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Thread started 05/28/16 9:51pm

airth

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Prince Supporting The Rolling Stones (81-10-11)

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Prince Supporting The Rolling Stones, October 11, 1981


I never thought I'd get to hear Prince supporting The Rolling Stones in 1981 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, but I finally listened to a very poor quality recording of the second, Sunday afternoon show.

Diana Ross and Lionel Richie were number one in the States with Endless Love. Sheen Easton's For Your Eyes Only, Rick James' Superfreak, The Theme From Hill Street Blues, and Olivia Newton John's Physical were all climbing the charts.

In the UK, The Birdie Song had peaked at number 2. Dave Stewart had kicked Adam Ant's Prince Charming off the top spot down to number four, and Depeche Mode had reached number eight with Just Can't Get Enough.

I can clearly remember those songs and that time period, but I had no idea back then Prince was taking the stage for a second time to be booed by a hostile crowd.




It must have been an incredibly intimidating environment, especially for Brown Mark who had just joined the band the previous Monday for the Controversy Tour warm-up gig at Sam's in Minneapolis. Can you imagine playing to 1,600 receptive people on Monday and then suddenly having to deal with somewhere in the region of 90,000 Rolling Stone fans on the following Friday and Sunday?


BAND

Prince, Dez Dickerson, Brown Mark, Dr. Fink, Lisa Coleman, Bobby Z.

SETLIST

Bambi, When You Were Mine, Jack U Off, Uptown, Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?



I thought starting with Bambi was a good choice, considering the audience. Prince sounds like he's really trying to belt it out, both vocally and on the guitar. But as they get started on the second song, When You Were Mine, you can hear somebody, who I assume to be the taper say, "One more song and that'll be enough for this band." That's tough. I guess it wouldn't have mattered what they played.

Prince had the guts to keep to his Friday setlist and once again launch into Jack U Off. I don't know if it was the audience simply getting tired of him, the way he was acting, or the lyrics - especially when he clearly articulates, "As a matter of fact, you can jack me off," - but this song didn't go down well. Half way through, the taper shouts out, "Look at all the trash!" He must have been referring to the cans, cups and, presumably, all manner of detritus that was being hurled up towards the stage.



Luckily, the crowd was pretty far back. I've heard that the people near the front took their fair share of the makeshift missiles. Jack U Off eventually ends to a cacophony of boos and whistles.

The band pushes on into Uptown, but Prince has left the stage. He'd been through this already two days earlier, so I wonder what was going through his mind as he approached the point at which he had aborted the first performance. The band play on. I don't think I've ever heard Uptown performed as an instrumental before. When it gets to the guitar solo, I'm not sure whether it's Dez or Prince.

They make it to the final song, Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?, with Prince back out singing. My impression is that he was spitting the lyrics out directly at the audience.

There's some talk going 'round town
That you really don't give a damn
They say you really put me down
When I'm doing the best I can
I gave you all of my love
I even gave you my body
Tell me, baby, ain't that enough?
What more do you want me to do?


The taper says "That's enough," and the recording abruptly ends.

This is the first audience recording I've listened to that is actually enhanced by being such poor quality. You can feel the grit and aggression.

Prince, I applaud you for an amazing performance.

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Reply #1 posted 05/28/16 10:26pm

ComeHereLetMeC
utYourHair

wow! Looking forward to hearing that!

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Reply #2 posted 05/28/16 10:32pm

suomynona

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Pretty sure he has this in the vault, as he has used it in studio recordings at least once (can't think of the track). I can't imagine that the Rolling Stones were pleased about the crowd's reaction.

With that said, RARELY does an opening act get respect. Fans are there to see the main artist. I hate spending $50+ to see an artist -- only to watch them perform for barely an hour -- FOLLOWING the two hours of opening act bullshit. This is what happened when I saw D'Angelo in 2001 in Seattle. Was and will always be the last time I saw D'Angelo in concert.

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Reply #3 posted 05/28/16 10:36pm

suomynona

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I stand corrected.

"Rumors have suggested that the booing crowd sampled in the song is from Prince's infamous opening act for the Rolling Stones, from October 1981, but the samples in fact come from a sound library set by the company Sound Ideas (Delirious, Lady Cab Driver, Something Funky (This House Comes) and Live 4 Love also use samples from this series, and the computer keystroke noises and computer confirmation beep, as well as the vault door sample heard throughout The Gold Experience are also from this series)."

