By the Way

Kevin Costner talks Prince, David Bowie before PRCC show

Kevin Costner plays with his band Modern West during the Sun & Sand Film & Music Festival concerts at Jones Park in Gulfport on Saturday Nov. 10, 2012. Costner will be at the Brownstone Center for the Arts on Friday.
Kevin Costner plays with his band Modern West during the Sun & Sand Film & Music Festival concerts at Jones Park in Gulfport on Saturday Nov. 10, 2012. Costner will be at the Brownstone Center for the Arts on Friday. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com File

It didn’t take long to break the ice with actor/director and musician Kevin Costner. An “ice breaker,” for me, is that point in an interview where everyone relaxes and the conversation takes a natural, organic tone.

When I was interviewing Costner, who will be at the Brownstone Center for The Arts in Poplarville on Friday, the icebreaker was the song “Suspicious Minds.” I was attempting to get Costner to share with me the song that made him pay attention to music. For me, it was the Elvis version of “Suspicious Minds,” which, along with “Band on The Run,” is one of the first songs I remember hearing as a child.”

“The Fine Young Cannibals do a great version of ‘Suspicious Minds,’” Costner said. And that was our moment. I had forgotten how much I loved that version of the song. There was a great band from Starkville called Emma Peel that did a cover of the cover.

Costner loves music — you can immediately tell it when he starts talking about it, whether it be Steppenwolf’s “Born to Be Wild” or the Youngblood’s version of “Get Together,” which he said made him pay attention to how songs were written.

A classically trained pianist, Costner also spent some time working as a stage manager when he came to Hollywood. It was through this experience that he saw Prince perform live.

“I remember when Prince came in and it was right at the beginning of his career and he was wearing some pretty outrageous outfits for the time and when the band started to play, I thought, ‘This guy has really has something,’ and it was just so nice to hear,” he said.

Costner also said he was a fan of David Bowie, who like Prince, died earlier this year.

“The thing about David Bowie is that he remained relevant to all of us, but he also stayed true to what interested him,” Costner said. “Whenever he led, we followed — he was never reinventing himself because that’s a way to please other people and I don’t think he had any desire to please anyone but himself.”

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