WHAT: Sign ‘O’ The Times, 1987, USA, 85 min, 35mm Directed by Prince
Starring Prince, Sheila E., Sheena Easton, Boni Boyer and Cat
WHEN: Friday/Saturday, June 17th & 18th 8:15pm
WHERE: New Beverly Cinema, Los Angeles Buy Tickets
By John-Paul Shiver
Displaying and performing in what can be described as a spain in the summertime wardrobe, complete with a backing band of killer players, “Sign O The Times” remains Princes best musical performance on film. Captured in the pocket after the film “Under The Cherry Moon”, this 85 minute document, catches Prince in yet another creative gear.
Originally released in November of 1987, the film plays this weekend at The New Beverly Theater in Los Angeles, owned by Quentin Tarantino.
The 13 song set list, 11 from the Sign of The Times record, is an upbeat tour de force showcase for his exceptional guitar chops, ass-shaking dance gems and mid-tempo lyrical goodness that lies somewhere between r&b, rock and electro.
This era of his band includes a mighty fierce Sheila E on the drums, Atlanta Bliss and Eric Leeds in the horn section, Boni Boyer on the keyboards, bassist Levi Seacer Jr., guitarist Miko Weaver and former member of The Revolution keyboardist Dr. Fink.
With inspired live performances of “House Quake”, “If I Was Your Girlfriend”, “It’s Gonna Be a Beautiful Night” and “Forever in my Life”, the film is a portal to the musical deep cuts that Prince created post “Purple Rain”. During one of several costume changes that Prince makes, his band does an interlude cover of Charlie Parker’s “Now’s The Time”. It’s a moment that reminds us, only Prince would educate a crowd with a Charlie Parker tune.