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Members of The Revolution reflect on Prince's death, talk tour

Published: Thursday, April 20, 2017 @ 5:21 AM

Prince - By the Numbers

Throughout his genre-bending career, Prince worked with a dazzling array of musicians.

His New Power Generation rolled with him through the '90s and the female trio 3rdeyegirl shared his space in the most recent years of his musical creations.

But his 1980s-era crew The Revolution, their star cemented in 1984’s “Purple Rain,” remain the definitive Prince backing band.

>> For more Prince coverage, head to Ruggieri’s Atlanta Music Scene blog on AJC.com

Shortly after Prince’s death last year from an accidental opioid overdose, original band members Bobby Z (drums), “Doctor” Matt Fink (keyboards), Mark “BrownMark” Brown (bass), Lisa Coleman (keyboards) and Wendy Melvoin (guitar) convened in a Minneapolis hotel to share their grief with fans via a heartfelt video.

In September, The Revolution reunited for a trifecta of sold-out shows at the fabled First Avenue club in Minneapolis, and after their planned performance at this weekend’s Celebration 2017 at Prince’s Paisley Park compound, will embark on a tour of about two dozen dates through July.

>> Prince’s estate halts release of new EP, ‘Deliverance,’ report says

Atlanta – the new residence of bassist Brown – isn’t on the itinerary yet, but fans will likely be sated during a second run of shows this fall.

Earlier this week, Brown and Fink – clad in his trademark scrubs – sat inside the band’s rehearsal space near downtown Minneapolis to discuss the loss of their leader, as well as what can be expected on this Revolution return.

Their feelings about the one-year anniversary of Prince’s death

Matt Fink: The sting of that happening has not really left any of us. We still think about it a lot. Almost every day I’ve thought about it. The mourning process for him is still there. Who knows how long that will take before you really start to not think about it as much? But now that we’re doing this (tour), it’s there in your face no matter what you do. We’re just going to do our best to help the fans heal. ... I thought by now I’d be doing better, but it’s still very emotional. It’s like losing a family member, a parent, even.

>> PHOTOS: Prince’s Paisley Park prepares to celebrate a shining star

Mark Brown: We hit this jam the other night, and it was like, he’s not there. Emotionally, when we were finished I was like, (that was just) like the old days. Then you start reminiscing and a sadness comes over you. ... He lives inside of us now. He was our mentor, our leader, our purple funky Yoda. The force was with him.

Fink: He was such a spiritual person to begin with and believed in the afterlife. In our hearts we know that he’s watching over all of this.

On The Revolution’s decision to reunite after Prince’s death

Fink: Let’s go back to 2012 when we did the (American) Heart Association event for Bobby Z. He was working with the heart association (after surviving a heart attack the year before) and asked us to help him out. We hadn’t played together since 2003 with Sheila E. and (before that) show we hadn’t worked together in 17 years. ... When Prince passed, the immediate reaction is, we’ve got to get together. We made the decision to get together in L.A. because Wendy and Lisa were working on soundtrack work. It was at that time that we said maybe we should get out and play again just to keep the legacy alive and give fans something to hold onto as well.

>> PHOTOS: Prince through the years

Brown: When we came out to Minneapolis right after he died, we were in a hotel room and ... you could look in the streets and see the pain. We all just said, ‘We should make a video right now and let the fans know that we feel that pain, too, and we’re gonna play.’ I never felt it was impulsive or the wrong thing to do. Some of us have different opinions. For me, I felt like, I’m there with them, I feel their pain. I was there in the beginning when we created that stuff, (so) let me give some of that back. Then later on we decided at the right time, we need to get back on the road and start the healing process. By playing the music, it helped us. I know it helped me.

Fink: My last meeting with Prince (in fall 2014), he expressed quite a bit of interest in reuniting with the group. Who knows? It might have been coming, anyway. To me, that still made sense; he was wishing that to happen.

On whether they had witnessed Prince in any kind of pain or in the throes of addiction

Fink: No, not at all. During that meeting he seemed just fine. I had not hint of it at that time.

>> Honoring Prince: 6 memorable tributes

Brown: For me, I thought he was a little thin. I even said to him, ‘Losing a little weight there, bro?’ and he said, ‘You getting a little belly, bro?’ (laughs). But it was fun, so I didn’t sense anything. When it all went down, I was like, that just blew me away. But even the piano tour, I was watching some of the clips and I was like, hmmm, as well as we know him, something’s not right there.

On The Revolution playing Atlanta at some point on the tour

Brown: They’ll see us, that’s all I can say. This first leg, it’s set, but the second one is being worked on. We can’t say anything until it’s contracted, but we’re on the move.

>> Prince remembered throughout Minneapolis 1 year after death

Why Brown recently relocated to the Atlanta area

Brown: I got tired of the city life. San Francisco is a beautiful, lovely city, but I’ve always been a country boy. Always lived in the suburbs, I always liked the quietness. Atlanta always seemed like a spot that I’d like to check out. The music scene, it’s like a second Hollywood. I plan to tap big time into the scene once things start to settle. I know a few musicians down there already, but would love to tap into that scene and really be a part of it, like I was in the Minnesota scene.

>> New Prince music appears ahead of anniversary of death

On the Prince that the public didn’t always see

Fink: He was very gregarious. When he wasn’t embroiled in music creation, there were days he’d be very businesslike, but he’d interject funny things and quips. But then there were moments if you were just relaxing, everybody liked to be funny and use their own sense of humor. He had a very infectious laugh as well. He was very good at doing voices, too, and imitating people. Go on YouTube and watch his appearance on ‘Muppets Tonight’ (in 1997) – that’s the real Prince.

>> Purple reign: Remembering how world mourned Prince’s death

On what fans can expect from The Revolution’s live shows

Fink: There are songs from the catalog starting from ‘Dirty Mind’ through ‘Parade’ and a few numbers that they’ve never heard, things that have been sitting in the vault.

>> Read more trending news

Brown (laughs): We’ve got some junk up in there!

Kennedy family members arrested after loud party, noise complaints 

Published: Wednesday, August 23, 2017 @ 11:55 AM

Two members of the Kennedy family were arrested over the weekend near the family’s compound in Hyannis Port, Mass.  Matthew Kennedy pleaded not guilty to disturbing the peace Monday in Barnstable. His daughter, Caroline, will be charged at a later date.
Tim Gray/Getty Images
Two members of the Kennedy family were arrested over the weekend near the family’s compound in Hyannis Port, Mass.  Matthew Kennedy pleaded not guilty to disturbing the peace Monday in Barnstable. His daughter, Caroline, will be charged at a later date.(Tim Gray/Getty Images)

Two members of the Kennedy family were  arrested in Massachusetts after complaints about a loud party and fireworks.

>> Read more trending news

Barnstable police said officers responded to a home near the family compound in Hyannis Port early Sunday morning on noise complaints.

Police say Matthew "Max" Kennedy, 52, and his daughter, Caroline R. Kennedy, 22, were taken into custody and charged with disorderly conduct and violating the town's noise law. They were later released on their own recognizance.

Matthew Kennedy pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on Monday in Barnstable District Court.

Caroline Kennedy will be arraigned at a later date. It was not immediately clear if she had an attorney who could comment on the charges.

>> Related: Photos: The young Kennedys

Matthew Kennedy is an author and the ninth child of Robert and Ethel Kennedy.

Chrissy Teigen says ‘I have to fix myself’ when it comes to alcohol

Published: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 @ 5:50 PM

Chrissy Teigen reveals she struggles with alcohol in a new interview with Cosmopolitan.
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions/Getty Images for Tony Awards Pro
Chrissy Teigen reveals she struggles with alcohol in a new interview with Cosmopolitan.(Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions/Getty Images for Tony Awards Pro)

Model and cookbook author Chrissy Teigen revealed Wednesday in an interview with Cosmopolitan that she struggles with alcohol abuse.

“I was, point blank, just drinking too much. I got used to being in hair and makeup and having a glass of wine,” the “Lip Sync Battle” host said. “Then that glass of wine would carry over into me having one before the awards show. And then a bunch at the awards show. And then I felt bad for making kind of an ass of myself to people that I really respected. And that feeling, there’s just nothing like that. You feel horrible. It's not a good look for me, for John (Legend, my husband), for anybody.”

>> Read more trending news

USA Today reported that Tiegen has posted videos of herself while she was drunk before. One video posted in February showed Legend helping her take off her jewelry after the Grammy Awards show.

Tiegen told Cosmo that her family has a history of alcohol abuse and that she “can't just have one drink.”

She and her husband, who are parents to daughter Luna, 16 months, have gone on a series of vacations before they begin in vitro fertilization treatments as they try to have another child. Luna was conceived via IVF in 2015.

