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Thu Apr 21, 2016, 05:40 PM

I Saw Prince Get Attacked by Hell's Angels when he Opened for the Stones

Last edited Fri Apr 22, 2016, 05:07 AM - Edit history (1)

I went to see the Stones in LA in October of 1981, and Bill Graham, as he was famous for, put a very progressive act on the front of the bill. Bill Graham discovered so many great acts like Carlos Santana, but he also would introduce talent to a wider audience.

I got in early and dirt cheap $5 I think and went up toward the front because it was general admission. Hell's Angels were already up by the barricades. According to legend Hell's Angels were ALWAYS up front at Stone shows in California.

I had heard Prince's first albums, Controversy stood out as being a new fusion of funk with a smarter twist but I hadn't seen much of Prince's look. Bill Graham introduced him and the band comes out and they were aggressively androgynous, the keyboard players had fringe in front of his eyes, Prince was in black fishnet.



The Angels weren't happy, they started by just booing loudly then they started throwing stuff. Not playfully like I had seen people do with the Stones or punk bands but hard. Lit cigarettes. Lighters. Bill Graham came out and stopped the show.

"If you don't like what's on stage now then THIS would be a good time to go get a beer. Prince is going to come back out and finish his set and... (guy up front is flipping off Graham, Graham points to him) YOU right there! I will personally refund your ticket! Somebody threw something at Bill Graham. Security was in a moat between the stage and a barricade of plywood. They grab some guy and drag him over the top of the plywood. People settled down a little.

Prince and the band come back out, launched into "Uptown" and the stuff starts again. Bottles being thrown, Prince is ducking stuff, jamming defiantly and angry. It was riveting. A guy with that much talent just throwing back at them with music.

A phenomenal and prolific talent, the Mozart of our lifetime.

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Reply I Saw Prince Get Attacked by Hell's Angels when he Opened for the Stones (Original post)
GreatGazoo Apr 2016 OP
dinkytron Apr 2016 #1
KatyMan Apr 2016 #2
LiberalArkie Apr 2016 #4
GreatGazoo Apr 2016 #5
LiberalArkie Apr 2016 #9
GreatGazoo Apr 2016 #34
LiberalArkie Apr 2016 #3
GreatGazoo Apr 2016 #7
malaise Apr 2016 #6
GreatGazoo Apr 2016 #8
malaise Apr 2016 #10
GreatGazoo Apr 2016 #11
malaise Apr 2016 #12
ancianita Apr 2016 #17
Aerows Apr 2016 #32
Dustlawyer Apr 2016 #13
mountain grammy Apr 2016 #14
saturnsring Apr 2016 #15
hatrack Apr 2016 #16
GreatGazoo Apr 2016 #18
Gman Apr 2016 #19
denbot Apr 2016 #20
GreatGazoo Apr 2016 #22
denbot Apr 2016 #23
KT2000 Apr 2016 #21
winstars Apr 2016 #24
KT2000 Apr 2016 #25
Ex Lurker Apr 2016 #27
KT2000 Apr 2016 #28
winstars Apr 2016 #30
braddy Apr 2016 #26
The Second Stone Apr 2016 #29
GreatGazoo Apr 2016 #33
The Second Stone Apr 2016 #35
GreatGazoo Apr 2016 #36
Warren DeMontague Apr 2016 #31
GreatGazoo Apr 2016 #38
DemocratSinceBirth Apr 2016 #37

Response to GreatGazoo (Original post)

Thu Apr 21, 2016, 05:47 PM

1. i sure would like to see that footage. Prince was his own man. What a talent.

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Response to GreatGazoo (Original post)

Thu Apr 21, 2016, 05:47 PM

2. What a performance.

I'm not a Prince fan one way or the other, but I absolutely respect the man as an artist and this video speaks volumes about his talent. He wasn't even terribly well known (in rock circles) as a guitarist, but he was genius. Love this video.

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Response to KatyMan (Reply #2)

Thu Apr 21, 2016, 05:51 PM

4. Here is the entire performance.



Published on Apr 10, 2012
Prince, Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Jeff Lynne and others perform "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" at the 2004 Hall of Fame Inductions. http://rockhall.com/

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Response to KatyMan (Reply #2)

Thu Apr 21, 2016, 05:56 PM

5. They asked Clapton back in the late 80s who he thought was the best newer influential guitarist

and he said Prince.

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Response to GreatGazoo (Reply #5)

Thu Apr 21, 2016, 06:03 PM

9. I never could stand Princes videos and singing most of the time, but as a guitarist

that is something entirely different. Definitely in a league of his own when he wanted to be.


Edit to add, that Prince did have grace & STYLE, much like Bowie.

