Prince’s Childhood Best Friend Reveals Things We Never Knew About Prince

Posted On : April 29, 2016

andre cymone2
For those who are die-hard prince fans, you may remember Prince’s childhood best friend and former band member, Andre Cymone. Andre and Prince started out together in music and Prince even lived with Andre and his family for years as a teenager. That was way back before the fame and they remained friends ’til Prince’s last day. In fact, Andre talked to Prince soon after Prince made that emergency medical landing 5 days before his untimely death. Andre has been away from the spotlight for a while, but he recently spoke with Billboard to give Prince’s fans a very touching and detailed glimpse into the interesting things they never knew about the Purple One. Check out Andre Cymone’s Billboard interview excerpts below…


[caption id="attachment_34974" align="aligncenter" width="634"]Morris Day and Prince back in the day Morris Day and Prince back in the day[/caption] We were playing cover songs and originals. We did everything from Earth, Wind & Fire to War and Mandrill, Jimi Hendrix, Billy Preston, you name it. We were just doing a lot of covers. Another local band, Flyte Tyme, was a phenomenal band. They had been playing and we were just starting out. But Flyte Tyme at that time was Terry Lewis, not Jimmy Jam because he was in another band called Cohesion. Flyte Tyme was Terry, David Island, Jellybean was the drummer and one of the horn players was Kid. I remember one of our first battle of the bands: they weren’t going to let us play because we really didn’t have the kind of equipment for the venue. We only had this teeny amp: It was just the three of us: me, Prince and his cousin Charles. Charles’ drums didn’t have drum heads on both sides. We were kind of rag-tag. But I went to the leader of one of the other bands that had fabulous equipment and I said [adopting a high voice]: "Please, can we play on your equipment? We’re not really that good. We’re just little guys." So they felt bad for us and said, "Oh, go ahead." And we went on and won. I think we played a Hendrix song and a Santana song. It might have been “Fire.” I know we played “Out of Space” because Prince played the organ. I think we played three songs: the Hendrix song, an original then “Out of Space.” And when we won, they let us play another song or two; I think we wound up playing … [he starts singing the lyrics to the Four Tops’ “Ain’t No Woman Like the One I’ve Got”]. I know our drummer [Charles] was into stuff like that. When you’re in a band, you kind of have to let everybody pick a song to do and that song was a little out of character for where we were at. At the time, because he was the oldest, he was kind of the leader of the band which was interesting. We’d come up with different names for the band and when we’d win, we’d think we’d lost. They’d say the winner is … Phoenix. And we’d be like, "Oh, man." Charles would be like, "We won." And Charles would say, "Oh yeah, I changed the name." That’s the kind of stuff that would happen.

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Source: Billboard Magazine

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