L.A. Live on March 28, an event that was plagued by sound problems and saw many fans still waiting in line for the Club Nokia show while he was inside performing, the musician issues a formal apology, via e-mail, for the evening’s confusion. As an effort to make amends, the artist announces he will release a new remix CD available only through the hamburger chain In-N-Out Burger. This information leads to one of the most surreal evenings in the life of West Coast Sound.

It begins when we receive the e-mail from Prince at about 8 p.m. Of course, we think it’s fake. We reply in an attempt to discover its source. The e-mail exchange follows. (At Prince’s request, we have removed his e-mail address.)

Date: Wed, 1 Apr 2009 20:08:12 -0600

From: “PRN”

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Subject: L.A. LIVE: U ARE RIGHT

To: rroberts@laweekly.com

Message-ID: <004e01c9afe5$d0f97230$72ec5690$@com>

Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”us-ascii”

EYE READ YOUR REVIEW AND U ARE RIGHT. IT WAS NOT JUST L.A. LIVES FAULT. IT WAS MY FAULT 2. I WOULD LIKE 2 APOLOGIZE 2 MY FANS 4 ANY FRUSTRATION THEY HAVE FELT.

LOVE AND PEACE 2 U,

PRINCE

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Date: Wed, 1 Apr 2009 20:14:22 -0600

From: rroberts@laweekly.com

Subject: re: L.A. LIVE: U ARE RIGHT

To: “PRN”

Message-ID: <024e01c9adwr7$d0f97230$72ec4560$@com>

Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”us-ascii”

Ha ha. You’ll forgive me if I’m a little skeptical that this is actually Prince. Can you prove it?

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Date: Wed, 1 Apr 2009 20:16:23 -0600

From: “PRN”

Subject: re: L.A. LIVE: U ARE RIGHT

To: rroberts@laweekly.com

Message-ID: <004e01c9afe5$d0f97230$72ec5690$@com>

Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”us-ascii”

EYE WILL CALL U? WOULD U LIKE 2 GO ON A RIDE?

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

We e-mail PRN our cell number, and about 15 minutes later get a phone call from someone purporting to be Prince’s driver. He calls himself Pipe Dream and he wants directions to our house. An hour later Pipe Dream phones to say that he and Prince are out front. We run down to my parking lot and fuck if there’s not a white Bentley there.

We climb in the back and there’s Prince. He smiles, shakes our hand (for the record: He’s got a loose, dead-fish handshake) and we start driving. He says he’s glad we live in Hollywood, because he wants to take us someplace close. We’re freaking out inside. In the back seat with Prince. He’s got on this red-and-black get-up that looks like something a figure skater would wear, and, oddly, purple UGG slippers. (We never thought we’d be seeing Prince in UGGs!)

It’s actually really awkward, because he’s not saying anything, and we’re not sure if he’s pissed about what we wrote. We’d complained about the frustration that many people felt at the sound during the recent L.A. Live shows, which were held at three venues in the complex. We’re driving down Sunset in Hollywood, and Prince turns up the stereo. There’s a weird remix of “Tambourine,” a great underappreciated track from Around the World in a Day. We mention that it’s one of our favorite songs of his, and ask him why he never plays it live.

“That whole album existed in the studio,” he says. “Replicating it would be impossible. Plus, most of those songs weren’t very good.” (He’s right, but it still has some great tracks.)

And then, bam, next thing we know we’re in the drive-through at the In-N-Out by Hollywood High, and we’re about to lose it. Can life get any more surreal? (This is actually our second run-in with celebrities and fast food. We once shared White Castles with Jerry Lewis.)

While we wait in the line, which, as always, is stretched out the parking lot, Prince asks if we like the remix that’s playing. He says it’s part of a collection of quick-turnaround dubs he commissioned on Sunday afternoon in the wake of the L.A. Live disaster, part of a plan to make amends with the West Coasters who spent good money on tickets to a subpar show.

“People think I exist in this bubble, that I don’t watch what’s going on in the clubs. This CD will show them otherwise.” He then explains the concept: a dozen remixes of Prince classics, created in 48 hours, by some of the world’s best producers.

One of the burger grunts standing in the parking lot walks up to the car, and Prince rolls down his window. The dude’s eyes pop wide. “Can I take your order, Prince?”

“Yes, I’d like a double-double, animal style, extra pickles, an order of fries and a Diet Coke.”

We died and went to Heaven: We just heard Prince order In-N-Out. “I’ll have the same,” we say.

Prince then tells us the plan. As a symbol of his remorse, he is issuing a limited-edition CD of these remixes via In-N-Out Burger. The money for the pressing will come out of his own pocket, and In-N-Out has graciously offered to hand them out to anyone ordering what Prince orders: A double-double, animal style, extra pickles, an order of fries and a Diet Coke.

We pull up to get our food, and Pipe Dream tells the cashier that Prince is in the car. She summons the manager, who smiles out the window, waves to Prince in the back seat, and hands us our food, along with a CD. Apparently they’d prearranged this.

Prince pulls down a TV tray–type thing — “cherry wood,” the artist offers — and we unload our food and cruise down the Sunset Strip, eating burgers and listening to remixes. We’re not a Tiesto fan, but his take on “Housequake” is pretty frickin’ deep. Prince also plays a wicked version of “She’s Always in My Hair” as interpreted by Hot Chip, and, unbelievably, a Lil Jon remix of “Kiss” in which, instead of Prince singing “kiss” in those little breaks, Lil Jon screams “Yeeeahhh!” Sounds bad, but in a Bentley sound system with an animal-style In-N-Out burger in your stomach, it’s pretty frickin’ wicked.

The whole experience takes less than a half-hour. He drives us back to our place and we thank him for the late-night dinner. He and Pipe Dream drive away. He lets us keep the CD.

Track Listing

1. “House Quake”

—DJ Tiesto’s “Retarded Thump” remix

2. “Raspberry Beret”

—Diplo’s “Purple People Eater” Mix

3. “When Doves Cry”

—Peter, Bjorn and John’s “Whistle While

You Funk” Remix

4. “Kiss”

—Lil Jon’s “All Tongue, No Lip” Mix

5. “Delirious”

—DJ Assault’s “Ass, Titties, Ass, Ass,

Titties Titties” Mix

6. “Darling Nikki”

—R. Kelly’s “Naughty Girl Does

Bad Good” Mix

7. “P Control”

—Snoop Dogg’s “Smell It Like

It’s Funky” Mix

8. “Gett Off”

—A.R. Rahman’s “Raspberry Bhangra” Mix

9. “Little Red Corvette”

—Coheed & Cambria’s “Epic Futility” Remix

10. “She’s Always In My Hair”

—Hot Chip’s “Sunshine Turn to Rain” Remix

11. “Alphabet St.”

—T-Pain’s “More Retarded Than Tiesto” Mix

12. “Jack U Off”

—George Michael’s “Stall Locked,

Fly Open” Mix

[Editor’s Note: Please don’t road-trip to In-N-Out for the Prince Remix CD. After this dispatch appeared on laweekly.com’s music blog West Coast Sound on April 1, we received numerous reports of people driving through In-N-Out and ordering a double-double, animal style, extra pickles, an order of fries and a Diet Coke, all in hopes of getting a Prince Remix CD. To those who made the trip, all we can say is, are U, U, U delirious?]

Reach the writer at rroberts@laweekly.com

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