View Full Version : Prince's halftime imagery questioned

Feb 7th, 2007, 08:52 PM

By JAKE COYLE, AP Entertainment Writer Tue Feb 6, 11:16 PM ET

NEW YORK - In the sensitive post-wardrobe malfunction world, some are questioning whether a guitar was just a guitar during Prince's Super Bowl halftime show.

Prince's acclaimed performance included a guitar solo during the "Purple Rain" segment of his medley in which his shadow was projected onto a large, flowing beige sheet. As the 48-year-old rock star let rip, the silhouette cast by his figure and his guitar (shaped like the singer's symbol) had phallic connotations for some.

A number of bloggers have decried "Malfunction!" including Sam Anderson at New York magazine's Daily Intelligencer. Daily News television critic David Bianculli called it "a rude-looking shadow show" that "looked embarrassingly rude, crude and unfortunately placed."

CBS spokesman Dana McClintock said Tuesday that the network has received "very few" complaints on Prince's performance. CBS last aired the Super Bowl in 2004 when
Janet Jackson and
Justin Timberlake's "wardrobe malfunction" sparked criticism and a subsequent crackdown on broadcast decency from the
Federal Communications Commission.

But this time, it was the NFL that produced the halftime show (MTV had in 2004). Spokesman Greg Aiello said the league has received no complaints.

"We respect other opinions, but it takes quite a leap of the imagination to make a controversy of his performance," Aiello said. "It's a guitar."

The majority of the reaction to Prince's performance has been laudatory, including positive reviews from The Associated Press, the New York Times and USA Today all of which noted the lack of controversy in this year's halftime show. AP Entertainment Writer Douglas J. Rowe wrote: "He delivered one of the best Super Bowl halftime shows ever."

For decades, the electric guitar, by nature, has been considered phallic. From Jimi Hendrix's sensual 6-string swagger to
Eddie Van Halen's masturbatory soloing, the guitar has often been thought an extension of a male player's sexuality.

Was Prince's pose phallic?

"The short answer is, of course it is," says Rolling Stone magazine contributing editor Gavin Edwards, who points out that on Prince's "Purple Rain" tour in the mid `80s, he performed with a guitar that would ejaculate, squirting water out of its end during the climax of "Let's Go Crazy."

"All that said, it didn't seem like a s******ing little puppet show," adds Edwards. "I think it was one of those things because a guitar at waist level does look like an enormous phallus."

By enlarging his shadow, it's possible Prince intended to accentuate this aspect of his solo, but it's just as likely it was accidental. (You can find videos of the halftime show at YouTube.com.) A message left with Prince's publicist Tuesday wasn't returned.

The late-night shows have taken notice. On CBS's "The Late Late Show" on Sunday night, host
Craig Ferguson said of Prince: "He was obviously very happy to be there, wasn't he?"

Stephen Colbert reacted with mock outrage on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" Monday night: "They knew that they were dealing with a lustful, pansexual rock 'n' roll deviant," said Colbert, who joked that the sheet hid (not enhanced) Prince's "demonic guitar phallus."

In recent years, Prince has scaled down his performances, which were once renown for their gymnastics. His mini-concert at the Colts-Bears game in Miami included parts of "Purple Rain," "Let's Go Crazy," "Baby I'm a Star,"
Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower," the Foo Fighter's "Best of You" and Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Proud Mary."

The Minnesota native has attracted controversy before. Tipper Gore launched a campaign to place a warning sticker on his 1984 album "Purple Rain" because of the lyrics to the song "Darling Nikki." Though his musical style has been expansive, he's best known for funky, sexually charged songs like "I Wanna Be Your Lover" and "Get Off."

Prince's previously most talked-about performance came at the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards, where he donned yellow, butt-baring pants, (a stunt later spoofed by Howard Stern). Always eccentric, he famously changed his name to The Artist Formerly Known as Prince, then to simply a symbol and finally back to Prince. He also became a Jehovah's Witness in the mid-`90s.

But Prince's halftime performance, though celebrated, came in a much different cultural environment, where even the fleeting outline of a man and his guitar could, for some, suggest shaded depravity.

"If people want to be hypersensitive, they can be hypersensitive," says Rolling Stone's Edwards. "Those trombones are phallic, too. What are you going to do?"

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070207/ap_en_ce/prince_super_bowl;_ylt=AtWH62bLW3OZWNi8ZF9n5LdxFb8 C

Feb 7th, 2007, 09:09 PM
These people who see something "phallic" are perverts. :rolleyes:

Feb 7th, 2007, 09:28 PM
oh my goodness, people are just looking for something to be offended by!
oh no youre holding a pen, dont you know thats a phallic symbol, gosh how offensive!

Sally Struthers
Feb 7th, 2007, 09:43 PM
people seeing penises all over the place says more about them than the show :o

Feb 7th, 2007, 09:45 PM
I noticed ..aswell as quite a few of my friends. However, i was not offended one little bit :drool: :drool: :drool: :drool: ...:angel:

suffer well
Feb 7th, 2007, 09:49 PM
Prince is a legend. The little mans a inspirational genius for me

Feb 7th, 2007, 09:55 PM
To be honest I've been disappointed with Prince ever since he failed to capitalise on his early successes in the biscuit industry.


Feb 7th, 2007, 10:04 PM
I wasn't offended, but I thought that he was doing it on purpose -the way he held the guitar and the reflection. It seemed a bit obvious to me, but it's Prince. I wasn't surprised.

Feb 7th, 2007, 10:05 PM
You hire Prince and then you find you have a sex-fixated musical genius on your hands. Who knew? :scratch:

Perhaps it's not a pretend penis, it's really a pretend automatic weapon. Which would make it all alright then for USA viewers. ;)

Feb 7th, 2007, 10:12 PM
people seeing penises all over the place says more about them than the show :o

:lol: I never even noticed, though I suppose I wasn't paying much attention in the first place.

Feb 8th, 2007, 12:38 AM
I think some people need to get some sense slapped into them. :rolleyes:

Feb 8th, 2007, 12:53 AM
Some folk generally have their heads in the gutter, so of course they'll see what they want to see :rolleyes: