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Riffs: Let's Go Crazy: a history of Prince's wackier antics, pronouncements and lawsuits

princePrince has got computer blues. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

By Allison Stewart

Remember the days when Prince would make some sort of weird pronouncement or do something strange, and everyone acted like he was some kind of mystical oracle instead of the equivalent of their grumpy uncle whom they purposely see only once a year, on holidays?

We're guessing those days are over. Except nobody told Prince.

The Purple One, who took down his Web site and no longer makes his music available online (even to iTunes), gave an interview to The Daily Mirror U.K. in which he discussed the decline of the Internet.

The money quote: “The Internet’s completely over. I don’t see why I should give my new music to iTunes or anyone else. They won’t pay me an advance for it and then they get angry when they can’t get it. The Internet’s like MTV. At one time MTV was hip and suddenly it became outdated. Anyway, all these computers and digital gadgets are no good. They just fill your head with numbers and that can’t be good for you."

We're not sure what Prince means by "numbers" (maybe he's referring to binary code?), but we do know this recent fit of pique is the latest in a long line of attention-getting antics and threatened lawsuits, which we've put together in handy timeline form. He gets cranky sometimes!

(An abbreviated history of Prince's crazy-bringing, after the jump.)

1985: Prince announces he will no longer play live, saying he is going to "look for the ladder."

1986: Prince resumes playing live.

1987: Prince records "The Black Album," then decides not to release it, either because he had a religious experience in which he discovered the disc was "evil," because of an experiment with Ecstasy that went wrong, or possibly both. The widely bootlegged "Black Album" was officially released in 1994.

1988: The video for the "Lovesexy" single "Alphabet St." reportedly features Prince holding a sign saying, "Don't buy 'The Black Album.' I'm sorry."

1993: Prince changes his name to a glyph.

1993: Prince writes "slave" on his cheek to protest treatment by his record label.

1994: Prince releases the now-forgotten album "Come." Its cover credit reads: "Prince1958-1993"

Prince becomes Prince again.

June, 2006: Prince, who had been releasing some of his albums online through his, receives a Webby award for his "visionary" use of the internet.

July, 2006: Prince shuts down

2007: Prince threatens to sue fans who use his image, lyrics and likeness on their fan sites. His lawyers ask the fans for "substantive details of the means by which you propose to compensate [Prince] for damages."

2008: As part of an ongoing battle with YouTube over use of his videos, Prince orders blocked all versions of his cover of Radiohead's "Creep," prompting frontman Thom Yorke to say, "Well, tell him to unblock it. It's"

2010: Prince declares Internet over.

By Allison Stewart  |  July 6, 2010; 3:30 PM ET
Categories:  Riffs  | Tags: Prince  
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I wrote about Prince's latest comments at my blog:

Prince Says Internet "Completely Over," Advocates Return to Sheet Music

Posted by: kevvied | July 6, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

2011: Prince returns to the Internet, selling purple USB drives containing previously-unreleased songs, rants & raves, baking instructions, and random animal noises.

Posted by: Miles_Standish_Proud | July 6, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Who is this Prince you speak of?

Posted by: kithara | July 6, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Thom York has more talent in single songs then Prince does in entire albums.

Posted by: alex35332 | July 7, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

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