“We're going to try to have a child. This is for us to try to get in the zone of ‘Let’s travel. Let’s be away together. Let’s see our closest friends,’ and then we’re going to have to do something super hard, which is the IVF process, all over again.”

Tiegen, who revealed her struggle with postpartum depression and anxiety in March, said that “alcohol is like the least thing that helps.” She takes “a number of medications” for depression and anxiety, according to Cosmo.

During a recent trip to Bali, she abstained from alcohol completely and didn’t miss it. 

“I would wake up feeling amazing, she said. “My skin felt amazing. I was just so happy.”

Now that she is back home in Los Angeles preparing for another vacation. Teigen may not drink at all, but it will be a challenge: as a sposkesperson for Captain Morgan and Smirnoff, drinks are often free and plenty at events.

“I used to think it was kind of nutty to have to go totally sober, but now I get it,” she said. “I don't want to be that person. … I have to fix myself.”

Read more at Cosmopolitan.com.

Venus Williams agrees to turn over phone records from day of fatal crash

Published: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 @ 7:19 PM

What You Didn’t Know about Serena Williams

Tennis great Venus Williams has agreed to turn over her cell phone records to attorneys representing a family who is suing her in connection with a June traffic accident that claimed the life of a 78-year-old man.

>> Read more trending news

In a brief court hearing on Tuesday, lawyers for Williams and those representing the family of Jerome Barson told Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Cymonie Rowe that the 37-year-old athlete had agreed to turn over records of calls from noon to 2:30 p.m. on June 9, the day of the crash, said attorney F. Malcolm Cunningham Jr., who represents Williams.

The records will be redacted in court documents so the phone numbers would be kept from public view, Cunningham said. He described the request as routine.

“It’s very typical — very standard — for this kind of litigation or any kind of litigation, actually,” he said.

>> Related: Venus Williams breaks down during Wimbledon press conference

Attorney Michael Steinger filed the wrongful death lawsuit against Williams on behalf of the Barson family. In court papers, Steinger and his associates said the phone records could help show whether Williams was distracted at the time of the mid-day crash. They are also seeking Williams’ phone and any other electronic devices she had with her during the June 9 accident. That request is still pending.

>> Related: Surveillance video shows deadly car crash involving Venus Williams

Palm Beach Gardens police say Williams was at the wheel of her SUV in the middle of the intersection at Northlake Boulevard and BallenIsles Drive when the light turned red. Linda Barson, who was driving a Hyundai Accent, drove through the green light, smashing into the side of Williams’ vehicle as Williams continued through the intersection, they said. Williams, who lives in the nearby BallenIsles Country Club, told investigators she did not see Barson’s car.

Jerome Barson, a passenger in the vehicle, was taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center and died there on June 22. Williams was not injured in the crash.

Fans want Missy Elliott statue to replace Confederate monument in Portsmouth, Virginia

Published: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 @ 7:48 PM

Missy Elliott - Fast Facts

One fan of Missy Elliott has made waves on the internet, having created a Change.org petition that has gained more than 28,000 signatures in less than a week.

The reason? Nathan Coflin wants the city of Portsmouth, Virginia, to replace a Confederate monument with a statue of Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott.

>> Read more trending news

The Washington Post reported that Coflin, a resident of Elliott’s hometown of Portsmouth, is a longtime fan of Elliott.

“I wanna show we can honor the positivity that’s happening today in Portsmouth and I think no one better suits that than Missy Elliott,” he told The Post.

“We believe it is time to finally replace the Confederate Monument in Olde Towne Portsmouth Virginia near the intersection of Court and High streets with a new statue of a true Portsmouth native hero,” Coflin wrote on the petition. “Who better to encapsulate the culture and spirit of the city enshrined in a new monument than Grammy Award winning rapper, dancer, and record producer Missy ‘Misdemeanor’ Elliott?”

Making nods to Elliott’s 2002 single “Work It,” Coflin expressed his reasons for replacing the monument.

“Getting this statue put up will be a lot of work and you may ask yourself is it worth it? I say yes and ask you to join me in letting us work it,” he wrote. “Together we can put white supremacy down, flip it and reverse it. Let us come together in getting City Council to erect this statue in honor of Missy Elliott and all those in the great City of Portsmouth who work it each and every day.”

In response to a tweet about the petition, Elliott said “just to see this warms my heart and it's so humbling to me.”