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Response to LiberalArkie (Reply #9)

Fri Apr 22, 2016, 11:12 AM

34. I didn't love everything he did but thought he was a great lyricist

when he wanted to be. This song was especially brilliant:



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Response to GreatGazoo (Original post)

Thu Apr 21, 2016, 05:49 PM

3. I like where Prince seems to fall backwards off the stage and is pushed back up on stage

and Prince looks at Dhani and seems to say " You like that huh?"

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Response to LiberalArkie (Reply #3)

Thu Apr 21, 2016, 05:59 PM

7. Dhani is loving the whole thing. There is some interplay with Petty, almost like Prince wants to

make him laugh or ?? but Petty won't look at him. Can't tell if Petty is annoyed or just trying to keep a straight face.

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Response to GreatGazoo (Original post)

Thu Apr 21, 2016, 05:58 PM

6. Thanks for this

Rec

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Response to malaise (Reply #6)

Thu Apr 21, 2016, 06:00 PM

8. I left that show with enormous respect for Prince (and Bill Graham)

Fortunately got to see him again, 20 years later at Jones Beach. He played a full 2 hours and destroyed us all!

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Response to GreatGazoo (Reply #8)

Thu Apr 21, 2016, 06:08 PM

10. My mother's cousin and her husband took me to Jones Beach

over 40 years ago. I had never seen such a crowd at a beach in my life.

I never saw Prince perform live.

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Response to malaise (Reply #10)

Thu Apr 21, 2016, 06:19 PM

11. This guy's story on the front end of this vid talks about that same attitude --

loving a challenge, defiant.

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Response to GreatGazoo (Reply #11)

Thu Apr 21, 2016, 06:19 PM

12. My kind of artiste

Guts and genius

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Response to GreatGazoo (Reply #11)

Thu Apr 21, 2016, 07:27 PM

17. I watched that! Prince was unforgettable. Thanks for this.

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Response to GreatGazoo (Reply #11)

Fri Apr 22, 2016, 03:12 AM

32. Talent to the bone

 

and then some. RIP, Prince.

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Response to GreatGazoo (Original post)

Thu Apr 21, 2016, 06:51 PM

13. He was always an underated guitar player because he could do so many things so well.

Other guitar greats that also sang usually had a guitar solo in every song. Prince exhibited his shredding skills in a small percentage of his music, but he could do it anytime with the best of them.

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Response to GreatGazoo (Original post)

Thu Apr 21, 2016, 06:56 PM

14. What an experience. Thanks for sharing.

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Response to GreatGazoo (Original post)

Thu Apr 21, 2016, 06:57 PM

15. "the Mozart of our lifetime. " omg not.even.close.

 

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Response to GreatGazoo (Original post)

Thu Apr 21, 2016, 06:57 PM

16. Got to see him back in 1983 - openers were Vanity 6 and The Time

Great show all around, especially Prince on DMSR and 1999; The Time were great on 777-9311 as well.

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Response to GreatGazoo (Original post)

Thu Apr 21, 2016, 07:37 PM

18. The rest of the show was sedate -- George Thorogood and The J Geils Band then the 1981 Stones

I see it is the stuff of legends:

On October 9th, 1981, The Rolling Stones played the first of two nights at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in California. According to many reports and rumors over the years, Prince opened the show wearing bikini briefs and a trench coat. Concert goers were not yet ready for the purple one’s androgynous stage attire and promptly hurled beer cans and insults at him. Prince only got a few songs into his set...


http://womc.cbslocal.com/2014/10/09/throwback-thursday-bikini-clad-prince-booed-off-stage-while-opening-for-the-stones/

Rolling Stone
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/pictures/readers-poll-the-ten-best-opening-acts-in-rock-history-20120711/5-the-rolling-stones-prince-1981-0975403

Fox Sports (?!)
http://www.foxsports.com/west/story/prince-los-angeles-coliseum-booed-off-stage-opened-for-rolling-stones-in-october-of-1981-042116

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Response to GreatGazoo (Original post)

Thu Apr 21, 2016, 07:42 PM

19. At least they learned not to use the Angels for security

and give them free beer.

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Response to GreatGazoo (Original post)

Thu Apr 21, 2016, 08:09 PM

20. I was there.

I did not know the HA were the ones involved. I was on the south side, around the mid fifty yard line. I could see stuff being thrown, and remember the Emcee telling everyone to chill.

Prince hadn't broken out just yet, and when he started to get more play time, I was sorry I did not get to hear more of his live stuff as I believe he cut his set short.

