Podcast: Something Wrong with the Machinery – Carmen Hoover on the Salford Purple Reign Conference

We’re nearing the end of our miniseries on the University of Salford’s interdisciplinary Prince conference, but there are still a few treats in store–starting with today’s conversation with Carmen Hoover. Carmen is a current professor at Olympic College in Washington, and a former First Avenue employee who watched Prince conquer the world from Minneapolis in the early 1980s. We talked about the conference, the time she saw Prince at a gas station, and most importantly, her paper on the evolution of a particular moment (you know the one) between Prince and Wendy in Purple Rain. If your interests are anywhere near as prurient as mine, it’s a can’t-miss.

00:00:00   “Computer Blue” (from Purple Rain, 1984)

00:07:15   The Revolution Play “Let’s Go Crazy” at First Avenue, September 2016

00:13:33   “The Second Coming” (Live at the Met Center, 1982)

00:15:52   Prince at the Minnesota Black Music Awards, May 24, 1982

Photo stolen from

00:16:43 “All the Critics Love U in New York” (Live at First Avenue, 1982)

00:19:13   Some Background on Sue Ann Carwell and Prince

00:20:30   Intro/”Let’s Go Crazy” (Live at the Orange Bowl, Miami, 1985)

00:26:12   “Modernaire” by Dez Dickerson (from Purple Rain)

00:26:40   The (Fictionalized) First Avenue Crowd in Purple Rain, 1984

© Warner Bros.

00:27:31   The August 3, 1983 First Avenue Footage (Watch It While You Can)

00:32:23   Hear More About Jane Jones’ Presentation Here

00:35:19   William Robinson’s and Kimberly Moffit’s Prince Protest Mixtape

00:42:43   “Controversy” (from Controversy, 1981)

00:43:23   My Podcast with Zack Stiegler

00:45:55   The Upcoming Prince from Minneapolis Conference

00:47:51   CNN’s Van Jones on Prince

00:49:57   (We Recorded This Podcast Shortly After the White Supremacist Violence in Charlottesville)

00:51:28   “Computer Blue” (Live at First Avenue, 1983)

00:53:40   “That Moment,” Figure 1: 8/3/1983

00:55:08   “That Moment,” Figure 2: Albert Magnoli’s Screenplay for Purple Rain (See Scene 82)

00:57:08   “That Moment,” Figure 3: Wendy Takes the Phallus, September 2016

01:00:10   David Bowie and Mick Ronson: The Original Guitar Fellaters

Photo by Mick Rock, 1972.

01:01:27   More on Prince’s “Sexualized Play” with Gayle Chapman

01:04:10   The Extended “Hallway Speech” Version of “Computer Blue” (from Purple Rain – Deluxe Edition)

01:06:30   Prince’s Liner Notes for The Hits

01:10:43   Podcast with Leah McDaniel on the “Was Prince a Feminist?” Issue

01:15:46   “Father’s Song” (1983 Recording, from Purple Rain – Deluxe Edition)

01:22:37   “Electric Intercourse” (Live at First Avenue, 1983)

5 replies on “Podcast: Something Wrong with the Machinery – Carmen Hoover on the Salford Purple Reign Conference”

Regarding the “scene” in Computer Blue, Prince was about controlling his environment including band members. Zach I agree with the “trial by fire” comment… 8/3/83 was Wendy’s initiation, the “scene” was the message that Prince was still in control of the situation/band… Prince grew up with 60’s male role models, he became more enlightened and involved after 30 years along with the rest of the society. Although not conventional, Prince’s actions, music, lyrics must be viewed in the context, the zeitgeist, of the 80’s.

Oh I loved this one! (I apologize for spamming your comment sections) I’ve never understood the point of that moment in the movie. You guys provided some theories that help me look at it bit differently. Typically I roll my eyes and think “ugh, so not creative”.

Also, where can I find analysis of Prince’s use of bathing imagery in his music?

Thank you!

Prince and water, Prince and anonymous giving….all traditional Christian concepts … and there are Bible quotations that can be found referencing them! Peace and love…and faith, hope, and charity!

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