I Saw Prince Get Attacked by Hell's Angels when he Opened for the Stones
Last edited Fri Apr 22, 2016, 04:07 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.
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.
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/
and he said Prince.
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.
when he wanted to be. This song was especially brilliant:
and Prince looks at Dhani and seems to say " You like that huh?"
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.
Fortunately got to see him again, 20 years later at Jones Beach. He played a full 2 hours and destroyed us all!
over 40 years ago. I had never seen such a crowd at a beach in my life.
I never saw Prince perform live.
loving a challenge, defiant.
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.
Great show all around, especially Prince on DMSR and 1999; The Time were great on 777-9311 as well.
I see it is the stuff of legends:
Fox Sports (?!)
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.
here point yourself out...
I'm the guy in the LOUD Hawaiian shirt, next to the cute short haired blonde.
to end the golden age of music and the public's participation in it. They brought the barricades, police, and searches.
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.
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.
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
Set list for 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.
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.
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.
I would have rather seen Prince open.
I know Stevie wonder has also opened for the Stones.