Someone I know knows someone who was actually in Prince's Raspberry Beret video. Not the swirly, crayon cartoon part, but the part where Prince and The Revolution play on a jubilant, sky-blue stage to dozens of mid-eighties bangled, spangled neo-psychedelic fans.
I left three smiley messages but he never returned my call. The messages were like: "Hi! my name is Mike Albo! Hi! How are you! I write for STIM, this on-line magazine, and I'm writing an article about berets! I heard from a friend that you were in the raspberry beret video and I wanted to ask you questions about it! My number is 718 555-1212! I am really looking forward to it!"
Each time I called I got an answering machine with a woman's voice (his girlfriend's I suppose.) This was sort of disorienting, and while I gave my embarrassingly happy crap on the phone I felt very stupid. There is nothing worse than trying to diligently pursue someone for something frivolous and light-hearted.
And, there is nothing worse than knowing that the person you are calling has a girlfriend, and a seemingly happy, close, healthy relationship where they go home from their great, sunny, virtual office jobs, put on each other's sweatpants ("who cares we're in love!") sit in their Ikea love seat, tuck their toes under each other's butts, eat salad tossed with sundried tomatoes, and listen to fake, false-delighted me on their message machine.
So, for the sake of my self-esteem, I am going to enact a fake interview and answer my own stupid questions.
|So, tell me, how you were chosen for the Raspberry Beret Video?|
|Me b:|| It was really by chance, actually.|
|a:||By chance? Like you were living in LA in 1985, the height of heavy metal and you were wearing parachute pants and a red and white, slashed-up Chams shirt, and you were hanging out in Coconut Teazer, listening to Cinderella before they made it big, and someone came up to you and asked you to be in the video?|
|a:|| What did you wear in the video?|
|b:||Something different and extraordinary.|
|a:||Like something loose and blousy, with paisleys on it, and perhaps a Jethro Tull inspired little male medieval skirt? That was my favorite incarnation of Prince, with his bubble haircut and blue suit with clouds on it. He seemed so happy then. Did Prince treat Wendy and Lisa weirdly, or was that before the big Revolution fallout?|
|a:|| There is this one part in the video, when Wendy comes up to the microphone in her tiny bedazzled tube top and long silky skirt and sings backup with Prince for one chorus. She smiles shyly and then quickly goes back to her place on his left. For some reason that moment has always been very memorable for me. I think she was very proud and yet modest about her position, and I don't think she had any idea Prince would be such a strange schizophrenic freak later on. So, was it hard to learn that little dance they made you do? The move where everyone in the audience bends over and exaggeratedly snaps their fingers and then straightens up and claps?|
|a:||What do you think the raspberry beret is a metaphor for? You know, like Little Red Corvette, or 007 or Sex Shooter...Is it supposed to be a cheeky metaphor for a body part, like a clit?|
|b:|| A raspberry beret? "The kind you find in a second hand store?"|