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Thread started 04/23/21 11:07am

soladeo1

Prince's Infamous 1981 Rolling Stones Supporting Gig: He Didn't Sing In A Falsetto!

I had a chance to hear a recording of the show. It's pretty crazy sounding, actually. Seems like the crowd was a big, rolling, hostile hot mess.

Biggest Surprise?

Prince sang in a lower register throughout. No falsetto!

This might have been the first time he did this live??

I guess he wanted to sound like more of a rocker this day. Not a high-pitched disco funk boy.

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Reply #1 posted 04/23/21 3:36pm

mynameisnotsus
an

Right - and he still got shit thrown at him.
That could have ended a weaker persons career - a stadium of people booing and humiliating you boo
Imagine all the music we would've lost.
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Reply #2 posted 04/23/21 4:23pm

nayroo2002

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soladeo1 said:

I had a chance to hear a recording of the show. It's pretty crazy sounding, actually. Seems like the crowd was a big, rolling, hostile hot mess.

Biggest Surprise?

Prince sang in a lower register throughout. No falsetto!

This might have been the first time he did this live??

I guess he wanted to sound like more of a rocker this day. Not a high-pitched disco funk boy.

it was two gigs

in the second he tried to sound less feminine

...to no avail

"Whatever skin Ur in
we all need 2 b friends"
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Reply #3 posted 04/23/21 4:44pm

funkbabyandthe
babysitters

Doubt he was the first black artist to open for the stones
So I wonder what really set them off

The feminine appearance and demeanor?
The gayness?
The clothing,?
The general weirdness?

Who knows.
Maybe all of it.

At this point the stones prob had pretty conservative fans.
I doubt they wanted any gay looking bands.

If this took place in England it would have been a diff story, most likely.
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Reply #4 posted 04/23/21 5:09pm

soladeo1

funkbabyandthebabysitters said:[quote]Doubt he was the first black artist to open for the stones
So I wonder what really set them off

The feminine appearance and demeanor?
The gayness?
The clothing,?
The general weirdness?

Who knows.
Maybe all of it.

At this point the stones prob had pretty conservative fans.
I doubt they wanted any gay looking bands.

If this took place in England it would have been a diff story, most likely.[/quote

...or the blackness???!!
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Reply #5 posted 04/23/21 5:11pm

TwiliteKid

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^ Read that first sentence again, champ.

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Reply #6 posted 04/24/21 12:15am

SantanaMaitrey
a

funkbabyandthebabysitters said:

Doubt he was the first black artist to open for the stones
So I wonder what really set them off

The feminine appearance and demeanor?
The gayness?
The clothing,?
The general weirdness?

Who knows.
Maybe all of it.

At this point the stones prob had pretty conservative fans.
I doubt they wanted any gay looking bands.

If this took place in England it would have been a diff story, most likely.

No, he wasn't. The Stones have had BB King, Ike & Tina Turner, Buddy Guy and others as support acts. But they all played blues that went down better with the Stones fans.
O tempora! O mores!
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Reply #7 posted 04/24/21 12:55am

funkbabyandthe
babysitters

I'm not discounting stones fans racism, but I think the music also played a part.
Princes music def wasnt macho, despite heavy rock riffs on bambi.
And it's also the look.
This was princes weirdest look of his career.
He also was somewhat demure at times, which they prob seized on.
Who else was supporting the stones at this point? Any new wave bands? Cos that's who prince was closer t to at this stage
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Reply #8 posted 04/24/21 2:02am

SantanaMaitrey
a

From Bill Wyman's book Rolling with The Stones.
Support acts on the American tour of 1981:
George Thorogood & The Destroyers
J. Geils Band
Heart
Journey
Van Halen
Stray Cats
Santana
Bobby Womack
Etta James
Screaming Jay Hawkins
And more, too many too mention, but a pretty diverse list, wouldn't you say?
[Edited 4/24/21 2:03am]
O tempora! O mores!
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Reply #9 posted 04/24/21 3:00am

funkbabyandthe
babysitters

I guess you could argue that a weird looking black artist would be more offensive to conservative stones fans
But I'm going to risk offending the daphne Brooks type prince fans and say if prince turned up with better hair and smarter outfits, the reaction might have been different
Stones fans were NOT punk fans
And they did not like any late 70s or early 80s developments like new wave, disco, post punk etc either

Would stones fans have liked 'gay presenting' white rockers? Idk. I know Jagger could be quite camp, but he didnt look a mess like dirty mind era prince.
Princes whole band looked like freaks.
So I guess it's a combination of factors.
Or maybe it's just petty racism and one rule for white camp artists and another for black ones.
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Reply #10 posted 04/24/21 3:23am

TonyVanDam

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funkbabyandthebabysitters said:

Doubt he was the first black artist to open for the stones So I wonder what really set them off The feminine appearance and demeanor? The gayness? The clothing,? The general weirdness? Who knows. Maybe all of it. At this point the stones prob had pretty conservative fans. I doubt they wanted any gay looking bands. If this took place in England it would have been a diff story, most likely.

