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Prince in Rupp Arena, 1997

Posted on April 21, 2016 | in Uncategorized | by
The Artist formerly known as PRINCE took the stage at Rupp Arena during his "Jam Of the Year" tour in Lexington on Wednesday November 5,1997. Prince died at his home today in suburban Minneapolis.

The Artist formerly known as Prince took the stage at Rupp Arena during his “Jam Of the Year” tour in Lexington on Wednesday November 5, 1997. A crowd of 7,700 witnesed his first show in Rupp Arena in 13 years. At the begining the singer sreamed “My fingers!” as he shoke his hands as through they were on fire. “They’re just ready to do something.” The material he played went surprisingly strong on old favorites. The hits were usually abbreviated, though: a sprinkle of “Purple Rain”here, a dash of “Little Red Corvette” there. Some of the pieced-together segments were show-stoppers in themselves – such as the set-closing medley of “Take Me With U” and “Raspberry Beret,” performed with the full Rupp house lights on. After the two-hour show, the singer attended an after-hours party at A1A Sandbar & Grille. It cost $15 to get in. For what? He showed at 12:45 a.m., entourage in tow, hunkered down in a dark corner, shook some hands, chatted with a few VIP ticket holders, drank something – possibly a Stoli Black Russian – and left after 15 minutes. Patrons were not happy. A1A general manager Greg Hardin was disappointed that The Artist’s appearance wasn’t more organized – it was arranged through his promoters. “They called me a week and a half ago, about an after-hours party,” Hardin said, “but they couldn’t tell me anything else.” They finally called at 1 p.m. the day of the show, and wouldn’t give any details other than “We’ll make it work,” Hardin said. “We acted like a host to the party. We had no control over how long he was here, what was being done, how much cover charge. We appreciated him doing it, but we weren’t very happy with the way it was organized. A lot of people didn’t see him – the fact that he’s so small and the security kind of covered him.” So, $15 a head for about 500 people – who took the door? The Artist’s charity, Love 4 One Another, Hardin said. “We didn’t get anything but the liquor sales.” In 2000 he went back to being called Prince. He died April 21, 2016 from an accidental overdose of a pain medication, fentanyl at his home in suburban Minneapolis. Photo by Mark Cornelison | Staff

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