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Perhaps, like me, you’ve heard about Claire Hoffman’s interview with Prince in last week’s Talk of the Town, even if you haven’t read it yet. The one where, tapping a Bible, he’s all, “God came to earth and saw people sticking it wherever and doing it with whatever, and he just cleared it all out. He was, like, ‘Enough.’ ” (Okay, now I’ve read it, to get the real quote.)

Feel free to keep it meta with this interview of Hoffman by Brian Palmer, a rangy discussion of Hoffman’s techniques and the journalists she counts as influences, at The New Yorker and elswehere. About her Prince interview, she reveals that he “wouldn’t let me use a tape recorder or my notepad. I walked out and sat in my car and wrote for an hour. I don’t have long chunks of dialogue, but I was able to remember stuff.” (Wow. I interviewed someone on the phone last night with a notepad, and I’m not sure it will yield a chunk as long as the quote above.)

This revelation of Prince’s tape-recorder prohibition puts a new angle on the claim, reported by Perez Hilton, by “Prince insiders” who say that Prince was misquoted and point to the fact that Hoffman…didn’t record the interview.

Now, if I was doing this right, I’d interview Palmer, and then maybe someone would interview me….


O joy! Thanks so much for this!

Here’s an angle that I haven’t seen mentioned—according to Kevin Smith’s movie An Evening with Kevin Smith, which is tremendously entertaining and features a long anecdote of an encounter with his Purple Badness, Prince has mic’d every room in Paisley Park, and the tapes are always running. Would Prince also so wire the “thirty-thousand-square-foot Italianate villa”? Hmmm. The little twerp may have nutty views—surely does have nutty views—but he’s certainly shrewd about power. In the ordinary run of things, I’d suggest that few celebrities would have less credibility taking on the vaunted fact-checking department of The New Yorker, but I don’t know.

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