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Reply #4 posted 05/28/16 10:38pm

endiadj

wonder how many of those stones fans became prince fans later? be interesting to hear from some of them now.
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Reply #5 posted 05/28/16 10:44pm

suomynona

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endiadj said:

wonder how many of those stones fans became prince fans later? be interesting to hear from some of them now.


The only thing I remember from my first Prince concert (31 years ago) was Sheila E opening for him, and "Temptation" -- because I had never heard it before.

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Reply #6 posted 05/28/16 10:47pm

gollygirl

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ComeHereLetMeCutYourHair said:

wow! Looking forward to hearing that!

Me too !!!! Would love to hear this smile)

Thank you Prince for every note you left behind 💜
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Reply #7 posted 05/28/16 10:48pm

SpinsterSister

I so remember this distinctly. Although I did not attend the concert, it was in my direct area and all my school friends were going and they HATED Prince! Hated him before his appearance with the Stones and made major fun of me and my choice of musician. Holy cow it was way worse after the concerts - I knew LA in that time frame and for Prince to open up for the rock band showed he had a lot of guts to go through with it. I rememeber the local rock stations (KMET primarily) absolutely not allowing any Prince "rock" music and for at least one week afterward his appearance was fodder for their jokes and editorial comments regarding the death of "classic rock"......yep, it was like that in liberal L.A. in the early 80s, I am glad you started the thread, it's good to remember that not everybody thought Prince had talent or even right to perform with other artists. It just goes to show how determined, talented and goodness, balls he really had. Too bad today's "artists" are not of the same caliber.
Need me some fuzzy love....and yes, I wear clear heels
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Reply #8 posted 05/28/16 10:57pm

gollygirl

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SpinsterSister said:

I so remember this distinctly. Although I did not attend the concert, it was in my direct area and all my school friends were going and they HATED Prince! Hated him before his appearance with the Stones and made major fun of me and my choice of musician. Holy cow it was way worse after the concerts - I knew LA in that time frame and for Prince to open up for the rock band showed he had a lot of guts to go through with it. I rememeber the local rock stations (KMET primarily) absolutely not allowing any Prince "rock" music and for at least one week afterward his appearance was fodder for their jokes and editorial comments regarding the death of "classic rock"......yep, it was like that in liberal L.A. in the early 80s, I am glad you started the thread, it's good to remember that not everybody thought Prince had talent or even right to perform with other artists. It just goes to show how determined, talented and goodness, balls he really had. Too bad today's "artists" are not of the same caliber.

This is so true, most of the music now is just too manufactured, I feel so sorry for the kids now as they really dont get much talent to admire - they have been so cheated by the music companies and shows like Idol & X Factor - that make instant singers but they cannot really sing at all.

Thank you Prince for every note you left behind 💜
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Reply #9 posted 05/28/16 11:23pm

PeteSilas



This is the first audience recording I've listened to that is actually enhanced by being such poor quality. You can feel the grit and aggression.

Prince, I applaud you for an amazing performance.(quote)

I've heard some Elvis performances that were bootlegs more or less and they actually make elvis sound like a giant. I can only imagine that's how it was to hear him live. Something to behold.

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Reply #10 posted 05/28/16 11:37pm

rabbutt

Is it wrong that this is 1 of my " holy Grails" ? I've never seen or heard anything from these sets.

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Reply #11 posted 05/28/16 11:53pm

thedance

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wow those pics... eek eek

that was a huuuge concert.. cool

Prince 4Ever. heart
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Reply #12 posted 05/29/16 12:08am

PeteSilas

thedance said:

wow those pics... eek eek

that was a huuuge concert.. cool

ya, it was huge, it has been said that anyone would have been booed, not just Prince, others have said it was a racial/sexual thing. anyway, no one mentioned the rotten chicken someone threw onstage and how Prince bolted the second show with dez looking at him and thinking "he done left us out to dry".

