5 insane prince moments we hope to revisit in his memoir

From lessons in fearless fashion to fist fights with Sinéad O’Connor, here’s what we really want to read about in Prince's forthcoming memoir.

by Emily Manning
21 March 2016, 11:15pm

Earlier today, news broke that Prince plans to pen his first memoir. Tentatively titled The Beautiful Ones, the work will span from his earliest memories until his celebrated Super Bowl halftime performance in 2007. Having sold over 100 million records (over 13 million of them being his multi-platinum 1984 opus Purple Rain), Prince isn't merely one of history's best-selling artists, but also one of its most surprising and truly singular voices. Whether reporting that an angel cured his childhood epilepsy, teaming up with Tim Burton, or changing his name to an unpronounceable symbol, Prince has truly lived out the complexities of his dynamic sound. Here are just five things we really hope end up in his memoir, which we really hope comes wrapped in a cocoon of purple lace.

A long chapter about personal style: Biker-chic fringe, white lace catsuits, asymmetric crop tops, chain link facemasks, gold glitter high heels: Prince wrote the book on the daring, maximalist androgyny that's presently dominating runways around the world. We're crossing all our fingers that he devotes an instructional chapter to achieving full fashion fearlessness, with a special focus on the moment in which he revealed -- on live television -- that the rococo-style suit he wore while performing at the 1991 Video Music Awards was, in fact, ass-less.

What really went down with Sinéad O'Connor: The controversial Irish singer's career shot to stratospheric heights with the release of her worldwide smash "Nothing Compares 2 U" in 1990. As the emotional track has since become synonymous with O'Connor's signature high-register lilt, many people forget that it was actually written by Prince five years earlier for one of his many side projects, The Family. And, as O'Connor revealed in a 2014 interview with Norway's NRK, the two artists are not exactly on the best of terms. Actually, they got in a fist fight about it. "He summoned me to his house after 'Nothing Compares 2 U.' I made it without him. I'd never met him. He summoned me to his house — and it's foolish to do this to an Irish woman — he said he didn't like me saying bad words in interviews. So I told him to fuck off," Sinéad said. She added that things quickly became physical between the two: "He got quite violent. I had to escape out of his house at five in the morning. He packed a bigger punch than mine." Not to dismiss or discredit O'Connor's claims about what happened behind closed doors, but during his 1990 Rolling Stone interview, Prince didn't seem too pissed when asked about her cover: "I love it, it's great!" Hopefully the book provides a bit more clarification.

Thoughts on explicit content versus artistic expression in the digital age: Prince has topped a lot of charts, but perhaps his most memorable number one spot is atop The Filthy Fifteen -- a list of songs puritanical parents were recommended to ban in 1985. Just over 30 years ago, Tipper Gore -- like literally millions of other people -- bought a copy of Purple Rain for her then 11-year-old daughter, Nikki. Upon hearing the record's explicit lyrical content, she attempted to return it to the record store she purchased it from -- an unsuccessful endeavor due to the fact that it had been opened and played. This lead Gore to found the Parents Music Resource Center and testify in a much-maligned congressional hearing, which resulted in those iconically ominous "Explicit Content" warning bars now plastered across NSFW releases (and Alexander Wang collections). But based on the ways we consume music and what we deem explicit in today's digital age, those three decades might as well be light years. It would be very interesting to learn how Prince himself sees this paradigm shift.

If his basketball and pancake game is really that strong: One of the most memorable Chappelle's Show sketches had nothing to do with Dave. In a 2004 iteration of Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories -- reenactments of the comedian's 80s nightlife antics -- Murphy recounts an exchange between himself and Prince that started in the club and ended with a plate of pancakes. When Murphy and his crew squared off against Prince and his frilly-bloused Revolution in a game of basketball, they unexpectedly get their asses handed to them. It wasn't until clippings of Prince's promising high school basketball career surfaced on Twitter that people started believing Murphy. Nearly a decade later, Prince used a screenshot of Chapelle's Purple Rain costume from the sketch as the cover for a single called "Breakfast Can Wait." So what's the truth about post-game pancakes? We may never know.

His reaction to this meme: Sadly, Prince's memoir will reportedly conclude with his iconic 2007 Super Bowl halftime show performance. But he should consider expanding its chronology specifically to speak to the best meme to emerge from the 2015 Grammy Awards, at which he presented the Album of the Year Award -- cane in hand -- to Kanye West's close personal friend Beck. 


Text Emily Manning
Image via Flickr Creative Commons

The Beautiful Ones