Join 3,422 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


And there he came ... followed by a Princely entourage
June 18, 2013 9:27 PM   Subscribe

The Time I Went Roller-Skating With Prince, as told by Questlove "I got a text from Prince’s assistant." And so the story begins, in an excerpt from "Mo’ Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove" by Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson and Ben Greenman. What's not to love?
posted by raysmj (31 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
"For some reason, he declared that we would be skating "shirts vs skins." To this day, I don't understand it."
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:58 PM on June 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


Prince is one of those celebrities from whom I will accept any story, regardless of their plausibility.
posted by pmv at 10:09 PM on June 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, worth noting that the story in the original vernacular is far more entertaining: http://www.hypnagogics.com/questo/#!/eddie-murphy
posted by pmv at 10:15 PM on June 18, 2013 [9 favorites]


One of the musicians I work with told me a great Prince story that was told to him firsthand by John Blackwell. My friend was at his clinic and he was not feeling well enough to play that day and so he told many, many Prince stories. This is one my friend could remember well:

John had nailed every audition and tryout for Prince without a problem. When the time came for his first concert with him, he said it finally hit him that he was playing with PRINCE and that was HIS DREAM since he was a kid and OH GOD.

He choked. All of the muscle memory disappeared and he was a nervous wreck. Eventually, during the show, Prince started doing this strange backward dancing move, and kept getting closer, and closer, and closer, until Prince was at his kit and he pointed his finger and screamed, "YOU BETTER GET IT TOGETHER!" And after that, whenever he made a mistake, Prince would flash a symbol on his hand, but John couldn't figure out what it meant.

After the show, he went backstage to Prince's room, terrified that Prince was going to fire him. Prince's room was dimly lit and saturated with drapes to the point that it was maze-like. He thought he heard doves cooing. He found Prince laying on a very large bed of cushions.

"John, what happened out there?"

"I'm sorry, Prince. I choked. I promise I'll never do anything like that again."

"If you do something like that again I am going to have to let you go. But, I am going to dock your pay eight hundred and forty-six dollars and twenty-three cents* for your performance tonight."

* Not the correct number, but it was that precise.
posted by chinesefood at 10:48 PM on June 18, 2013 [15 favorites]


I will always love Questlove for his description of a strip club as "a...a place of friendliness and dancing." In fact, I love all his stories and I really might have to read this book, though I far prefer them in "the original vernacular."
posted by Danila at 11:03 PM on June 18, 2013


Almost infinitely better in the original.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:02 AM on June 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


He could skate like he could sing.

I have this ability too.
posted by ouke at 12:56 AM on June 19, 2013 [9 favorites]


?uestlove is absolutely at the top of my "people I would like to roller skate with in the middle of the night" list.


I am kind of surprised this doesn't happen to him every day.
posted by louche mustachio at 1:43 AM on June 19, 2013


In fact, "roller skating in the middle of the night with ?uestlove" has just occupied the spot right under "have Werner Herzog read me a bedtime story" on my list of "things that will probably never happen but oh man."
posted by louche mustachio at 1:47 AM on June 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


He could skate like he could sing.

I have this ability too.



I have never roller skated in the shower, nor have I broken my wrist* while singing.


But I am not ruling them out.






*CC to TSA - no I am not trying to smuggle a titanium sea urchin in there.
posted by louche mustachio at 2:41 AM on June 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Questlove is one of the most cinematic writers I have ever read. (I'm sure there's a real word for that that I don't know). His stories would just translate into film or TV so effortlessly and so well. Every time I read one of his stories I get jealous because I feel like I am not good at writing like that and it's really hard and unnatural for me. He has a lot of stories like that here and I would read them to make myself jealous all the time. I honestly think I have never been more jealous of anyone else for anything about their writing.
posted by cairdeas at 4:06 AM on June 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


If any of you haven't (for shame!), get on over to the Narduwar interviewing ?uestlove thread and watch the whole 45-minute video. It's awesome and sweet and made me a fan for life.
posted by The Michael The at 4:13 AM on June 19, 2013


Another good Prince story.
posted by orme at 4:29 AM on June 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


the best part of the story was the skates coming out of the briefcase.
posted by angrycat at 4:45 AM on June 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


And after that, whenever he made a mistake, Prince would flash a symbol on his hand, but John couldn't figure out what it meant.

So a world-class drummer for Prince doesn't know his James Brown? Hmmmm. Do go on.

*silently presses BS button under desk*

(No seriously, what other stories did he tell? I got time.)
posted by petebest at 5:24 AM on June 19, 2013


I WANT CLEAR SKATES THAT LIGHT UP AND LEAVE MULTICOLORED SPARKS
posted by Lucinda at 5:27 AM on June 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


am not trying to smuggle a titanium sea urchin in there.

