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Continued: A night with Prince: 'This is real time'

  • Article by: JON BREAM , Star Tribune
  • Last update: May 19, 2013 - 9:49 AM

Once again, Prince wasn’t exactly prompt. The chat would come 17 years later in Denver.

• • •

Onstage at the Ogden, he and 3rdEyeGirl tore into the most rip-roaringly ferocious four-song opening Prince has probably ever put together. Plowing through an hour and a half of old favorites and new jams, he seemed refreshed and buoyed by the excitement of working with a new band put together from scratch, something he hasn’t done in years.

The music was loud, the band rocking, the guitar fireworks plentiful.

Afterward the fans in the 1,000-capacity venue were stoked.

“He was awesome,” said Tas Frashure, 45, of Boulder, who was seeing Prince in concert for the first time. “He’s so talented. Like Jimi Hendrix.”

Her friend Marni Blake was impressed, too, but said: “For $277, I should get an orgasm.”

• • •

Life on the rock ’n’ roll road is hurry up and wait. But there is no after-party quite like a Prince after-party. On this night, it was scheduled to be a band-only, no-performance affair. And of course it started late — 2:30 a.m., a good 90 minutes after the concert ended — and without Prince. He was still at his hotel, editing a video for the new single “Fix Ur Life Up.”

As I chatted with Prince’s girlfriend, two 3rdEyeGirl husbands and the trio’s stylist, his manager approached, holding out her cellphone. “Prince wants to talk to you.”

“What did you think of the show?” he asked.

“It’s the most exciting Prince show I’ve seen since probably the Sign o’ the Times Tour in 1987,” I opined.

We chatted for about 10 minutes. He promised to arrive at the after-party in 20 minutes.

An hour later he entered Lannie’s Clock Tower Cabaret, a downtown burlesque club. The Purple One was in turquoise, with glittery gold boots, a rhinestone-encrusted cane and a gold bib necklace. His round sunglasses were folded on the necklace and a two-finger ring featuring a giant eye (turquoise, of course) covered his right hand. His fluffy Afro obscured any earrings but not the guyliner and makeup he’s worn for years.

He reiterated his longstanding rule that interviewers not use tape recorders or notebooks, explaining that he wants to have a conversation in which he looks at the other people.

Prince didn’t want to entertain questions about Minnesota’s new same-sex marriage law or Bob Dylan (though he said they once passed backstage at First Avenue in the late 1980s and acknowledged each other with a nod). He was intent on promoting his new band, 3rdEyeGirl, and his club tour coming to Maplewood on Saturday.

“I’ve never been to the Myth,” said the Minnesotan whose life is littered with myth. “That was Julia’s idea” — his new manager Julia Ramadan, 23.

He extolled the value of having young people in his world because they bring new ideas. He said Ramadan recently told him: “When it comes to your life story, don’t let anyone else hold the pen.”

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