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Response to denbot (Reply #20)

Thu Apr 21, 2016, 08:43 PM

22. I was similar area but closer like the 20/30 yard line

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Response to GreatGazoo (Reply #22)

Thu Apr 21, 2016, 08:51 PM

23. Look slightly up, over your left shoulder.

I'm the guy in the LOUD Hawaiian shirt, next to the cute short haired blonde.

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Response to GreatGazoo (Original post)

Thu Apr 21, 2016, 08:36 PM

21. Hell's Angeles did a lot

to end the golden age of music and the public's participation in it. They brought the barricades, police, and searches.

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Response to KT2000 (Reply #21)

Thu Apr 21, 2016, 10:31 PM

24. I have never heard that story with the HA involved in it... Did you see them there???

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Response to winstars (Reply #24)

Fri Apr 22, 2016, 01:25 AM

25. no but Altamont

in 1969 changed things.

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Response to KT2000 (Reply #25)

Fri Apr 22, 2016, 01:43 AM

27. That's what the Stones get for hiring bikers to work security NT

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Response to Ex Lurker (Reply #27)

Fri Apr 22, 2016, 02:01 AM

28. yes - that was really stupid

Back in the day the Beatles were the nice guys and the Stones were the wicked guys - they were probablyplaying up that role by using the Hell's Angels.

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Response to KT2000 (Reply #25)

Fri Apr 22, 2016, 02:31 AM

30. I don't think the HA were security at the 1981 show in LA. Probably learned a lesson...

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Response to GreatGazoo (Original post)

Fri Apr 22, 2016, 01:34 AM

26. If that was 1981, then I was there.

 

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Response to GreatGazoo (Original post)

Fri Apr 22, 2016, 02:11 AM

29. I was there. It was 1981, the Tattoo You tour

 

I was at the back of the stadium, so I did not see the unruly crowd. But I remember the event well. The booing was loud enough to carry throughout the stadium. Material was being thrown on stage during "Jack You Off". Bill Graham came out and chewed out the audience. It was hardly just the Hell's Angels. The LA Coliseum is huge and the booing was really loud, so many in the audience were booing throughout the venue.

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Response to The Second Stone (Reply #29)

Fri Apr 22, 2016, 04:57 AM

33. It was the stuff being thrown that stopped it.

Prince was kind of getting off on the boo'ing. And I've seen lots of boo'ing at other shows in Los Angeles like Bachman Turner Overdrive opened for Van Halen at the Forum and the crowd was merciless.

Prince was ducking most of the beer cans but roadies and gear were getting hit.

Yes, "Jack You Off" was crazy. The whole thing was though.



And then didn't the Stones use their infamous big inflatables on that show?


Set list for Prince
http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/prince/1981/los-angeles-memorial-coliseum-los-angeles-ca-3d9f9fb.html

Set list for Stones



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Response to GreatGazoo (Reply #33)

Fri Apr 22, 2016, 12:22 PM

35. I don't remember big inflatables. I remember that the Stones

 

were awesome and there weren't gimmicks. Later tours I've seen had elaborate stage cranes and such. There were some fireworks. But mostly they were relying on awesome performance. Mick Jagger was staying in Westwood near UCLA where I was attending, and picking up girls on campus on his morning jogs.

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Response to The Second Stone (Reply #35)

Fri Apr 22, 2016, 12:46 PM

36. That show, Oct 9, was about 3 weeks into my first year at UCLA.

Drove my car to the show and kids told me something "might happen to it" if I didn't pay them so I parked farther away.

The inflatables may have been later, like Steel Wheels era.



Did you see the later tour with Living Colour and Guns and Roses opening ? I'm not a huge GNR fan but they smoked their set that day.

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Response to GreatGazoo (Original post)

Fri Apr 22, 2016, 02:56 AM

31. Sometimes, Uncle Bobo was all right.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #31)

Fri Apr 22, 2016, 01:13 PM

38. His biography is one of the best bios I have ever read.

Starts with him walking out of Nazi Germany alone at age 8. Would be a great movie if one could clear the rights to all the great music.

I was reading it on a plane and as we were landing the guy next to me says he is Wally Reyes (!) and that Santana was almost in the helicopter crash that killed Bill Graham. He said they got a call from Bill and he offered to pick them up in his helicopter and go to Clapton's for a party. He said Santana opted not to go because he thought it was likely going to turn into a "pissing contest" between all the guitarists and he wasn't in the mood.

http://www.amazon.com/Bill-Graham-Presents-Life-Inside/dp/0306813491

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Response to GreatGazoo (Original post)

Fri Apr 22, 2016, 12:48 PM

37. I saw the Stone at the Citrus Bowl in 81 but Van Halen opened for them.

I would have rather seen Prince open.

I know Stevie wonder has also opened for the Stones.

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