.

In theory, I think the songs When You Were Mine [the part about the other man sheeping between Prince & his woman] & Sister [the incest theme] might have been half of it. The other half is the anti-disco attitude [which was borderline racist AND homophobic] that still exist within 1980-82.

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Reply #11 posted 04/24/21 3:55am

Dandroppedadim
e

I don't think any of those Stones fans actually took the time to read/listen to his lyrics.

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Reply #12 posted 04/24/21 3:58am

funkbabyandthe
babysitters

Yeah I don't think they cared what they sounded like, and its obv the songs weren't the kind of thing stones fans liked to change their mind either.

Guess it's a compliment to prince that he could ruffle so many feathers quite so extensively lol
[Edited 4/24/21 3:59am]
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Reply #13 posted 04/24/21 5:10am

gandorb

The feminine/homophobic issue is an interesting one here. I think

it could be part of the reaction given the early 80s backlash against gays, but Mick went through periods where he was every bit as androgynous and campy as Freddie Mercury. Moreover, he actually came out before almost anyone else as "bi", so it is ironic that the Stones fans turned so much on Prince. At some point, it seemed like the group dynamic took over and even potentially open minded Stones fans were identifying with their fellow Stones fans. In any case, it is a shame that this happened to Prince.

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Reply #14 posted 04/24/21 5:14am

funkbabyandthe
babysitters

I think its prob a reactionary hatred of anything disco and what that represented, I.e. camp, gay, black, latino
LOT of hate from rock fans at that time.
Ppl like Tina Turner, or blues artists, they didnt have that association.
[Edited 4/24/21 5:15am]

That late 70s climate prince came out of is overlooked
Disco, Sylvester, Donna summer, all of that helped shape him
Understandable why it is overlooked too, as he claimed funk and soul, not disco

Guess prince was a bit of a rockist too
[Edited 4/24/21 5:17am]
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Reply #15 posted 04/24/21 9:14am

SPYZFAN1

Black Uhuru, Stevie Wonder, Peter Tosh and Living Colour have also opened for the Stones....Never heard or read about audiences being unruly to them.

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Reply #16 posted 04/24/21 9:47am

laytonian

I think one factor is the hot sun and early time of day. He was the first opening act and NOT what the Stones fans wanted. They didn't want to sit through THREE opening acts.
It only takes one creep to throw something and everyone joins in.

THEN, the second concert, after it had been reported in the news, was a given. They came armed.It was a crappy kind of group-think and not really a reaction to Prince in that trenchcoat. It didn't matter that he sung in his lower register. He could have sung anything, dressed any way, and still been pelted.

[Edited 4/24/21 9:47am]

Welcome to "the org", laytonian… come bathe with me.
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Reply #17 posted 04/24/21 10:33am

nayroo2002

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"Stones Fans"???

You mean hells angels, right?

"Whatever skin Ur in
we all need 2 b friends"
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Reply #18 posted 04/24/21 11:07am

SantanaMaitrey
a

laytonian said:

I think one factor is the hot sun and early time of day. He was the first opening act and NOT what the Stones fans wanted. They didn't want to sit through THREE opening acts.
It only takes one creep to throw something and everyone joins in.

THEN, the second concert, after it had been reported in the news, was a given. They came armed.It was a crappy kind of group-think and not really a reaction to Prince in that trenchcoat. It didn't matter that he sung in his lower register. He could have sung anything, dressed any way, and still been pelted.

[Edited 4/24/21 9:47am]


That is absolutely true. If you're in the middle of that big crowd, you can hardly even see what the person on stage is wearing. It was the people closest to the stage who started this and they are of course the most fanatical. And those big crowds have a psychology of their own.
And yes, the word spread and the next day people were planning to go in and abuse Prince. It is comparable to Bob Dylan's 1966 tour where people who hated him going electric went in with the idea of booing the electric part of the show.
O tempora! O mores!
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Reply #19 posted 04/24/21 11:08am

SantanaMaitrey
a

nayroo2002 said:

"Stones Fans"???


You mean hells angels, right?


Stop talking nonsense.
O tempora! O mores!
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Reply #20 posted 04/24/21 12:29pm

thebanishedone

Wow so many well know facts about the gig out there and yet soi many specualtions here.

First you guys forgott Steve Wonder opened for The Rolling Stones in 1976.

Second of all it's nonsense that Stones fans were anti new wave punk disco.Stones jumped on the punk and dsco bandwagon around Some Girls,does this sound like classic Stones sound? https://www.youtube.com/w...Yvy3kBYN4Q and did you forget that one of their most well known song is disco Miss You.

