1. As a teenager, he was a fastidious dresser. Even when he had no money. His pants were invariably pressed. The shirts and jackets got more stylish when he got some money. And the Afro got bigger. Owen Husney called it “J7” — a reference to the hairdos sported by Michael Jackson and his brothers in the Jackson 5.
2. He lived with Husney and his wife before signing his recording contract. The teenager would record songs there and hide the cassette tapes in the furniture, hoping Husney would find them.
3. He insisted on producing his own debut album, so Husney secretly suggested a test to Warner Bros. Records, which was pushing Earth, Wind & Fire leader Maurice White as producer. Husney countered with this idea — one they wouldn’t tell Prince about: have him work in the studio and have three experienced producers stop by and observe. They turned out to be Gary Katz (Steely Dan), Ted Templeman (Doobie Brothers, Van Morrison, Little Feat) and Russ Titelman (James Taylor, Eric Clapton, Chaka Khan). Prince passed the test.
4. He refused to take off his shoes when invited to the home of Carlos Santana, one of his idols, while recording his debut album outside San Francisco. With all-white carpeting in his house, white-clad Santana asked guests to remove their shoes. Writes Husney: “Prince said, ‘I don’t remove my shoes for nobody.’ So I removed my socks, got on my knees and scraped away at the muddied carpeting, removing the footprints.”
5. He liked to listen to music while he slept. One night when he and Husney were rooming together on a promotional tour for the first album, Husney couldn’t sleep and turned off the music on the clock radio. Prince immediately woke up and warned: “Don’t ever do that again. Music soothes the savage beast!”