My Race From Super Bowl XLVIII to Prince and 3rd Eye Girl

Prince 3rd Eye Girl
I rarely talk on the phone, all the communication is on WhatsApp, Skype, Twitter,Text, Facebook, and if you are not calling me I have no idea what’s up with my phone. My friend Aimee, wants to come to the Super Bowl, I try calling her and what, I can’t get through. I am checking with everyone for a spot for her, just then a phone call comes and it’s Steve Tisch’s friend who wants to know how things are going. I tell him that I am running around to see how I can get a friend into the Super Bowl, “Yea, my friend owns MetLife stadium, and the Giants,(speaking about Steve Tish) no problem, but she will have to go with you as you have a pass, can’t give her a seat”. I text my friend to call me, and the game has started I am running around snapping pictures talking to people about being in my David Bowie Film (it’s what producers do). I don’t get a call from Aimee, but then again the game has started, and I am busy trying to make it backstage to check if I can take any shots of Bruno Mars. As I am making my way down I run into Queen Latifah opened the Super Bowl with a powerful performance of ‘America The Beautiful’ that moved the audience, and Renee Flemming who sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” and did what few artists can do sing “And the rocket’s red glare” part with zero fear. By now the game was a blowout.

My friend Paula “DM” on Twitter arrived, she feels life is not fair and that Prince and 3rd Eye Girl are doing a listening party. I respond to confirming that they are at the Darby and she should just go to the door and DM her my business card to show at the door if required. I am now in the process of tracking down Lewis Hamilton and David Beckham there is a dinner after the game and all plans now will have to change due to the Prince listening party. Paula “almost there” she is headed to the Darby. I find David Beckham and Lewis Hamilton who start taking pictures. Paula “LOl ok! They aren’t ready to open yet they said but will keep u posted”. I have zapped out a text message and dinner arrangements are confirmed. A number of people want to come with me to go to the Darby and see what all the fuss is about, and since I have been going on and on about the fashion of Prince and 3rd Eye Girl from Toronto, and the guitarist of the band Donna Grantis some are curious. Paula “Ok I am in … Thanks I am so excited! I owe u for all the help”, I did nothing at all Paula was all on her own and she was in that was good news.

While millions tuned in to catch Prince’s appearance on the FOX sitcom “New Girl”, a few hundred packed into The Darby to hear new music from his upcoming album PLECTRUMELECTRUM brought together by Essence Magazine. By the time my guest and I arrived a line began to snake its way down 14th Street in New York City, as partygoers armed with RSVP’s and the hope of seeing the man in person.

Walking into the Darby, the ladies of 3RDEYEDGIRL addressed the attendees, introducing themselves and the new music.

Prince who like Bowie is always cutting on something new continues to delve deeper into his repertoire, this time bringing guitarist Donna Grantis (big time shout-out for the girl from my hometown Toronto), bassist Ida Nielsen and drummer Hannah Welton together to further his fusion of rock and funk for an album that’s going to be as much about reclaiming musicianship as it is pushing the envelope.

“The album was completely recorded live, analog, old-school,” said Nielsen. “It’s going to pull something inside of you that you may not be feeling listening to music these days.”

The ladies also extoled the virtues of working such closely with Prince and how they pick up things from him in mere seconds, whether onstage as members of the New Power Generation or throughout the recording the process as 3RDEYEDGIRL.

As my friends settled into a boot finding a comfortable space, the ladies premiered “PRETZLEBODYLOGIC”, a fun track featuring a driving guitar and a drum solo from Welton that puts an exclamation point on the jam session. The songs chorus is classic Prince, “Pretzelbodylogic is so much fun/Dreaming of each other on each other’s’ tongue” and will undoubtedly rock in clubs and arenas as Prince sets out to tour with the band.

After the ultra-funky “Funk N Roll” was played, featuring a groove and sped up vocals, the party began as hip-hop legend Doug E. Fresh took to the DJ booth tophoto play master of ceremonies as the crowd danced, socialized (there was very little cell phone usage, my self included with the exception of on picture upon entry). The picture I took was posted on Instagram and Paula saw it the next day, and sent a message telling me she say the picture and that is her sitting in the back booth with her hair in a bun. It was now 2 a.m. when security tightened up and the cell phones came out in unison, hoping to capture an image of music royalty, as he entered the club to DMX’s “Party Up.” The crowd moved in Prince was perched in the booth, visibly having fun with the band and other NPG members.

