Prince fans thought that Christmas had doubled-back late on Monday afternoon, with the mysterious appearance of a Twitter account called ’3rdeyegirl’ who proceeded to provide audio and video links to rehearsal footage, extended remixes and a new song entitled Same Page Different Book.
At the time, the account seemed to be Prince-sanctioned, with several band members directing fans to the account, along with Internet blogger Dr. Funkenberry, who’s always been an avid supporter of Prince and his music and often acts as an online mouthpiece for the elusive star.
Yesterday, ’3rdeyegirl’ posted a photo of a ‘Cease & Desist’ letter that appeared to have come from Prince’s lawyers, and a few hours later, the videos were gone from her Youtube account. Not long after that, the photos of the C&D letter were also gone from her Twitter and Facebook pages.
So today, Dr. Funkenberry was expected to clear things up when he met with Seth Everett on webcasting site Spreecast, but instead could offer no answers, seemingly spinning more stories about this so-called “international art thief” and creating more confusion amongst fans, who, for the most part, have taken this to be a fairly elaborate publicity stunt.
Funkenberry did use it as a way to bring up the issue of illegal music sharing, asking fans on Prince’s behalf if they thought they should have to pay for the material that was “leaked” online, be it officially or otherwise.
Prince has taken a strong stance against the Internet for several years now, at one point referring to it as being “dead” or over, at least with respect to its usefulness to the music industry. As such, most of his music does not exist legally online, and much of it is very hard to buy any other way.
The general opinion of fans joining the webcast was that they would happily spend money on his music if there was a way to do so online. Several fans agreed with him mostly shying away from sites like iTunes, interested to see what other options were available.
This led to discussions about the pros and cons of his previous sites, the possibility of an official site run by fans and other fan-generated ideas.
Later in the webcast, Dr. Funkenberry revealed that work was being done at Paisley Park, Prince’s studio complex just outside of Minneapolis, and that Prince is considering re-opening the site for concerts, like he has done in years gone by. Prince was interested to know what ticket prices his fans thought was reasonable and what sort of ideas they had for these celebrations, as they have been referred to in the past.
Andy Allo was also mentioned during the webcast. Prince’s protégés have received mixed reactions from his fans in the past, but there was plenty of support in the chat-room for her and her new album, Superconductor, which was reviewed by Noise11 last month.
So there is no news yet on what will become of the would-be Internet fugitive, ’3rdeyegirl’, or anything about the rumoured new album from Prince, but he promised at the start of the year that 2013 would be big and it seems that whatever he has planned, he wants his fans to be involved in shaping it, rather than just being on the receiving end.
Seth and Dr. Funkenberry confirmed that there are plans for more webcasts like this in the future.