3 interesting bits from Rolling Stone's Purple Rain tour oral history

The entire story is worth the read – but here are three little pieces that stood out to get you started.
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A reissue of Purple Rain featuring a disc of unreleased recordings comes out Friday.

And in anticipation, Rolling Stone published a decently long oral history of the 1984-85 Purple Rain tour that took the country by storm.

For the piece, Rolling Stone spoke with members of Prince's band The Revolution, plus the tour's lighting director, to get a sense of what prepping and performing with Prince was like.

We've pulled out three small, random pieces we think are entertaining. But do not let that tiny fraction of the story dissuade you from reading the whole thing. There are some great anecdotes in there, even if you're not a huge fan of the Purple One.

1. Prince tipped over a bathtub

As part of the show, Prince during "When Doves Cry" would be in a clawfoot tub (like the video). And the first time they tested it, the stage crew didn't realize it might need to be nailed down.

"That thing went right over backwards once he got in it. He took quite a tumble. He just lay there while they checked him out, and fortunately he just had some good bruising," bassist Mark Brown said.

2. If you messed up, you got fined

Prince was apparently terrified of their live performance not sounding as good as what audiences got in the Purple Rain movie. And as part of that, he would fine The Revolution band members if they missed a cue or accidentally played past a cutoff. Some say it was more of a threat than actual behavior, though this is a great line about it:

"If you missed a cue or played an extra horn punch or something, that was $500," explained keyboardist Lisa Coleman. "He would withhold your money. It never happened to me. I'm lucky. Actually, I'm good at faking it. He never knew when I made a mistake."

3. Prince got competitive with other superstars

Prince and The Revolution were such a big deal at the time that music superstars would stop in to the dressing room, or even want to come on stage with them. The article mentions both Bruce Springsteen and Madonna. Prince would then get competitive.

"Unfortunately he would kind of screw with people, especially big famous artists who would come up," said Wendy Melvoin, the guitarist. "If he sensed they were a little bit lost, he'd try and expose that: grab a guitar and do a blistering solo in their face. There was a certain amount of, like, straight-up competitive humiliation. But he thrived on that, like, 'I know I'm great.'"

And again, we'd like to reiterate – read the entire Rolling Stone story. It's great.

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