Sense a trend here?
Been away from the blog for a while–busy doing readings, consulting and writing a quick piece for emusic on rock savant, Wesley Willis, a Gemini, (clinically schizophrenic). Some interesting things really popped when i started looking at famous Gemini musicians, mostly the connection between the artist and their alter egos (sort of a creative schizophrenia) and the fact that they usually need another to flesh out their musical vision.
Wesley Willis is an extreme example of Gemini bi-polarity Some people might be familiar with his cult classic, “Rock and Roll McDonalds” that starts out naive, innocent and even goofy, then turns into a nasty little hit piece on McDonald’s, singing about how bad the food is for you, how fattening it is, and that Burger King is better. Everyone whoever heard it for the first time fell in love with it, laughed their ass off and was totally charmed by Willis’ lack of guile. Willis went on to a recording career that basically saw him re-make “Rock and Roll McDonalds” over and over again, using the same music, same song structure and even occasionally the same lyrics. His subject matter leaned towards singing about rock bands and musicians like Nirvana, The Foo Fighters, Courtney Love and KMFDM. These were more like shout outs than actual songs. The repetition in subject matter and language is something that modern psychiatry has linked to schizophrenia and yet, the minutiae, the obsession with details, the tendency to hyperinflate the mundane, can all be considered partial trademarks of The Gemini need to communicate, especially about their most local surroundings and personal experience.
A sense of confessionalism runs through Gemini Prince’s work. When he sings about “Alphabet City” he’s reminiscing about the area he grew up in, in his native Minneapolis. But his narrative extends far beyond his locality. In typical Gemini fashion, Prince has been working out his erotic and sensual side, along with his devoutly religious side for years. Once Prince walked into the studio to record the groundbreaking, Dirty Mind the studio itself became part erotic cabaret, part confessional. In many ways, Prince mirrors the moral conflict that The US has had with sex and salvation through his art and it’s’ no wonder that the US Mars is in Gemini, forming a slightly wide trine (six degrees) with The US Moon in Aquarius. As a nation, we’re restless with Mars in Gemini, crave experience and The Moon in eccentric Aquarius gives us permission to explore the duality in unconventional ways. The US Venus in Cancer however lends a strong conservatism to how we relate across the board, which might explain why Kris Allen (Gemini/Cancer cusp) upset Adam Lambert (Aquarius) on American Idol (much more on this later).
Prince is archetypally Gemini as he works out his relationship with his father in Purple Rain, celebrity in Rainbow Bridge and self-indulgence in Under The Cherry Moon.
Prince, like many Gemini’s has also needed a foil. These came in the form of any number of femme fatales that allowed him to externalize his feminine in his art. From Sheila E, to Mavis Staples, to Vanity, he has used the female voice as a conduit, an externalized and interactive muse. Let’s not forget that has also been a symbol as well as a man. This mercurial nature to move from identity to identity is Prince in action, working out the personal and the mythopoetic through his art. Even his songbook reflects the peripatetic nature of his creativity–it’s all over the place–sometimes frustratingly so. Read the rest of this entry »