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Reply #13 posted 05/29/16 12:19am

NorthC

Even the Stones themselves didn't know what to make of it. They were watching the show on video in their dressing room.
Charlie: "Cor! 'e's in his bloody underwear!"
But Mick Jagger supported Prince and that's to his credit.
[Edited 5/29/16 0:38am]
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Reply #14 posted 05/29/16 12:30am

SpinsterSister

PeteSilas said: thedance said: wow those pics... eek eek that was a huuuge concert.. cool ya, it was huge, it has been said that anyone would have been booed, not just Prince, others have said it was a racial/sexual thing. anyway, no one mentioned the rotten chicken someone threw onstage and how Prince bolted the second show with dez looking at him and thinking "he done left us out to dry". yep, it was a racial and sexual thing, especially the racial aspect. I remember the ridicule over Prince leaving the stage - even heard (bouncer neighbor) that he was so angry, he was shaking and had tears in his eyes. There was more than a rotting chicken thrown up on stage, a school aquaintance's older brothers and uncle threw dog poop and lots of "N" words about. Even the chicks in attendance were acting like idiots....(I am sure a year or two later, they were fawning over the same man)
Need me some fuzzy love....and yes, I wear clear heels
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Reply #15 posted 05/29/16 12:39am

PeteSilas

SpinsterSister said:

PeteSilas said: thedance said: wow those pics... eek eek that was a huuuge concert.. cool ya, it was huge, it has been said that anyone would have been booed, not just Prince, others have said it was a racial/sexual thing. anyway, no one mentioned the rotten chicken someone threw onstage and how Prince bolted the second show with dez looking at him and thinking "he done left us out to dry". yep, it was a racial and sexual thing, especially the racial aspect. I remember the ridicule over Prince leaving the stage - even heard (bouncer neighbor) that he was so angry, he was shaking and had tears in his eyes. There was more than a rotting chicken thrown up on stage, a school aquaintance's older brothers and uncle threw dog poop and lots of "N" words about. Even the chicks in attendance were acting like idiots....(I am sure a year or two later, they were fawning over the same man)

who is (bouncer neighbor) and why was he crying?

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Reply #16 posted 05/29/16 12:42am

NorthC

Why would someone even bring a dead chicken, let alone a rotten one, to a concert? You have to carry that thing. It stinks. You have to get it through security (which must have been pretty bad). You have to make sure you make it to the front row, which means showing up early, all the time with that stinkin' chicken in a bag...All of that just because you don't like the support act?
[Edited 5/29/16 0:47am]
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Reply #17 posted 05/29/16 12:48am

bookwomen

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When I saw the Stones in the 80s The Neville Brothers opened up for them and they were booed too. So yes I think anyone opening up for the Stones would be booed. When I saw Prince w/Rick James I do not remember anyone booing. The venue was smaller but the crowd was ready for him. No dead chickens were seen by me

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Reply #18 posted 05/29/16 12:51am

PeteSilas

NorthC said:

Why would someone even bring a dead chicken, let alone a rotten one, to a concert? You have to carry that thing. It stinks. You have to get it through security (which must have been pretty bad). You have to make sure you make it to the front row, which means showing up early, all the time with that stinkin' chicken in a bag...All of that just because you don't like the support act? [Edited 5/29/16 0:47am]

who knows but that's the story, that's what Dave Hills book says too, that someone went through the trouble to let a chicken sit out and rot just for our man.

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Reply #19 posted 05/29/16 1:23am

SpinsterSister

The bouncer who worked temp at that venue and others name was Nick A....said he saw his shaken up with tears in his eyes but (in his opinion) not so much from sadness but being pissed off. Nick use to live across the street from me but now lives in the SF Valley.
Need me some fuzzy love....and yes, I wear clear heels
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Reply #20 posted 05/29/16 1:26am

PeteSilas

SpinsterSister said:

The bouncer who worked temp at that venue and others name was Nick A....said he saw his shaken up with tears in his eyes but (in his opinion) not so much from sadness but being pissed off. Nick use to live across the street from me but now lives in the SF Valley.

oh ok, so he was like the guys in bruno, did you see it? where Bruno goes in and talks about gays then he beats up on a guy then kisses him, the idiots in that part of the country were so angry they had tears in their eyes. Whatta buncha assholes huh?

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Reply #21 posted 05/29/16 1:26am

suomynona

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Ask Dez or Mark on Facebook about it. I mean, it's not like you forget about a rotten chicken being thrown on stage.

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Reply #22 posted 05/29/16 1:29am

suomynona

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Princevault entry: http://www.princevault.co...tober_1981

Also, there's this old ORG thread where Mark Brown talks about the show. http://prince.org/msg/5/326322

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Reply #23 posted 05/29/16 1:30am

SpinsterSister

Bruno?
Need me some fuzzy love....and yes, I wear clear heels
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Reply #24 posted 05/29/16 1:30am

PeteSilas

suomynona said:

I stand corrected.

