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Author Topic: The Very Odd African Dog Princess Story  (Read 3807 times)

compasspnt

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The Very Odd African Dog Princess Story
« on: March 09, 2005, 10:36:00 pm »

The African Dog Princess

1997 was a great year.  So many exciting things were happening.  But how could I have known about the excitement in store when one day in May a strange group of 3 people happened by Compass Point Studios?

Lenny Kravitz always has eclectic groups of personages popping by.  I’m used to it, as is anyone who works with him.  It’s part of the package, part of the fun that makes things Lenny.  But this group was strange, even by "Lenny standards."  Not strange looking, as when Marilyn Manson & crew comes by.  And not strange in an overbearing, "I’m all business, don’t bother me" way like when Madonna pops in.  Rather, these people looked pretty normal.  They also arrived fairly normally, in a huge new Mercedes.  And they gave the normal story (“We saw Lenny last night and he asked us to come by to see him at the studio today.”)  But there was a very different feeling about this crew, or at least part of it, that I couldn’t immediately put my finger on.  There was a guy in a starched white pinpoint oxford cloth shirt.  There was his girlfriend, I guessed, who, although both had rather odd accents, also looked pretty yuppie-normal.  And then there was the third party:  A very tall, very beautiful girl with very dark skin.  Although she didn’t speak, I sensed immediately that here was where the real strangeness lay.  She was obviously very uncomfortable with Christos, our nearly-famous studio dog.  Now Christos is about as laid-back as any creature anyone has ever met.  He literally loves everybody, or at least, I found out, almost everybody.  Even though he is a pure-bred Pitbull, he belies any common misconceptions about that oft-maligned breed.  This animal would never hurt anyone or anything.  I would feel totally comfortable locking him alone in a room with any child that he had never met.  (Of course I don’t really do that, but I just mean I would be comfortable with it if I did do it.)  But Christos also was picking up some sort of strange vibration here.  He was trying to be his usual affable dog-self, but it wasn’t working.  The beautiful tall very dark girl kept moving as far away from him as she could get.  I put it all down to just fear of a big dog; there are such people.  But I didn’t think too much about all of this at the time, because lots of strange folks would come and go in this business, and especially on a Lenny session.  But more was to come of this.

The two yuppies quickly faded from view, but over the next few days, we saw a lot more of the tall, beautiful black girl.  Her name was Marilisse, and as it turned out, she was from the Ivory Coast.  Now that really sounded exotic to everyone.  I know that I’ve always thought that was a great name for a country.  (Much better sounding name than "China" or "Switzerland" or "Mexico," and certainly a much better name than the pedestrian, self-explanatory "United States of America.")  This was maybe as good as those malifluous names like "Madagascar" and "Timbuktu."  This was a place that Ivory Joe Hunter could have come from.  And it obviously had beaches, it said "coast" right there in  the name.  Of course, other than that, I really didn’t know too much about it, except that it was in Africa somewhere.  Well, it seems that not only was Marilisse FROM the Ivory Coast, she, in a way, WAS the Ivory Coast.  Or at least a part of a big part of it.  Her father was the President of that exotic country, or at least, he had been, up until the time he became dead, which time of occurrence wasn’t too far in the past.  He had been one of the longest ruling heads of state in the world, and was not only very powerful, but also, as is often the case, especially in absolutely controlled third-world type nations, very, very rich.  While he was alive, he had absolute control over his nation and his family, the latter of which consisted of several wives and many children.  Marilisse was at least one of the daughters of the mainest wife of this President.  She apparently was not allowed to go anywhere, or to do anything, or even to think anything, by or for herself.  Everything was totally controlled for her by her family.  She was forced to marry a Prince, or head of some state or major family, or something important, even though she didn’t care about the guy, and didn’t want to marry him.  (Of course, this is standard practice in many cultures historically, and I don’t mean to disparage other ways, it just makes for great indignation in our culture, and for a better, outrageous story here.)  She had a baby girl by this character, and existed as basically a machine.  However, when the father-president died, her mother decided that it would be a good time to, so to speak, make a big break for freedom, that freedom being an introduction to the Ways of the West.  So she packed up Marilisse and headed for The Bahamas.  They had no shortage of money, so they made residence and opened a clothing store; Marilisse got a tattoo, drank her first Coca-Cola, ate her first Snickers, and generally started to enjoy her new found freedom.  She went to photographers, had a whole slew of modeling photographs taken, and bound them into a portfolio.  She went out dancing at local clubs.  And there, she met her first rock star.

