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LIKE IT’S 1999…

Prince’s genius may have been unstoppable – but it took until his fifthalbum for the world to catch up. As 1999 becomes the first Prince album to get the full super-deluxe treatment witha 1OLP set, John Earls speaks to members of The Revolution, a key singer, Prince’s estate manager and the guitarist who walked away, to establish how Prince became a global superstar in 7O minutes


Prince saw himself and Dez Dickerson as the Mick ’n’ Keef in his black version of The Rolling Stones

For anyone who likes their musical history linear, it’d be fair to say that The Rolling Stones played a key part in Prince going global, even if they weren’t aware of it at the time. Prince’s two shows supporting the Stones at the Coliseum stadium in Los Angeles in October 1981 have gone down in folklore as “That time Prince got booed offstage”. WithPrince dressed in a see-through jacket and tiny black briefs, the Stones’ audience weren’t ready for a future superstar. He lasted just four songs, before the flying detritus got too much and he left during Jack U Off. Two nights later, he had to endure it all again.

“The Rolling Stones beatdown was a dark period,” recalls Bobby Z, the drummer who had played withPrince since they bothleft different Minneapolis schools in 1976. “Prince was excited by the punk and New Romantic scene of London, and touring withRick James honed his funk. Prince tried tying all that together and thought it would translate. The Stones had a big hit withMiss You that crossed over into the dance world, and Prince thought that would be the door to try. And then… well, when you play as young musicians, you don’t in your wildest nightmares expect to be physically, mentally and audibly ordered off stage withobjects and boos coming at you. It was very traumatic – and it happened twice.”

It was especially saddening for Prince, as he was such a huge Stones fan. Guitarist Dez Dickerson, who joined Prince’s band in 1979, says: “In all my time withPrince, I resonated most withhis stated goal when I first joined, to be a black version of The Rolling Stones. He’d say to me, ‘I’m Mick and you’re Keith’. That came naturally to me. And, actually, the first two-thirds of that first show withthe Stones was stunning and memorable. The part that’s become folklore wasn’t how that show began. Challenging as it was, it was still one of my favourite experiences withPrince.”

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About Long Live Vinyl

Tonight, we're gonna party like it's 1999… Issue 32 of Long Live Vinyl brings you an exclusive first look inside the huge new 15LP Prince boxset as members of the Purple genius' band and his closest friends tell the story of the original 1999 album. We also hear from Estate Manager Michael Howe why this is only the beginning for Prince collectors. Pick up your copy to find out which releases are coming next from the Paisley Park vault. Elsewhere, in our packed interviews section, we sit down with Elbow, Big Thief, Adam Green and Jason Isbell to chat about their new albums, as well as delving into the history of the legendary Palm Tree label, Island Records, as they celebrate their 60th birthday. Fab Four fans should check out our Essential Beatles solo albums collector's guide. Plus we visit the Premier League referee who's running his own record shop, as well as taking an in-depth look at The XX's Mercury Prize-winning album xx. If all that's not enough, you'll find the widest range of new album, reissue and hi-fi reviews anywhere on the newsstand. Long Live Vinyl is THE magazine for vinyl lovers. Pick up your copy today!

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