As suspected, New Yorker mag contributor Claire Hoffman didn't write up her gay-marriage-is-wrong interview with Prince from notes or a tape recorder.
In an interview Hoffman gave to brianmpalmer.com, she is quoted about the process. Last week, a New Yorker spokeswoman told me it stood by the interview and would not discuss whether a tape recorder was allowed.
"I just interviewed Prince and he wouldn't let me use a tape recorder or my notepad," Brian M. Palmer's website quotes Hoffman as saying. "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."
To Palmer's question about whether she normally tapes interviews, Hoffman responded: "For the magazine stuff I normally try to tape. You can have longer dialogue. But for newspapers, I don't just because you don't have enough time. I'm a pretty fast writer, just from doing newspapers."
While having quotes attributed to Prince that suggest his new-found religious faith is fueling an intolerance for human rights is unfair, Symbolina kind of gets what he deserves by refusing to allow reporters to tape record him or TAKE notes.
As guarded as Prince is, I have wondered whether he has some record of the interview, which took place at his L.A. home, where he provided the food for an interview that the New Yorker titled "Soup with Prince." (Which I have, naturally, renamed "Soup with Nuts.")
Twin Cities writer Neal Karlen's 1985 Rolling Stones interview of Prince may have been the last in which he allowed himself to be tape-recorded. "I guess I have the last tapes of him," Karlen told me. We talked last week, when I asked Karlen and Janet Charlton, of L.A., both longtime reporters on Prince's unusual behavior, to pretend they could crawl into his brain and speculate on where any of homophobia might originate.
Noting that "a lot of his audience is gay," Karlen said he's never picked up on anything from Prince that seemed even vaguely homophobic. "He was still so into this androgyny. You hear these stories about him at Central High School walking down the hallway in bikini underwear and a rain coat. He does these things because he can. That hasn't changed since he was in the eighth grade," said Karlen, who strongly suspected that the problem with the New York interview was related to Hoffman not having any notes.
"Did she talk to him for five minutes? She probably was asking him about California repealing gay marriage, and he's had his own bad luck with marriage. It seemed like throwaway [lines]. When you think he's never made one statement that's come to rebound on him, why would he want to say that? There must be some reason he said that." said Karlen, whose 1990 Rolling Stone interview was sans recorder or notes. Karlen feigned a bladder infection, which he was flushing with Coke, so he could keep running to the restroom to write down quotes on toilet paper, claiming he had a bladder infection.
"He hasn't gotten a lot of press lately," said Karlen. "He's very canny. He knows what he's doing. Part of his control thing is that he had a really good idea about public relations."
The woman behind janetcharltonshollywood.com said Prince's New Yorker remarks, if accurate, were "not a good move on his part." She wonders, "Is he going to talk more on this?"
While a fan of Prince's music and eye for fashion, Charlton said this controversy is in "another reason why mixing religion and politics and government is a huge mistake. Looks like Prince possesses some kind of religious fervor right now. I guess he's more religious than ever."
When Charlton asked me whether I thought his intolerance for human rights carried over into the voting booth, I told her it was my understanding that Jehovah's Witnesses didn't believe in voting. "Oh, that's a blessing. I guess gays won't have to demonstrate in front of his house because he doesn't vote anyway," laughed Charlton.
C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or firstname.lastname@example.org. E-mailers, please state a subject -- "Hello" doesn't count. Attachments are not opened, so don't even try. More of her attitude can be seen on FOX 9 Thursday mornings. Including Thanksgiving Day around 8:15 a.m. when she'll have an obvious observation about the Obama Administration's management and budget guy Peter Orszag.