Prince irritated the crowd with Jake u Off ,i think that song was what pissed the crowd.

https://www.weareclassicr...inces-1999

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Reply #21 posted 04/24/21 1:56pm

funkbabyandthe
babysitters

many stones fans did NOT like miss you or their disco period one bit

some still dont like some girls

face it, they hated the sight of this effeminate guy in front of them, had no idea what to make of him, and decided it more fun to humiliate him rather than give him a chance

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Reply #22 posted 04/25/21 10:27pm

TonyVanDam

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gandorb said:

The feminine/homophobic issue is an interesting one here. I think

it could be part of the reaction given the early 80s backlash against gays, but Mick went through periods where he was every bit as androgynous and campy as Freddie Mercury. Moreover, he actually came out before almost anyone else as "bi", so it is ironic that the Stones fans turned so much on Prince. At some point, it seemed like the group dynamic took over and even potentially open minded Stones fans were identifying with their fellow Stones fans. In any case, it is a shame that this happened to Prince.

.

Mick Jagger's bromance moments:

.

w/Billy Prestion

.

w/David Bowie

.

Enough said! lol

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Reply #23 posted 04/26/21 2:42am

jaawwnn

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thebanishedone said:

Wow so many well know facts about the gig out there and yet soi many specualtions here.

First you guys forgott Steve Wonder opened for The Rolling Stones in 1976.

Second of all it's nonsense that Stones fans were anti new wave punk disco.Stones jumped on the punk and dsco bandwagon around Some Girls,does this sound like classic Stones sound? https://www.youtube.com/w...Yvy3kBYN4Q and did you forget that one of their most well known song is disco Miss You.

Prince irritated the crowd with Jake u Off ,i think that song was what pissed the crowd.

https://www.weareclassicr...inces-1999

I doubt they heard the lyrics to Jack U Off, and based on the recording they were rowdy enough as it was.

All the black artists The Rolling Stone had support them up to that point were already legends and very successful with big hits, Prince was pretty untested.

So I say: untested, black, weird rumors aboug being gay, man in high heels and makeup, mixed with a bored, drunk crowd only delighted to have a target for their worst prejudices ... The band have always said the second day was much worse, clearly word had got around that there was a free target.

It also doesn't mean there wasn't a huge part of the crowd who were digging it and didn't like the treatment one bit.

[Edited 4/26/21 2:43am]

"I think people ought to know that we're anti-fascist, we're anti-violence, we're anti-racist and we're pro-creative. We're against ignorance."
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Reply #24 posted 04/26/21 3:27am

fishwillbite

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soladeo1 said:

I had a chance to hear a recording of the show. It's pretty crazy sounding, actually. Seems like the crowd was a big, rolling, hostile hot mess.

Biggest Surprise?

Prince sang in a lower register throughout. No falsetto!

This might have been the first time he did this live??

I guess he wanted to sound like more of a rocker this day. Not a high-pitched disco funk boy.

I'm (very much) guessing that in a massive venue, probably with less-than-ideal on-stage sound for the support act, Prince would have had to have sung in lower register in order to project his voice and be able to hear himself.

PIPS! Eurgh...
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Reply #25 posted 04/26/21 4:15am

mynameisnotsus
an

It's a pity he didn't play the same venue for the Purple Rain tour when he could've sold it out. I guess he was able to move past it pretty quickly but to go back with his crowd would've been a real triumph.
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Reply #26 posted 04/26/21 5:46am

Vannormal

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-

I remember reading that the quite conservative Stones-only-fans were waiting so long for their beloved band to perform, certainly those die-hards right in front of the stage.

I think first and foremost that this is a very important and specific situation to start with...

Anyone could be boed off stage.

Though Van Halen also opened once for the Stones iirc, and they were nicely welcomed.

-

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves.
And wiser people so full of doubts"
(Bertrand Russsell 1872-1972)
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Reply #27 posted 04/26/21 5:48am

Vannormal

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SantanaMaitreya said:

From Bill Wyman's book Rolling with The Stones. Support acts on the American tour of 1981: George Thorogood & The Destroyers J. Geils Band Heart Journey Van Halen Stray Cats Santana Bobby Womack Etta James Screaming Jay Hawkins And more, too many too mention, but a pretty diverse list, wouldn't you say? [Edited 4/24/21 2:03am]

-

It would be intersting to know how the die-hard front rows Stones fans reacted to the other opening (black) artists.

-

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves.
And wiser people so full of doubts"
(Bertrand Russsell 1872-1972)
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Reply #28 posted 04/26/21 5:52am

Vannormal

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funkbabyandthebabysitters said:

Doubt he was the first black artist to open for the stones So I wonder what really set them off The feminine appearance and demeanor? The gayness? The clothing,? The general weirdness? Who knows. Maybe all of it. At this point the stones prob had pretty conservative fans. I doubt they wanted any gay looking bands. If this took place in England it would have been a diff story, most likely.

-

Did you see how Mick was dressed ?

Not very rock 'n roll either if you ask me...

-

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves.
And wiser people so full of doubts"
(Bertrand Russsell 1872-1972)
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Reply #29 posted 04/26/21 7:48am

funkbabyandthe
babysitters

its mick jagger.

mick fucking jagger.

he could prob come on in his underwear and it would be okay, cos its mick jagger.

i mean, little richard woudl prob have been okay too, cos its little richard.

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