"Rumors have suggested that the booing crowd sampled in the song is from Prince's infamous opening act for the Rolling Stones, from October 1981, but the samples in fact come from a sound library set by the company Sound Ideas (Delirious, Lady Cab Driver, Something Funky (This House Comes) and Live 4 Love also use samples from this series, and the computer keystroke noises and computer confirmation beep, as well as the vault door sample heard throughout The Gold Experience are also from this series)."

geez, i'm almost sure I read that in books and mags, stated as a fact. Post death, it seems a lot of things are being looked at closer.

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Reply #25 posted 05/29/16 1:31am

Krystalkisses

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Interesting read! I don't know how Prince could have withstanded that rejection. My goodness just reading about that was uncomfortable I couldn't imagine how intense it actually felt to be there. Also interestingly this incident happened a little more than a week before my actual birthday.
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Reply #26 posted 05/29/16 2:09am

PeteSilas

SpinsterSister said:

Bruno?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPnKxx8KXQw

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Reply #27 posted 05/29/16 2:12am

pennylover

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PeteSilas said:

thedance said:

wow those pics... eek eek

that was a huuuge concert.. cool

ya, it was huge, it has been said that anyone would have been booed, not just Prince, others have said it was a racial/sexual thing. anyway, no one mentioned the rotten chicken someone threw onstage and how Prince bolted the second show with dez looking at him and thinking "he done left us out to dry".

PeteSilas I'm glad u said that about the racial/sexual part, I was there... I witness the whole Prince act which was short. I had just started working part-time at the LA Coliseum. I was so hyped 2 see Prince.

These were die-hard Rolling Stone Fans who were stone out there mine. So many fans were high on drugs and drunk b4 coming in the gate. Lots of fans were thrown out and escorted off the premises. They never gave Prince a chance. He was the last act of the night b4 the Stones came on.

The Stone fans had baked in the hot sun all day. There were a few other Rock groups as well that performed that day.

A lot of those fans had been there the night b4 camped out waiting 4 there idol. They opened the gates early in the morning 2 get the people off the streets... Prince was the last act to perform b4 the Stones came on. So when Prince came on they were ready 4 him 2 get off. They never gave him a chance because they did not want 2 see him, they came 2 see the Stones. Booing him off the stage and throwing food was a way 2 get the Stones on faster. If I can remember correctly the last thing Prince said was go Jack-off and they all ran and got the hell out of there....

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Reply #28 posted 05/29/16 3:00am

nemesis2099

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I'm pretty certain have one of these shows somewhere which was circulating not too long ago which including the other support acts, quality was ok too..

'Somewhere in Uptown'
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Reply #29 posted 05/29/16 4:19am

airth

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There seems to be some misinformation and conflicting facts surrounding what happened on those two days. It's understandable considering the whole event has achieved near mythic status.

This is what Brown Mark said about it.

The Rolling Stones concert was my first gig with Prince. It was an unforgettable experience and very enlightening to say the least.

I remember pulling up to the Coliseum in LA and walking through a small town of tents and trailers. It was a lot like a circus or fairgrounds with all the cables, tents, and generators and people everywhere working behind the scenes. Security brought us to our tent filled with flowers, mirrors, bright lights and a banquet of fruits, lunch meats and a variety of breads. You could hear the crowds roar although you couldn’t see them through the city of tents.

As show time fast approached, security lined us up to direct us to the stage. It felt like a scene from the movie Gladiator as we walked towards the stage. I remember a huge set of white curtains towering across the back side of the stage and a very wide stair case taking us down to the stage. As we walked through the curtains from the back of the stage there was musical gear everywhere, technicians running back and forth; it was very chaotic. As we came around the towers of amps and speakers and entered the stage we still couldn’t see the audience because of the large curtains in front of us.

We all looked at each other and Prince gave the ready signal. As the curtains opened, the drums started beating and all I can remember was the site of a massive herd of bodies all piled together like cattle; 94,000 if I can remember correctly. Everyone was hot and sweaty from the heat, screaming and dancing to the music, holding up beer cans and bottles. I couldn’t even hear the band, the crowd was so loud! On each side of the coliseum were these massive water hoses spraying every one down to keep them from dehydrating.

As we finished the first song I noticed people not liking what they were hearing. This was a crowd of Stones fans, predominately bikers, and they wanted to hear Rock music. We changed up the set in an instance and started performing Bambi but the audience, not being familiar with this music, became very violent. The scene shifted quickly as the crowed began to up their middle finger, hollering out all sorts of profanities.

