You may have heard of the name Apollonia.
Bonus points if you know that she, Apollonia Kotero (of Purple Rain fame) was also the lead in the revamped trio of Vanity 6, “Apollonia 6″ alongside former Vanity members and fellow Prince proteges Susan Moonsie and Brenda Bennett.
But you did know that in promotion of their only self-titled disc, released 1984, a short film was made to accompany the music?
Shot in Los Angeles, in 1985 (or possibly ’84), with production backed by the British-based company Limelight, the film followed Apollonia 6 trying to fend for themselves with a bunch of odd jobs, after their supposed sugar daddy “Mr. Christian” financially cut them off.
I’ve heard Apollonia 6 in full and despite the talents on board musically (the Revolution’s Wendy, Lisa, and Brownmark, backing vocals by Revolution associates Jill Jones and Susannah Melvoin, percussionist Sheila E., and a majority of the lyrics written by Prince), it wasn’t terrible, but not entirely worth repeating either. The album was quasi-raunchy sugary-pop. The untitled film project highlighted the best four tracks of off the album. The two major stand-outs are “Sex Shooter” as heard and performed in Purple Rain, and “Blue Limousine” a fantastic, doe-eyed take on desperation with Bennett on lead. Prince fan sites have reported that Moonsie only sang on one track, “Ooo She She Wa Wa” in which she was the lead.
Directed by Brian Thomson and with an extremely short script written by Keith Williams, the short is also campier than it is cheesy. But the overall look convincingly mashed the interior design of 1950s diner culture with the flamboyant fashion of the 1980s, as one anonymous viewer pointed out online.
The version that is available is a clear rough cut of the project. And while the 22-minute film has found a new life on the Internet thanks to bootlegs by Prince fans, for undisclosed reasons, it was never officially released.
Also in 1985, Apollonia 6 were included on some of the last remaining dates of the Purple Rain tour. But after Kotero was offered a ten-episode arc on the popular soap opera Falcon Crest and sought further acting opportunities, the trio was effectively disbanded.
The short film is kind of cute to watch. Today, their only album is a collector’s item that can be found on eBay or at your local used vinyl record store. (And if you’re like me, that’s what I did!)
The songs featured are: “Sex Shooter”, “Happy Birthday Mr. Christian”, “Ooo She She Wa Wa”, “Blue Limousine”