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The time is always right for Morris Day & the Time

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Thirty years ago this summer, "Purple Rain" made Prince a superstar. And it didn't serve The Time badly, either.

In fact, there were some who felt the Minneapolis group's high-stepping performances of "Jungle Love" and "The Bird" -- both from the group's third album, "Ice Cream Castles" -- stole the show, while frontman Morris Day was a comic natural. Not surprisingly, Day remembers that time fondly.

"It was an important time for my band and career, of course," recalls Day, 56, who still fronts The Time, with original keyboardist Monte Moir and drummer Jellybean Johnson still in tow. "We were already rolling, and (Prince) jsut kind of said, 'I want to do a movie.' We were like, 'OK,' and then the film director and all of these people all started showing up and we started doing meetings and acting classes and (stuff). The next thing you know, we were doing a movie!

"I had no idea we would be in a blockbuster film, and I had no idea what the impact of being in a blockbuster film would be. It got to a point where every time I turned on the radio, one of our songs was on. It was absolutely out of control."

Day and The Time still like to keep things crazy. After a split between 1985-96 -- during which Day pursued a solo career -- the group has been touring steadily, while the first lineup, billed as the Original 7ven, released an album called "Condensate" in 2011. Day is planning a new album with the current lineup, but when it comes to live performances the troupe is well aware of what's desired and expected.

"We just realize that it's all about the fans," he explains. "they love the music, and we want to keep them happy. We try to keep the show fresh and exciting, and people want to hear good musicianship and they want to see how we put it down, 'cause we put it down with a little personality, a little comedy, dress up with the sharp suits, looking good.

"We've realized that formula works for us, so that's what we keep delivering."

Morris Day & The Time

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 2

Chene Park Amphitheatre, 2600 Atwater St., Detroit

Tickets are $17-$35 pavilion, $12 lawn

Call 313-393-7128 or visit www.cheneparkdetroit.com

Web Site: www.cheneparkdetroit.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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