Saturday, May 7, 2016

Vanity [1959-2016]

Artist: Vanity
LP: 7" single
Song: "Pretty Mess" 
[ listen ]

When I went to Golden Oldies after Prince died to see if I could find more of his 45s, Scott, the guy working there, said that he'd heard that Apollonia had died too just a few weeks earlier. I looked her up when I got home and found out that she was still rather alive. But then when some friends and I went to see PURPLE RAIN at Oak Tree Cinemas this past Thursday, my friend Beatrice said that it was Vanity who had died—but this time it was true! (It's hard to keep track of Prince's women—Vanity; Apollonia; Sheila E.—they all look kinda' alike, they all like to wear lace, and of course they're all deliciously sexy.) 

A few things I learned about Vanity today that I didn't know before: Vanity 6 and Apollonia 6 are the exact same band, just with a different singer—and both groups' #6 really IS a reference to their total combined breast count. Vanity was set to sing "Sex Shooter" and co-star in PURPLE RAIN, but then Prince had to scramble to find a replacement when their relationship hit the skids and Vanity ditched Prince and his entourage for a solo career with Motown Records. In 1994, Vanity overdosed on crack and had a near-death experience, during which Jesus appeared to her and told her to change her ways. So she did. And that, my friends, was the end of the sexy, saucy nastiness of the artist formerly known as Vanity. You can read more about Denise "Vanity" Matthews here and here, and here's her obituary from the New York Times. And as for "Pretty Mess," we'll it's just totally and wonderfully bonkers. 

[ January 4, 1959 — February 15, 2016 ]
We will miss you, Vanity.

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