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 the promotion of their only self-titled disc (released 1984), a four-track short film was made to accompany the music? Shot in 1985 Los Angeles with production backed by 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 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 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” where she was the lead.
Directed by Brian Thomson with an extremely short script 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.
Later that year, in 1985, Apollonia 6 were included on some of the 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 disbanded effectively. Bennett and Moonsie left the mainstream music industry.
The short film is kind of cute to watch. Today, their only album is a collector’s item that can be found on eBay. (And if you’re like me, scour any and every vinyl record store you come across).
The songs featured are: “Sex Shooter”, “Happy Birthday Mr. Christian”, “Ooo She She Wa Wa”, “Blue Limousine”