The passing of Prince has brought up a lot of memories since his music was so prominent during my high school and college days. I planned to write a different post today but one old memory… I just had to share with you.
When I was 22 and basically poor as dirt, I got offered a unique weekend job (seriously I had some of the craziest jobs). A friend in the concert promotions business was looking for someone to sit at a desk underneath the stage of the Houston Summit (now Lakewood Church) to answer the phones during Prince’s 1988 Love Sexy tour for two days. They were paying $100 a day. No concert tickets came with the deal but whoever took the job was free to watch him warm-up with the band and Sheila E before the concert.
Are you kidding? $200 in two days? Prince? HECK Yea!! I went up there and sat beneath the stage at a table with one telephone on it that never rang for two days. But the costume department invited me into their staging room……OH if I had photos for you…..
Colorful costumes lined the walls, trunks of jewelry, feather boas of pink, purple, bright green….platform shoes for tiny feet, high collered white shirts with ruffles at the sleeves and neck and on and on!!
It was unbelievable and yet I truly wasn’t the right girl to fully appreciate this so I had to come home and describe it all to my roommate who was a fashion design major.
On the day of the concert, they told me I could go upstairs and watch him warm-up. I remember walking in the darkened, heavily air conditioned stadium that was totally empty except for me, our friend with the promotions company, a few security guards and a guy sweeping floors. I stood with my jaw dropped open, speechless planted in place at a safe distance from the front floor but CLOSE. He and Sheila E. played an electric jam session of every one of his songs morphed together jumping from instrument to instrument. Prince hammered the drums, then she played them. He banged on the piano and then gracefully tickled them. They were so magnetic that I couldn’t move. I watched them rip guitars and jump all over the stage. They seemed so comfortable with each other and it went from one level to another level again and again. I could care less that I missed the real concert that night. I have never seen that kind of musical talent in that way again. It was stunning.
Back under the stage, he jumped into a blue band equipment type box on wheels and they shut the top. They raced down the hallways pushing him under the stage inside the box! Then, he was put on some levitating part of the stage that pushed him up from underneath the middle of the stage and when he popped out on stage he was in a cloud of Purple smoke and lights. I saw him but didn’t get to meet him. He was a small guy and had a mass of black curly hair on top of his head.
He didn’t pay attention to me because I was just the girl answering the phones or PHONE. The Prince Bat Phone that never rang. Besides, he was focused!
After the concert and having met all of the crew, the costume department gave a metal collar choker thing that he wore during the show as a souvenir.
It was cool and special but then maybe it was so cool that I should share it with others AND make some money off of it. Right? Being the poor 22 year old that I was, I had the great idea that I should try to sell it to Hard Rock Cafe. I left messages for them and was told to call the L.A. Hardrock who sent me to the New York Hard Rock and finally they said,
“We don’t believe you so no we don’t want to buy that. ”
What did I do with it? I gave it to Good Will after consulting my roommate who said, “Well, you’re never going to wear it!” True story. My 13-year old is still shaking his head. “MOM!”
Prince was an incredibly talented musician and flashes of college come back quickly with each song. I hope you are enjoying your own memories of the 80’s this week during all of the tributes to him.
Feel like sharing one? Write me back in the Leave a Reply Box below.