While I’m not the biggest fan of Prince in the world, I have to admit the little guy is very talented, and I can still remember back in 1984 when he was at his peak. The movie and soundtrack for Purple Rain were going like gangbusters, and he was one of the biggest artists of the time, along with Springsteen, Michael Jackson, etc.
Now there’s a new book out about the creation of Purple Rain, written by Alan Light, and while I’m certainly no Prince expert, it’s fascinating to read all this stuff I didn’t know about the album and film that cemented Prince’s legend.
Rolling Stone listed ten things you didn’t know about Purple Rain from the book, and the one that tripped me out the most was the first one on the list: The title song was inspired by Bob Seger. Prince wanted to write a ballad in the vein of Seger’s “We’ve Got Tonight,” and “Turn the Page,” which was also covered by Metallica. Prince asked Stevie Nicks to write some lyrics for the song, and I didn’t realize that’s Prince playing keyboards on her hit “Stand Back.”
In addition, you gotta trip when you read the list of people who came to the premiere of the movie on July 26, 1984, like Eddie Murphy, Pee-Wee Herman, Little Richard, and Weird Al Yankovic who told MTV at the afterparty, “We all knew Prince was a great actor, but who knew he could sing?”
All this and more is in Alan Light’s Let’s Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain, which is now out from Atria Books.