[REPOST] Andre Cymone Album Review: “André Cymone Returns to Rock the Spot” by Michael Gonzales and Ebony Magazine

This is an amazing piece by Michael Gonzales on music legend Andre Cymone and his new album, The Stone, which was recently released.

From Ebony.com:

It was the winter of 1981 when I first saw singer-songwriter André Cymone sliding across the Saturday Night Live stage. This was years before his solo albums—which include the wonderfulness of this month’s The Stone—going way back to the pre-purple days when Cymone was part of his Minneapolis boyhood friend Prince’s touring band.

Four months prior, Prince had transformed himself from an “I Wanna Be Your Lover” disco-soul wailer to a sexually charged rock ’n’ roll wild man with his groundbreaking third album, Dirty Mind. Performing “Partyup,” the album’s killer closing track, Prince, André and guitarist Dez Dickerson ripped through the set with furious abandon. Even when Prince dropped an “F” bomb, no one seemed to care. Black rock was in the house, and everybody was going crazy.

Dressed in a flowing overcoat, Cymone was bare-chested as he played a zebra print bass with a matching strap. Onstage the frantic performance was precise, but behind the scenes, the band situation was less than perfect. “I had already quit the group by then,” Cymone recalls 33 years later. “Me and Prince were the best of friends, I had respect for him, but I didn’t want to be just some bass player. I was going to do my own thing.”

Andre Cymone in the 1980s

Cymone and Prince had been buddies since high school. Playing together in a band called Grand Central, the two were inseparable as teenagers. When life got too much at home for the budding musical genius, Prince Rogers Nelson came to live with his buddy’s already big family, where André’s mom Bernadette Anderson raised him as one of her own sons.

The oft-told tale has become a major part of the Prince mythology, as various writers have taken their own spin (from orgies to simply intense practicing) on what went on in that basement where he dwelled. Viewing Mrs. Anderson as a surrogate mom, it’s safe to say that if it wasn’t for her love, guidance and encouragement, there would be no Minneapolis Sound, and neither of those men would be where they are today.

Allowing the boys’ Grand Central crew (which included Morris Day on drums) to practice their music in the basement, Bernadette briefly worked as the group’s manager, though the bookings were often less fabulous. “She would have us playing at her friends’ barbeques,” Cymone recalls. “She’d tell us just play for 45 minutes to an hour, otherwise people would get tired of us.”

Read Full Article at EBONY

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