For twenty minutes, most could only see the top of his now-famed afro, holding on to what little cool was left after being so close to a person who’s seemingly been so distant. While he didn’t say a word, he did bring another new song, which has alternately been billed as a remix to “Funk N Roll” or “Let’s Roll”, but it was a decidedly hip-hop driven beat that really seemed to resonate in the feet, necks and hips of those on the dance floor. Then just like that, he was gone. Back out into the NYC rain, leaving in his wake revelers and new music, memories and a promise for days to come.

London is a lucky city, as it will welcome Prince and 3rd Eye Girl next and what a show that will be. What a Super Bowl night in New York this was.


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David Beckham In A Suit Not Undies Will Own Soccer In Miami

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Beckham and Don Garber, the commissioner of M.L.S., announced the awarding of the new team at a news conference in Miami today. The team will not begin play in M.L.S. until at least 2016. This really was no surprise to anyone, this has been in the works for while. I tracked Beckham down at the Super Bowl, chilling with Lewis Hamilton and yes it was confirmed the game was on.

The league values its association with Beckham. As part of his original contract when he joined M.L.S. as a player in 2007, he was granted the right to buy a team — with some limits on its location — for what would be the below-market rate of $25 million.

Beckham narrowed his sights to South Florida last year after retiring as a player, and the league has held off on the awarding of the team only because it requires new clubs to have a stadium plan in place. Beckham’s ownership group does not yet have a completed stadium deal, but Wednesday’s announcement will be a sign that the league is confident one is close.

The league has let the requirement slide in the past. New York City F.C. was announced as the league’s 20th team last year, after paying a reported fee of close to $100 million, but it still does not even have a temporary home for its first season, in 2015. Orlando City, which was named M.L.S.’s 21st team in November, has a stadium deal in place and will also begin play in 2015.

M.L.S. is sure to welcome Beckham as an owner, but getting a stadium for the team in Miami will not be easy, because of political pressures and a vibrant real estate market that has driven up prices. Yet all in Miami are thrilled at the prospect.

Discussions have centered on a piece of county-owned land near the city’s seaport, Port-Miami, where cruise lines and cargo ships dock. But that property was slated for commercial development, and putting a stadium there instead could represent a loss of revenue for the county. To win county approval, the owners of the stadium might have to make market-rate payments. This is a world where a stadium, hotel, condos, cinema’s, call all coexist as Toronto has proven, with the Rogers Stadium.

Even then, it is unclear how soon a stadium might be built, though the team could presumably play a year or two at a temporary home like the Miami Dolphins’ stadium in Miami Gardens or at Florida International University in Miami. New York City F.C. has said that it plans to take that approach and that it expects to announce a temporary home in the next few weeks.

There are also political hurdles for Beckham’s Miami team. Carlos A. Gimenez, the mayor of Miami-Dade County, has opposed the use of public money for privately operated sports facilities. Before becoming the mayor, he was one of the few county commissioners to oppose the use of hundreds of millions of dollars in public money to help the Miami Marlins build a stadium, and he questioned whether the Dolphins should be given tax dollars to refurbish their privately owned stadium. Reaction to the deal to help the Marlins cost several top politicians their jobs, and Gimenez, who will attend Wednesday’s news conference, would be loath to change course suddenly to help build a soccer stadium.

The Beckham team, and the arrival of Orlando City, would mark the second — and, the league no doubt hopes, more successful — venture into the Florida market for M.L.S. The Tampa Bay Mutiny were a charter member of the league in 1996, and the Miami Fusion joined M.L.S. two years later in an earlier era of expansion. But both clubs struggled to attract fans, or a workable permanent home, in a market that has been difficult to navigate for sports teams, and the league shuttered both clubs in 2001. The move left M.L.S. with 10 teams.

The arrival of two new Florida teams in the next few years, along with a potential team in Atlanta operated by the Falcons’ owner, Arthur Blank, could be the start of a new Southern strategy for M.L.S. Garber has repeatedly said that he envisions an M.L.S. with up to 24 clubs. Spy Girl was on the scene today in Miami for the news.

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