The Bird First Ave 83 (The Time) CD
Free Boot Generation
Catalog # Anonymous 002 / FBG 42
Release Year 2011
CD Length 57:35
Date/Venue Minneapolis, First Avenue, 4th october 1983
Source Soundboard Recording
Quality EX+
Rating 5.0/5.0

Track Listing
Minneapolis, First Avenue, 4th october 1983
01 – Introduction Jam
02 – 777-9311
03 – Girl
04 – Jungle Love
05 – Collection Time
06 – Wild And Loose
07 – Gigolos Get lonely Too
08 – Cool
09 – The Walk
10 – The Bird

Fink's Comments  (rates this release 5.0/5.0)
After a well-documented shake-up in the band, a new Time lineup premiered live at First Avenue in Minneapolis. New to the fold were Paul Peterson and Mark Cardenas who replaced Jimmy Jam and Monte Moir on keyboards. Bass duties were now being handled by Rocky Harris who took over for the departed Terry Lewis.

Jerome Benton starts the show by introducing the €śnew€ť Time with the help of several women in bikinis. Later, acting as preacher, Morris asks the €ścongregation€ť for donations and some of the guys in the band walk into the audience gathering contributions in their hats. The Time performed an 8-song set that included two previously unknown tracks – Jungle Love and The Bird. On this night, a professional mobile recording studio was hired to capture the show€™s audio. This is where the live rendition of The Bird that ended up on the Ice Cream Castle LP originates from.

The audience that night was very receptive, but it has been reported that there was tension on stage and that Morris Day was obviously losing interest in the band. At the end of the show he immediately left the stage, bypassed the dressing room, and exited the stage door to his car. The band members remained behind for a what was probably a somewhat awkward celebration. Morris Day had become very discontented with Prince’s tight control of The Time and the firing of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Though The Time had achieved relative commercial success thus far, Morris Day felt that he was seeing very little financial compensation for his work.

A simple thank you seems not enough for our Anonymous friend as another historic soundboard recording is made free – for the love of the music. Many thanks to Free Boot Generation for the stellar digital mastering. There was much to be done in order to make this release sound as good as it does and the folks at FBG came through once again. And a very special thank you to the Prince fan community who obtained ANONY/FBG/4DF€™s Prince And The Revolution – From The Soundboard: 1984 Birthday Show. The positive reception and incredibly quick way word was spread about that release made sure it remained FREE.

Morris Day: Vocals
Jerome Benton: Hype-Man
Jesse Johnson: Guitar
Rocky Harris: Bass
Jellybean Johnson: Drums
St. Paul Peterson: Keyboards
Mark Cardenas: Keyboards

Mike's Comments  (rates this release 5.0/5.0)

REVIEW: Review Courtesy of Mike Antonich @ Blog: Now It’s On

A lot had changed for The Time in 1983. Despite the fact they enjoyed tremendous success with their first two albums, they were essentially written, recorded and produced by Prince. Although they became an extremely tight live band, often upstaging Prince when opening for him and building a devoted fan base of their own, resentments and frustrations over their lack of input in the studio, and Morris Day’s lack of control over ‘his’ band started to boil over.

The tipping point seemed to come in the late spring when Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis were fired from the group, by Prince no less, for continuing to pursue production and writing work outside of the band. Day felt any appearance of authority over the group he had was shot, and this truly was the beginning of the end for The Time. Keyboardist Monte Moir left the band on his own volition, as a sign of solidarity with Jam and Lewis. With the Purple Rain project on the horizon, Prince set out finding replacements for his biggest protegee band as they were to play a key role in his forthcoming movie.

This brings us to the latest release from ‘Anonymous’ and the Free Boot Generation label, a soundboard recording of the first show by The Time with their new lineup. The October 4, 1983 concert at First Avenue in Minneapolis served as the debuts of keyboardists Paul Peterson and Mark Cardenas, as well as bassist Rocky Harris. Harris wouldn’t even last a couple of months, however. He was late to the first day of shooting on “Purple Rain” and was immediately replaced by Jerry Hubbard.

The show opens with a loose jam as Jerome Benton introduces the new line-up. The introduction of Morris Day seems dragged out, as if he wasn’t quite ready to take to the stage. After Day hits the stage the familiar bassline of “777-9311” starts the show. The band battles some awful feedback throughout this song, but the problem is fixed for good after that. The ballad “Girl” follows, and there is no question the band sounds tight, despite the lack of Jam, Lewis and Moir. But the spunk and energy of the Original 7ven as they are now known is definitely missing. You can tell things just aren’t the same onstage anymore, and apparently there was obvious tension on display at times during the set.

In addition to this being the premiere of the new line-up, this show is also a must-have as it served as the first public performances of what would become their big hits from “Purple Rain” and the “Ice Cream Castle” album. This show was professionally recorded and the performance of “The Bird” is what was used, albeit over-dubbed and cleaned up in the studio, on the album. The next song in the set, “Jungle Love”, appeared on “Ice Cream Castle” in a studio version, but the audio of this live version is what was used in the “Purple Rain” film, again edited, but the basic live tracks were utilized.

The funniest part of the night occurs next when Day sends members of the band into the audience to take up a ‘collection’ in their hats. As he tells the crowd, “I’ll take anything. Money, phone numbers, credit cards. Your mama. You don’t want her, put the bitch in the hat, if she’ll fit I’ll take it.” He then gets in some shots at Prince stating, “Now as we all know, brother Prince played here a week or two ago, and from what they tell me, he charged 25 dollars a head. I don’t know about you, but I stayed home that night! That’s just a little steep! No offense, that’s just steep!” He saves his biggest shot for last though, as he asks the band members what they collected in the hats and asks to the crowd, “Prince are you out there, did you give? You TOOK, did you give?” Given Day’s frustrations, not only with Prince firing and replacing band members, but with how little money the members of The Time felt they were seeing, it’s obvious these weren’t just light hearted comments.

The show kicks back in with “Wild And Loose” before an extended, nearly nine minute “Gigolos Get Lonely Too”. The main set ends with a rollicking version of “Cool” that has the audience in a frenzy. The band leaves the stage very briefly before returning for the encore that starts with “The Walk”, featuring some stellar guitar work by Jesse Johnson. The night closes with the aforementioned debut of “The Bird”. Starting with Day asking the stomping crowd, “Hold on, hold on why you all beatin’ on shit, what’s that mean?”, this is the main recording that was used on “Ice Cream Castle”. It was trimmed a bit, and certainly worked on before release, but it’s essentially what turned up on the album, fascinating to hear within the full concert.

According to the liner notes with this release, and documented in other Prince resources, Morris Day left the stage, some say stormed off, immediately after this performance of “The Bird”, skipped the dressing room, went straight to his car and left, leaving the rest of the band behind, confused as to what was going on. Day stuck around for “Purple Rain”, but The Time as a band was essentially through even while the movie was being filmed. He had every intention of leaving the Prince camp, and did so, after the movie was finished, fed up with Prince’s control, feeling underpaid and undermined.

Once again, another essential document from the history of the Minneapolis Sound and scene has made its way into circulation. I don’t know who the Anonymous source is that has made recordings like this, Prince’s 1984 birthday show, and numerous rehearsals from this era available this year, but a huge thank you goes out from me and the entire Prince collector community. Credit to those behind Free Boot Generation for their work on cleaning up this recording as well. It is soundboard and sounds great, but keep in mind this is a 28 year old source tape, and you can tell some work had to be done to get this up to the incredible standards FBG have become known for. Yet another essential, historical release for fans and collectors.

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