Lenny is obviously attracted to pretty women, so he invited her to come by the studio the next day.  She dutifully arrived, and LK was summoned from the control room to greet her.  That's when I started paying attention to the strange vibe going on between her and our dog.  Others saw this, too, and it became one of the topics of conversation going around; another big topic was how beautiful this girl was, but how odd she seemed.  Nobody really wanted to go there for some reason.  Even Lenny...and that was saying a lot.  Several days went by, and the Princess came to the studio each day, spending hours there in the control room, the recreation room, the kitchen...but staying very far away from the dog.  Now in those days, we let Christos the nearly-famous studio dog actually wander around the building at times.  Lenny liked this, and wanted him in the control room with him.  So Christos might easily just saunter in while recording was going on; this was not looked upon with much glee by our African Princess.

So one day, I just decided to go a little deeper, so I asked her if she was afraid of the dog.  She answered that no, she wasn't afraid, but in her country, dogs were not pets, so it was the same as if we saw a cow wandering around the building at will.  We all really laughed at this...

Christos grew more and more wary of the Princess, and stopped trying to win her over.  He was now avoiding her even more than she him.  Meanwhile, lots of recording was going on daily in the studios; Christos was sleeping peacefully under the console with the music blaring, UNTIL the Princess would walk in; then he'd slink away, and find another part of the building to inhabit!  Then the police showed up...

It seems that the African Princess' brother had arrived on the island, and he was hungry.  We didn't know this before, but DOG is a real delicacy in The Ivory Coast, especially for very rich potentates and their families.  Our heroine knew better than to suggest Christos, so they decided to look elsewhere.  The dogs which run around loose here aren't very appetizing, so they went to the local pet store, and bought a nice juicy large German Shepherd.  This morsel was dutifully delivered to their house, and they told their maid and cook to prepare it for dinner.  The maid ended up chasing the 75 pound dog all around their large back yard, wielding a large knife, with lots of yelling, screaming and barking going on.  This unfortunately alerted the neighbours, who in turn alerted the police, who in turn alerted us.  Apparently, dog is not eaten here in The Bahamas.  I hadn't realised that before!  In fact, there's a law here against animal cruelty which prohibits such a culinary exercise.

We didn't see much of the Princess after that day.  The locals were a bit turned off by it all, and didn't have much to do with them anymore, either.  The clothing store closed.  The Ivory Coast went to Paris.  Lenny went on to the next adventure.







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Curve Dominant

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Re: The Very Odd African Dog Princess Story
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2005, 11:39:56 pm »

Hmmmfff...

OK, first off: another fine writing piece, Terry.

But as the latter part of the story blossomed, one word popped into my head:

Tarragon.

No disrespect to Cristos! And I am in no way suggesting any harm to that luvely creature! May Cristos live a long life and enjoy a natural passing at the end of it.

But, as a cook (my "day job"), the whole bit about the German Shepard in the context of cuisine...well, you need fresh tarragon to make that work.

So, I gotta ask you this:

Can you even find fresh tarragon in the Bahamas?

Because, although German Shepard as cuisine may be ILLEGAL in the Bahamas...

...without fresh tarragon, it would be downright unprofessional, not to say unethical, and certainly distasteful.

We can be excused for using Autotune, but we're not savages, no?

compasspnt

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Re: The Very Odd African Dog Princess Story
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2005, 06:47:05 pm »

Christos in action!

index.php/fa/819/0/
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Curve Dominant

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Re: The Very Odd African Dog Princess Story
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2005, 07:01:20 pm »

That's gotta be the most adorable dog I've seen all year.

Greg Dixon

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Re: The Very Odd African Dog Princess Story
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2005, 07:41:52 pm »

Notice they are wearing almost matching sun glasses. Did Christos get points for assisting the mix? Rolling Eyes
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Joe Giannone

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Re: The Very Odd African Dog Princess Story
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2005, 10:21:16 pm »

Greg Dixon wrote on Fri, 11 March 2005 00:41

Did Christos get points for assisting the mix? Rolling Eyes

Careful Greg, or you'll get Steve over here Very Happy

Another fantastic story, Terry!
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Tim Halligan

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Re: The Very Odd African Dog Princess Story
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2005, 05:49:25 am »

Greg Dixon wrote on Fri, 11 March 2005 08:41

Did Christos get points for assisting the mix? Rolling Eyes


Unlikely...assistants get the short straw again...

...however, only one of the two characters pictured really KNOWS the automation.

Laughing

Wanna take a guess?



Cheers.
Tim
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