When Prince passed on "We Are The World"


I like this bit from it:

"There was a part of Prince that we called Steve, and that was the guy that you could bum around with.”

I can’t imagine anyone ever calling Prince “Steve”, to his face or behind his back.

As for the “We Are the World” thing, well, I’m in agreement with The Glyph; I’ve always thought it was an awful song, barely good enough for third-string Christian rock. As for the ego thing, well, all you have to do is see Michael Jackson standing by himself with a star filter on him to see how ridiculous an accusation that is. Until now, I also hadn’t heard that he was willing to add some guitar and got turned down by Quincy Jones.

We are the World was never about the song (which lets face it, sucks), it was about being a big TV event full of superstars doing something vague for charity.

I do note that it was a one-off event, almost certainly for good reason.

I have absolutely zero problem with celebrities doing fundraisers and charity work and whatnot, in general; my main beef with WATW was the extraordinarily self-congratulatory atmosphere of it–the title of the song itself and the lyrics; the false piety of “check your ego at the door” at what was essentially a very exclusive awards show afterparty in a recording studio–and in particular how some of the participants chose to use Prince as a sort of figurative yardstick by which they made themselves look better. The article makes this point:

Prince was in the middle of a tour that included an ongoing charity component that raised $250,000 for Marva Collins’s work in Chicago and included multiple food drives and four free concerts for special-needs children.

Plus, of course, he would have been on the record anyway if Quincy Jones had taken the stick out of his ass long enough to find a place in the record’s mix for one of the best guitar players in the world to throw in a riff or two.


I was just a kid, but I remember SNL parodied his notable absence on that record in a cold-opening sketch. I believe it was Gary Kroger as Prince singing a joke version of the lyrics, the chorus of which was “I am the worrrrlllllld!” But of course, in retrospect, it seems the larger egos were the ones drawing attention to themselves by participating.

As a Prince fan, I will read this article with great interest.

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Someone should have deflated Michael’s ego long before this happened

My respect for Jarvis Cocker increased massively that night.

What’s amazing though - is the song sucks, but we all know it. Before Twitter too.

I don’t know that we’ll all know another song ever again!

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