.

Sheila E. Unites Prince Bands

Charity concert planned for mid-December

July 25, 2003 12:00 AM ET

Drummer/singer Sheila E. is planning a benefit concert in Los Angeles featuring the alumni of Prince's many backing bands. Actress Carmen Electra, discovered and named by Prince in 1991, will host.

"It's going to be all the Prince band members from all the bands, together, for one night only," says Sheila, who goes back twenty years with Prince. "It's never been done before."

All proceeds from the concert -- to be held at either the Los Angeles Forum or the Universal Amphitheater on December 13th or 15th ("we have the time on hold right now," Sheila says) -- will go towards the creation of the Compassion Care Center in Los Angeles, a safe haven for abused or abandoned children that provides education, counseling and mentoring.

The members of the Revolution who've already signed on include guitarist Wendy Melvoin, keyboardist Lisa Coleman, keyboardist Matt Fink and drummer Bobby Z. "It's fabulous because they haven't played together as a band in twenty years," Sheila says. Onboard from the Family ("the band that Prince had that never really toured") are saxophonist Eric Leeds, singer Susannah Melvoin (Wendy's twin), percussionist Jerome Benton and singer/keyboardist Paul Peterson.

The one member who has not yet been invited is Prince himself. "There's no pressure on him, but we'd like for him to come," Shiela says. "He's why we're doing this, because he started all of it."

Prince first recruited Sheila to sing on "Erotic City," the flip side to his Number One 1984 single "Let's Go Crazy." He also helped her land a solo deal with Warner Bros. and penned the title track to her debut album, Glamorous Life, a Top Ten single.

After two more solo albums, (Sheila E. in Romance 1600 and Sheila E.) she rejoined Prince's band for 1987's Sign O' the Times tour.

The building of the Compassion Care Center is just one of many projects of Sheila and business partner Lynn Mabry's Lil' Angel Bunny Foundation (LABF). Sheila herself was sexually abused by a babysitter, as was Mabry by a family friend.

"We're going to use music as a therapy for the children," Sheila explains.

Sheila also has her own line of drum kits for children, the Sheila E. Player's Series, and she has donated instruments to foster homes. "A lot the kids have been abused so severely they have not been able to speak," she says, "and since they've had the drums, they're talking."

Sheila E. is touring as a member of Ringo Starr's All Starr Band through September 7th.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Love Is the Answer”

Utopia | 1977

The message of the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" proved to be a universal and long-lasting one, which Utopia revisited 10 years later on this ballad. "From a lyrical standpoint, it's part of a whole class of songs that I write, which are about filial love," Todd Rundgren explained. "I'm not a Christian, but it's called Christian love, the love that people are supposed to naturally feel because we are all of the same species. That may be mythical, but it's still a subject." Though "Love Is the Answer" wasn't a hit, a cover version two years later by England Dan & John Ford Coley peaked at Number Ten on the Billboard singles chart.

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com