Next thing I noticed was food starting to fly through the air like a dark thunder cloud. Imagine 94,000 people throwing food at each other; it was the craziest thing I had ever seen in my life. I got hit in the shoulder with a bag of fried chicken; then my guitar got knocked out of tune by a large grapefruit that hit the tuning keys and I knew then it was time to run! I dropped that guitar and started flying but the funny thing was, everyone else was already gone! They were smart enough to get the heck out of there not knowing what was going to happen at that point.


He mentions this was his first gig with Prince, but PrinceVault lists the Controversy warm-up gig at Sam's in Minneapolis as being his first time up on stage.

http://princevault.com/in...tober_1981

Perhaps he doesn't consider it to be a 'real' gig.

I get the impression that the whole raw and rotten chicken thing has been exaggerated through the telling. Brown Mark says he got hit by a bag of fried chicken, which sounds more realistic to me. I can't help but be amused that his bass was hit by a grapefruit. I mean, who brings a grapefruit to a Stones concert? That's assuming he's talking about the first concert as, for the second one, some people apparently brought stuff just to throw.

I'm confused about the set list. He says they played a song before Bambi on the first day, but PrinceVault lists Bambi as being the opener for both dates.

http://princevault.com/in...tober_1981

http://princevault.com/in...tober_1981

I did a bit of digging and found a copy of Prince: Inside the Music and the Masks by Ronin Ro. It's an interesting read, but I'm not sure about the facts it presents.

https://books.google.co.j...mp;f=false

It says they started with Uptown on Friday and decided to play Bambi next in response to the crowd's reaction. Then, after playing When You Were Mine and Jack U Off, "Prince felt confident enough to start Uptown." Really? He played it twice? I don't believe it.

It goes on to say that Prince left the stage during Uptown, returning to leap "into a fiery guitar solo that seemed to subue the angry crowd." (The book is ambiguous here though, as it could have been Dez doing the solo.) They then finished with Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad? According to PrinceVault, however, Uptown was aborted and the show ended. Then, the book states that Sunday - with a crowd of 110,000 - finished on Uptown. Again, PrinceVault conflicts this, by listing Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad as the show closer. So, which one is right? I'm siding with PrinceVault.

In Let's Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain by Alan Light, Prince "stormed offstage the first night, got directly onto a plane, and flew back to Minneapolis; Jagger reached him on the phone after the Stones' set and convinced him to jet back to LA in time for the second concert--where his reception was even more hostile than it had been the show before."

https://books.google.co.j...mp;f=false

While searching, I also found a news report on the first concert in The Press-Courier dated October 10, 1981.

https://news.google.com/n...&hl=en

For the capacity crowd, the Stones' appearance shortly after 6 pm capped an afternoon of vigorous rock and roll. The first performer, a new wave-funk singer called Prince, proved the only sour note to the mainstream-rock-orientated audience. Prince lasted only three songs and 25 minutes before being chased by an audience throwing objects onto the stage at him.

The other two openers - George Thorogood and the Destroyers followed by the J. Geils Band - fared better, returning for repeated encores for their hard rocking tunes.


I'm not sure how Prince managed to play three songs in 25 minutes. More like four songs in about 15 minutes or so. The writer must have been really feeling that "sour note", causing him to mix up his facts.

Wikipedia also has some interesting points in the Controversy Tour Dates section.

https://en.wikipedia.org/...Tour_dates

Prior to the tour, in October 1981 Prince played two shows at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum as an opening act for The Rolling Stones. On the first date, Prince and his band didn't finish their set, as the crowd turned hostile towards him. Dressed in his controversial bikini briefs and trench coat, and singing his sexually androgynous lyrics, he was run off stage after 25 minutes of the crowd booing, throwing shoes and beer bottles at him. Off stage, security escorted Prince to his trailer, they described him as emotionally distraught and crying softly. He was later heard cussing at his band and swearing he would never open for the Rolling Stones again.

After the show, Prince immediately flew back home to Minneapolis. After speaking with Dez Dickerson, manager Steve Fargnoli, and Mick Jagger himself, they convinced him to return for the second concert. Amidst the same hostility, as The Rolling Stones' fans heard about the incident at the first concert and came prepared to dog Prince again, Prince and his band finished their set this time. Backstage, Prince referred to the crowd as, "Tasteless in music and mentally retarded."


I don't know whether people really did throw shoes, but it definitely happened at a 78 Stones' concert. Mick Jagger found it pretty funny.



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