“It’s so packed I might ride around on my bodyguard’s back like Prince in the club,” Kanye West rapped on “Send It Up.” And there is video proof of Prince riding on the back of a bodyguard. The year was 1983 and the event was James Brown and B.B. King: One Special Night at the Beverly Center in L.A. Towards the end of the show a sweaty Godfather of Soul brings two budding superstars on stage.
First, James Brown spots Michael Jackson in the crowd and tells him to “come up and say something.” Jackson makes his way to the stage and proceeds to sing his heart out backed by Brown’s band and finishes it off with moves only he could execute. After the King of Pop finishes moonwalking, he whispers in Brown’s ear to bring Prince on stage. As James shouts Prince’s name over the microphone, the cameraman spots some commotion in the audience that just so happens to be Prince riding on the back of his bodyguard.
After taking one of his gloves off with his teeth and throwing it in the crowd, Prince hops off the giant he rode in on, grabs a guitar, jams out, uses it as a dick, takes his jacket to reveal he’s shirtless, does some tricks with the microphone stand, does some Prince moves, plays conductor with the audience and band, and tries to hop back on his friend while knocking down a street lamp onto fans.
The video above is microcosm of Prince’s undeniable swagger and a reminder that we will never see this much musical talent on one stage again. Rest in power Prince Rogers Nelson, thanks for everything. You will never be forgotten.