Private Prince

It was 10 o’clock Friday night and I was at my “herbalist”?’s house, shooting the proverbial shit and blowing smoke rings, when my boyfriend rang me on my cell.

“Prince is playing an invite-only show at the Roosevelt. Wanna go?”

Next thing I knew, I was fidgeting in a star-studded line on Hollywood Boulevard waiting to gain entrance, when our friend Andrew turned an accusing eye on me.

“Wait a minute,” he said. “Didn’t you get in a fight with Amanda at the Teen Vogue party?”

He was talking about Amanda Scheer-Demme, matriarch of the Roosevelt’s four bar/clubs. “No!” I countered, still a bit shaken from my encounter with the promoter/music supervisor/scary person. “She got in a fight with me!”

“We’re fucked! She’s never gonna let us in!”

“Calm down. I hardly think it was a memorable moment for her.”

Andrew, his girlfriend, Joey, and my guy all looked at me sideways, clearly wishing they’d never asked me along on this last-minute adventure.

I yanked off my glasses and shoved them in my pocket.

“Satisfied?”

Then Andrew’s friend the bouncer pulled back the rope and we rushed inside to join the hip and the underdressed to see his diminutive highness do his thing.

The lobby of the Roosevelt looked like a who’s who of celeb-obsessed gossip rags, bustling with It girls and hipsters dressed to the designer nines, all posing and jittering with pre-Prince-performance excitement.

By the time we made our way to the carpeted ballroom-turned-concert-venue, Prince was onstage wearing an orange suit, a black do-rag and a smear of fairly well-matching foundation. He simultaneously mugged and jammed on his electric guitar along with his new protégée, Tamar, an energetic and perspiring woman with an amazing voice and enviable stamina. Tamar sang her guts out to the tunes of Fleetwood Mac, the Beatles, Gwen Stefani and AC/DC while a pair of leggy identical twins bounced in enthusiastic and well-choreographed synchronicity behind her.

At one point, Prince invited members of the audience onstage. Within minutes, a sea of beaming faces cluttered the stage, dancing and whooping it up.

Actress Daisy McCrackin stomped over to our little camp near the front, where we were doing our own share of shimmying.

“I want to hear ‘Purple Raaaaaiiiiinnnnn,’?” she whined.

“Me too,” drawled the absurdly endowed woman to our left who wore chain mail and a denim mini.

But it was all covers all the time until the encore, when Prince — the man we’d come to see, the rock star, the icon — strummed a few licks on his guitar and Daisy was all smiles.

“He heard me,” the fiery little redhead squealed.

And as Prince sang an abridged version of “Purple Rain” with a verse of “Let’s Go Crazy” tacked on at the end, the entire audience, even that saucy little brunette from The OC, and Zach Braff, and Joey Lauren Adams, and even Jeremy Piven (infinitely cuter sans wig) went wild.

—Dani Katz

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