Do any of you watch the TV show Scrubs? Scrubs was an NBC comedy for eight years, plus one year on ABC. One of my favorite TV shows of all-time. My favorite part of the show was the friendship between two of the characters, a medical doctor named JD and a surgeon named Turk. The actors who play JD and Turk – Zach Braff and Donald Faison – now have a podcast together called Fake Doctors, Real Friends With Zach and Donald. They’ve been recording it twice a week for a few months now and it’s always laugh-out-loud funny. It’s a little thing that’s brought me a lot of joy during the COVID lockdown.
One thing that surprises me about Zach and Donald is how often they don’t remember facts about the show that they starred on for nine years. It makes sense when you think about it. They film so many episodes it’s probably all a blur. I can’t imagine they spend a lot of time watching their own show. They lived it. Each episode is a job they had to do for a few days or a week or however long it takes to make an episode of television. Then they move on. It’s still funny to me that during nearly every episode of their podcast they need to fact check on a website called Scrubs Wiki. Even the stars need help remembering details about the show they worked on for nine years.
I say all of this because I feel obligated to give occasional shouts out to princevault.com. Without Prince Vault today I’d say something like, “I thought I read somewhere once that today’s song was originally called ‘Wendy’s Parade.'” Thanks to Prince Vault I can tell you with certainty that “Christopher Tracy’s Parade” was indeed titled “Wendy’s Parade” but then changed to match the name of the main character in Prince’s second movie Under the Cherry Moon. Prince Vault is amazing site and resource if you’re looking for information about Prince or anyone or thing Prince adjacent. If a person made eye contact with Prince once, Prince Vault probably has details about it. My daily blog posts would be a lot of guessing without it. I love that site.
So, about today’s song, “Christopher Tracy’s Parade.” It’s the first track on Prince’s 1986 Parade album. Parade was the soundtrack to the movie Under the Cherry Moon. It’s always struck me as odd that Under the Cherry Moon was a black and white movie that takes place in the south of France sometime in the past…I can never tell. It’s certainly not taking place in the 1980’s. Yet most of the music sounds very 1980’s. Under the Cherry Moon had its fair share of issues, and one of them in my opinion was that as good as the music was, it didn’t seem to fit the era of the movie.
“Christopher Tracy’s Parade” is a brief intro to the album at only 2:11. It’s big and grand with an entire orchestra playing and the girls from The Revolution – Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman along with Wendy’s sister Susannah – providing background vocals. The drums throw me off. They have so much reverb on them the entire song sounds like it was recorded in a warehouse with concrete floors and metal walls. The sound is echoing and bouncing around throughout. There’s a lot going on.
Despite enjoyable vocal performances from Wendy, Lisa, and Susannah, I’m not really a fan of “Christopher Tracy’s Parade,” or most of Side One of the Parade album. I much prefer Side Two when “Mountains” takes the album to the next level. I recommend you skip forward a few tracks when you listen to Parade.