Two music fans were fighting about Prince. One said everything he ever did was magic the other said he only sung about his penis. Soon they rolled out of the bar and onto the street and fists were swinging. A police cruiser pulled over and broke it up issuing $300 fines for believing music was worth fist fighting over. They challenged the tickets. Almost one year later they had their day in court. There was build up, Christie Blatchford published a piece defending the cop who she said did everything right and now was being judged for the crime of breaking up a fight. She went on to ask what’s next? Taking away tasers?
At the trial the prosecution was eager to show off their homework. They spent time and money preparing expert witnesses to explain the basis of how these two broke the law, their first witness was Rob Bowman from York University. He was set to prove (utilizing overhead projector diagrams) his interpretation on the only known song where Prince didn’t sing about his penis but the defendant’s surprised everyone with opening statements and they went viral. They said people have the right to beat each other up for not agreeing over musical opinions because don’t we sanction murder and survival regularly when we conduct war? The prosecution was blindsided. Soon The Young Turks, Fox News, Pitchfork and an intern from Canadaland set up outside the courtroom. The judge didn’t like any of it and called a 2 weeks recess while he would hear arguments in his chambers privately.
Busking musicians using battery powered amplifiers started to assemble outside the court building and started playing renditions of Raspberry Beret or Nothing Compares 2 U. The cacophony was substantial and they were making more money than in the subway. People liked hearing music by the same composer simultaneously overlapping interjecting and occasionally harmonizing. David Dacks was inspired to make this into a Music Gallery event possibly for next winter but there was nobody to talk with who represented everyone. Now Magazine approached the two fans to do a feature story (and cover) and Shaftesbury Films offered to buy the rights to their story. The two fans took the money, did the interviews, changed their minds about fighting the tickets and started a Tim Horton’s franchise together in Brampton. Some years later they were asked by Jaymz Bee (sitting in for Carole Off) if they owed everything to Prince. They replied there is no such thing as a single event being responsible for all the events that follow it. There is always something else that happened earlier and one could argue that that influenced the situation. Do we credit Prince for this crueller? (points to donut) or do we credit Mark (Winnipeg friend) who introduced me to Prince’s work years earlier at the Lithium cafe? Jaymz wasn’t sure exactly how to respond instead he asked if he could take a picture of the 3 of them with a bottle of vodka which later ran on his wall as Absolut Preence Fights.
In his chambers the judge said we can’t have this even though I agree with you. Absolutely, we go to war for imaginary reasons. If you want to beat yourselves up over musical opinions I say why not? Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose. Nothing don’t mean nothin’ hon’ if it ain’t free.