The Night I Met Prince Rogers Nelson
It was the night after the Grammys 1997 and the record label in New York I was working at was throwing a party for The Artist‘s – as he was referred to in the office at the time – latest album Emancipation going double platinum.
Myself and the entire publicity staff were working the door at LIFE on Bleecker Street, checking off names on the list, stamping people’s hands as they came through. We were all running on about 3 hours sleep after working the Grammy party the night before and then clocking a full day at the office. But I was high with anticipation & remember the exact moment I laid my human eyes on all 5’2″ of him.
I completely froze. Star sightings in NY or LA are one thing, but ICONS are whole other story. “Holy fucking shit it’s PRINCE,” I screamed silently in my head as he stood no more than five feet away. A mash up of videos for “When Doves Cry,” “1999” & “I Wanna Be Your Lover” (my personal faves) simultaneously rushed through my head as I suddenly became that insecure 12-year-old fanboy standing in line at the Midway Theater in Forest Hills the day Purple Rain came out back in 1984.
Luckily, one of my coherent co-workers opened the velvet rope. He sauntered up, gave half a smile & locked eyes with me for what seemed like forever. For a split second I was Vanity, Apollonia, Wendy &, yes, Lisa. And the water was warm enough!
As is usually the case, it was over before it even started. He and his platform boots were quickly whisked down the stairs to hold court inside the club’s VIP room. And I was abruptly brought out of my purple haze by the sight of Marilyn Manson & Joan Osborne – remember it’s 1997 – holding out their wrists asking to be stamped. But all was good with the world, because I was officially Delirious.