My one and only encounter with Prince came during the late 1980s, an era in Los Angeles when the club scene was ripe with A-listers and the only way inside the door was if you were either one of them, with one of them, or if you were (physically) beautiful. Anything in between meant you were "connected." Suffice it to say, that was me! I was connected because I had a brother who actually was one of the "beautiful" AND he also happened to be "connected." Back in those days, clubs were HOT on specific nights. Helena's was RED HOT on Fridays, Ports was popping on Fridays and Saturdays and even the restaurant LeDome had a scene buzzing on Thursdays. But it was TRAMP in the Beverly Center that always seemed to be mobbed.
On this particular night it was the usual "WHO ARE YOU" clientele at TRAMP and as I recall, we were out with a few friends, one of them was an actress named Tia Carrere who had been on the soap opera, "General Hospital." I loved Tia! She was fun and full of life, and she could also sing! We weren't on the list that night, but Tia got us in without a problem. Once inside, everyone got a drink and after that we were basically on our own. Jimmy (my brother) always made sure that I was settled before pollinating the entire room with his 'OVER THE TOP' personality. And I always made sure that I was firmly planted in a corner or somewhere that I could observe the surroundings and not be in the way. On that particular night, I'm glad that I was able to find this great little nook because directly in front of me was a giant couch full of beautiful girls. In the center of that crowd was a diminutive person, whom at first, I wasn't sure was a woman or a man because the club was so dimly lit. Then I overheard this girl next to me say to her friend, "That's Prince over there." Okay, so here's the embarrassing part that only those who know me can appreciate, I really didn't know who Prince was in that moment. I actually thought he was "A PRINCE." The girl seemed super excited that a "PRINCE" was in the same room and so I decided to interrupt her and I said, "Why don't you go over and say hello!" The girl looked at my like I was crazy, and she basically smiled with that ("ya whatever") kind of look on her face and then she immediately turned to her friend and mumbled something ...probably like, "who is this clown?" A couple moments later I heard her mention the song "1999" and then I realized who they were talking about.
By now, my cocktail had kicked in and so I decided to show that girl a thing or two by wheeling over to the couch where Prince was seemingly comfortably reclined. As I approached his "Purpleness," the space he occupied was full of laughter and beauty and suddenly it all went silent. I immediately felt like a Tsunami. I expected them all to gather their belongings and bolt out the door! Prince, however, remained sprawled out on the couch and didn't seem to mind at all. As I wheeled closer, Prince began to sit up. I immediately extended my hand to him and I said, "Prince, I had to come over and say hello to you because I'm a huge fan of yours and I love your music!" This I will never forget, Prince actually stood up from the couch (like a true gentleman) and he shook my hand saying, "Thank you. That's very nice of you to say." He then proceeded to introduce me to his entourage. He was so sweet and his energy and disposition was so kind. I told him that I was a songwriter to which he replied, "never stop believing in yourself." I wanted to stay and hang out with him, but I decided to thank him and I returned to my spot in the corner.
As I was wheeling back, I saw that the two girls near my nook had been watching my interaction with Prince. Just as I got back to my spot, the cocktail waitress came by. I looked at the one girl who practically snubbed me before and I said, "That's how it's done!" then I said to the waitress, "I'll have what Prince is having!" Which, if I remember correctly, was WATER!!! lol!
The next day I went to Tower Records on Sunset and I purchased "1999" and "Purple Rain" and I've remained a fan ever since.