Prince was loved and adored by all for his outrageous antics that made for very memorable stories. What better way to honor him than remembering some of these great characteristics that made him so brilliant?
In his book “Mo’ Meta Blues,” Questlove recalls a time when he was invited to an after-hours roller-skating party with Prince, and had the time of his life.
“Prince had the briefcase out on the floor,” Questlove said, “He clicked the lock and opened it, and took out the strangest, most singular pair of roller skates I had ever seen. They were clear skates that lit up, and the wheels sent a multicolored spark trail into your path… He took them out and did a big lap around the rink. Man. He could skate like he could sing.”
According to a profile from “Notorious” magazine, Prince was a GREAT multitasker. During a concert in Montreal, he watched a Chicago Bulls playoff game (he was a giant NBA fan) on a TV positioned on the side of the stage. He would move over to watch, all while busting out awesome guitar solos. He even gave a wardrobe girl the job of holding up cue cards with the scores on them so he could keep up.
Also from “Notorious,” Prince admitted that he didn’t believe in time. When asked about his youthful appearance, he replied “Your magazine probably won’t print this, but I don’t believe in time. I don’t count. When you count, it ages you.”
Director Kevin Smith once spoke to Prince about a possible collaboration, and most of the conversation was made up of riddles. He gave an example: “If a big snake gives birth to a little snake, what is the little snake going to grow up to be?” Smith of course answered “A little snake.” What was Prince’s point? “You gotta know who your father is.”
Prince’s former sound engineer David Z remembered a time when Prince tried to play ping-pong with Michael Jackson while they were both recording at a studio in LA. Prince asked Jackson “You want me to slam it?” MJ did not want him to slam it, and he dropped his paddle and held his hands up in front of his face so the ball wouldn’t hit him. Jackson walked out of the room with his bodyguard, at which point Prince started “strutting around like a rooster.” Then, he said “Did you see that? He played like Helen Keller.”
Unsurprisingly, Prince had a no-mercy attitude toward bootleggers. One time he showed up unannounced at New York City record store and snatched up their stock of bootleg Prince albums before leaving.
“Purple Rain” music video director Albert Magnoli says that Prince loved weird food combinations. “I ordered a grilled cheese sandwich,” Magnoli said. “Prince ordered spaghetti and orange juice, which was one of his favorite meals.”
A 1985 Rolling Stone article about Prince’s Paisley Park residence said “The only thing unusual in either of the two guest bedrooms is a two-foot statue of a smiling yellow gnome covered by a swarm of butterflies. One of the monarchs is flying out of a heart-shaped hole in the gnome’s chest.” Can’t say the man wasn’t one for hospitality.
In December of 1993, several national magazines contained an ad featuring an obscure photo of Prince that said “Eligible bachelor seeks the most beautiful girl in the world to spend the holidays with.”
Technically the “Stand Back” writing credit goes to Stevie Nicks herself, but she says it “belongs” to Prince. The story goes as follows: The day of her wedding, she and her new husband Kim Anderson were on their way to Santa Barbara when she heard “Little Red Corvette” on the radio for the first time. It prompted her to write “Stand Back” from start to finish while bumming “Little Red Corvette” the whole time.
She called Prince the day she recorded it to tell him the story, and he showed up at the studio 20 minutes later. She said, “he walked over to the synthesizers that were set up, was absolutely brilliant for about 25 minutes and then left. He spoiled me for every band I’ve ever had because nobody can exactly recreate- not even with two piano players- what Prince did all by his little self.”
In August 1993, Prince performed his musical interpretation of the Greek epic poem “Odyssey” at a club in LA. Carmen Electra, his then-protégé, was a featured dancer, and it ran for 13 performances.
As a last glorious gift to the world, Prince left behind a huge cache of unreleased music so gigantic that an album could be released every year for the next 100 years. The vault apparently contains thousands of songs, albums and even movies. His legacy will live on for many, MANY years to come.