Titanium Sea Urchin should be the name of your Prince cover band.
posted by eriko at 6:19 AM on June 19, 2013


I once went speed bowling with a member of Iron & Wine, but that doesn't seem even in the same universe of cool as taking a spin around a skating rink with Prince.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:20 AM on June 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Prince is fully dedicated to sparkle motion.
posted by Artw at 6:20 AM on June 19, 2013 [7 favorites]


I once went speed bowling with a member of Iron & Wine

Is this a new euphemism for injecting a mixture of heroin and cocaine?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:32 AM on June 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Heh. I wish. No, we just bowled a super-frantic ten frames at a glow-in-the-dark bowling alley next door to a venue before a show.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:46 AM on June 19, 2013


We used to visit the drummer from Heart's house when trick-or-treating. Pretty good decorations.
posted by Artw at 7:48 AM on June 19, 2013


I live down the street from the Jayhawks' drummer. Our dogs don't get along well.
posted by COBRA! at 7:58 AM on June 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I imagine Prince's house as a pair of giant conjoined dome houses, painted in his signature purple. Trick or treating there would probably be a bit confusing.

Oh, no, some quick google-fu reveals Prince's taste in homes is boringly conventional after all--another illusion shattered.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:04 AM on June 19, 2013


That reminds me, I pre-ordered this book on the kindle store the minute after I read Pitchfork's recent story/interview about it.

?uestlove and that whole Philadelphia scene is just amazing:

But in hindsight, that's when [Roots manager] Rich [Nichols] taught us the lesson that you get to contextualize, establish a movement. Besides the one-hit wonder, there's never ever been success in music without the contextualization of being associated with someone else. I don't think it's a coincidence that all these previous hard-to-sell, underground, ignored, not-media-savvy artists were all of a sudden selling one million, two million units during that period of 1998 to 2004: D'Angelo, us, Erykah [Badu], Common, Mos [Def] and [Talib] Kweli. I consider Kanye and Alicia [Keys] to be the steroids version, to the point where they're mainstream artists but they have a left-of-center sense mentality. And now they finish the race and are their own empire.

But that's one of the things I'm proud of. The initial nucleus in my circle, the guys that I dubbed the Illadelphonics when I was first doing shows for Jay-Z, all of those guys have split off and now have their own bands. Adam Blackstone basically just runs the world now: he is [musical director for] Jay-Z, Justin [Timberlake], Selena Gomez, Ne-Yo, he runs at least 15 acts. My keyboard player Omar [Edwards] has got seven: Mary J. Blige, Rihanna, Kanye, Timbaland. Pretty much if you are at stadium status and you're touring, your band has to come through that circle. Those same frickin' 14-, 15-, 16-year-olds that used to abuse my PlayStation when I came home off tour and left my house smelling like corn chips with their socks are now running empires, which is amazing to me.

posted by ndfine at 8:05 AM on June 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


My 4 year old now knows ?uestlove from this NYT piece as "that guy who likes everything" - who is clearly way better than "that guy who hates everything."

So far it hasn't made any impact on him trying new vegetables, but at least he now has a role model for how much cooler it is to try new stuff and find ways to like it, even if it doesn't seem like your thing.
posted by Mchelly at 9:51 AM on June 19, 2013


When I saw Prince in a stadium "in the round" he exited the stage in a 4ftx4ft cube on wheels like he was packed up equipment. He did all of his changes under the stage and after the lights came up we got a glimpse of him diving into the box. A couple of seconds later 4 huge security guards looking like roadies wheeled him (inconspicuously except to a couple of us who noticed) from under the stage, down the aisle, through the crowd and out the ramp to the delivery area.

Obviously not a claustrophobe.
posted by HyperBlue at 12:16 PM on June 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


I saw this book and wondered if it was any good, now I’ll be buying it.
posted by bongo_x at 3:00 PM on June 19, 2013


Prince is one of those celebrities from whom I will accept any story, regardless of their plausibility.

Kevin Smith has had some strange stories that involved Prince as well. I think Prince is just out there.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 4:36 PM on June 20, 2013


petebest said: So a world-class drummer for Prince doesn't know his James Brown? Hmmmm. Do go on.
Mea culpa. When I think about the way the story was told to me, he mentioned the hand signals but did not say that he did not know what they meant. The revelation that he was docking pay was not something someone unfamiliar of the profession would understand and that's what made the end hit harder. Blackwell's audience at the time probably didn't pick this up until the end.

I'm curious, what were you referring to when you mentioned James Brown?

And here's John Blackwell on drums.
posted by chinesefood at 2:12 PM on June 23, 2013


was going to make this an FPP but it's just another excerpt from the book...

From the beginning, I wanted the Fallon walk-ons to be classics of the genre, the talk-show equivalent of video game Easter eggs. - talks about the walk ons in general, and the controversial one in specific.
posted by nadawi at 4:37 PM on June 23, 2013


« Older Inseminoid...  |  NGUYỄN Hùng Cường creates some... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments