Prince, owning it on Fallon, part two. Also via UPROXX.
Prince - Darling Nikki
I’m pretty sure I told y’all the “I sang this song at a strip club’s karaoke night” before because of just how awkward the whole experience was — but I can’t find the post in Tumblr’s search function.
Anyway, that’s what comes up for me after acknowledging how awesome this song is.
Prince, “Darling Nikki”
And the last one in my overdosing on today’s themesong of “sex scene.”
She took me 2 her castle
And I just couldn’t believe my eyes.
She had so many devices
Everything that money could buy.
She said, “Sign your name on the dotted line.”
The lights went out
And Nikki started 2 grind.
dagotron replied to your post: it’s really more of an obsession with the Purple One.
Not to mention my favorite Prince song, “Erotic City.”
Jesus, that song’s terrific too. It’s talking about sex, the most organic and human of everything, over computer bleeps and bloops.
cupofthrills replied to your post: sir, your establishment has violated the laws of karaoke.
I’m curious about this “Darling Nikki” obsession of yours.
Well, it was the first time I’d ever done it at karaoke. I have a long-standing Prince obsession. We share being biracial, but that’s about it. He’s a pint-sized musical genius and I’m 6’2” and I’m not, yet I distinctly remember him being the first musician I ever really wanted to be. There’s an additional fascination with making the sexually explicit sound lyrical and natural; that’s an art form in and of itself. And of course, it’s off Purple Rain and is THE song that unleashed Tipper Gore and the wrath of the PMRC on the world. It’s the tune that created Parental Advisory stickers.
I think “Darling Nikki,” “When You Were Mine”, “Let’s Pretend We’re Married,” “Gett Off”, etc. are fascinating for younger Prince fans because he doesn’t play a lot of those songs any more since he became a Jehovah’s Witness. I saw him live when I was 19 and while he’s an explosive live performer, there isn’t that danger of irrepressible sexuality about it, which is really big in good rock ‘n roll.
Prince, “Darling Nikki”
I knew a girl named Nikki.
I guess you could say she was a sex fiend.
I met her in a hotel lobby.
Masturbating with a magazine.
She said, “How’d you like to waste some time?”
And I could not resist when I saw little Nikki grind.
It’s my belief that there are musicians and bands who are uncoverable. Doesn’t mean you can’t do it, but you’ve set yourself up to fail no matter how good your version might be.
Prince is one of those artists, and while I was listening to the Foo Fighters’ Medium Rare, I kept thinking of how all covers of Prince, particularly the more sexual songs, seem to miss the point and the mark. So much of Prince’s sexual antics and lyrics seemed to be respectful of female sexuality (not that he was necessarily above misogyny per se) in the sense that women could fuck and leave, and men could be the ones left shell-shocked, questioning whether it was right, and begging the lover to come back. In the glam-metal soaked mid-to-late 80s, this was revelatory in its own way.
Of course, being diminutive and flirting with the lines of androgyny and gender in appearance helped sell it in a way that Dave Grohl & co. couldn’t, no matter how reverent or well-intentioned the Foos may be with their cover of “Darling Nikki.” It’s nigh impossible to hear that vulnerability in Grohl’s voice that Prince achieved on a regular basis. Grohl is capable of vulnerability in his own songs, but his screech is more metal-derived and packs more testosterone. Even having Cee-Lo along for some renditions of it doesn’t help.
The Foos are really good at covers, but seeing little Nikki grind could never work for them. If you watch the Foos’ live version that I linked to, when Grohl sings the line “She had so many devices / Everything that money could buy” he works his hands to simulate a dildo when Prince never needed to go there. It’s the difference between pseudo-confident frat boy and a grown man secure enough to submit.
Prince, “Purple Rain”
I own no purple. This is the best I can do.
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A vagabond who's made his home in the Pacific Northwest.×