Ici il raconte que travailler pour Prince était (et doit toujours être) très difficile car il fallait réagir au quart de tour devant des situations imprévues...
"Don’t throw away those old tour books! On this date in 1987, Prince previewed our SIGN O’ THE TIMES tour with a un-announced gig at First Avenue in Minneapolis. It was one of those days when I’d get an early morning call, “Alan, can you meet at my house?”. That always meant something unusual….a spontaneous idea for a video, an idea to suspend rehearsals in exchange for an impromptu softball game (...“go buy a bunch of gloves and bats”) or, “Can we play First Avenue tonight?” Which then meant a call to the club, “what will it cost to buy out whatever u have scheduled tonight, the boss wants to play?” God bless 1st Avenue’s crusty manager, Steve McClellan…it always worked out. The tour only played Europe so the local fans got a rare treat."
Ne jetez pas vos vieux programmes de concerts! Ce jour précis en 1987, Prince testa son tour SIGN O' THE TIMES par un concert impromptu au First Avenue à Minneapolis. C'était un de ces jours qui commençait par un coup de fil super tôt le matin du genre : "Alan, peux-tu passer me voir à la maison?". Ça signifiait sans coup férir un évènement exceptionnel... Une idée soudaine pour une video, l'envie de suspendre des répétitions pour faire une partie de soft ball (un dérivé du baseball) (..."va acheter des gants et des battes") ou bien, "Est-ce qu'on peut jouer au First Avenue ce soir?". Ce qui voulait dire que je devais appeller le club, "combien çà va nous coûter de remplacer le show prévu ce soir, le boss veut jouer?". Que Dieu bénisse le manager du First Avenue, Steve McClellan... On a toujours réussi à s'arranger. Cette tournée ne se fit qu'en Europe alors les fans du coin ont pu assister ce soir là à un cadeau rare.
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Il y a de longs témoignage (en anglais) de Alan et son frère Eric à propos de la relation Prince/Miles Davis sur le site The last miles :
"On this date in 1983 my one and only tour with Kiss was winding down. We were at Universal Amphitheatre in L.A. - an important gig, critics and industry would turn out in droves. But I had another visitor backstage – an attractive blonde chick named Jamie Shoop. Shoop was there on behalf of Prince’s management to interview me for a suddenly vacant road manager position on Prince’s 1999 Tour. We t...alked a bit backstage and then Jamie drove me back to the Westwood Marquis in her (little) red corvette convertible by which time I was a lot more interested in working with her than any Prince! (Two days later I wrapped the Kiss gig in Phoenix and overnight jumped over to 1999 in San Diego – a gig that lasted ten years. Thank you Ms. Shoop!)"...
"For the record - The only reason Ms. Shoop was there to scout me was Mr. Marzullo's reference. For your information, Tom (Marzullo) was production manager for BOTH the Kiss and Prince tours! And I am now his official publicist, lol! But without Marzullo I would have never crossed any Paisley paths!"
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On this date in 1983 I walked up a ramp into the backstage area of the San Diego Sports Arena and officially joined Prince’s 1999 Tour. I didn’t know a soul except production manager Tom Marzullo. Before I could find Tom (I was really trying to catch a glimpse of Vanity 6!), the first people I encountered, lounging atop some road cases, were tour promoters Quentin Perry, Jeff Sharp and Billy Spark...s. They gazed at me like I was from the I.R.S. I was wearing a dark suit and tie, the required garb from a Kiss tour I had just finished. I explained who I was and their looks grew even more skeptical. It was definitely a “how long is this clown gonna last” moment, on a tour that had already eaten up and spit out a couple road managers. There’s more of this tale in the current issue of WAXPOETICS but suffice it to say I quickly bought some sweats!
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APRIL 7 – On this date in 1985 we wrapped up the 6 month Purple Rain tour at the old Orange Bowl in Miami, the only outdoor gig on the entire tour. It happened to fall on Easter Sunday, a coincidence not lost on Southern Florida Evangelicals who, in the name of Darling Nikki’s pleasure habits decided to noisily protest the show! City officials refused their petition to cancel our permits so they ...were limited to picketing outside the stadium. Nobody paid them any attention, nothing was about to break our purple Easter egg! Nothing except the torrential rain that ended just hours before show time. The clouds quickly gave way to a gorgeous evening but the damp grounds threw us an unexpected curveball. Around the middle of the show production manager Tom Marzullo excitedly grabbed me and said, “we gotta cut the encore short tonight. He can’t stay out there much longer.” Not what anyone wants to hear at a tour finale for an artist who loves extended encores. I assumed Tom was worried about a possible curfew violation so I cut him short and snapped, “I don’t care what it costs. Let him play all night!”. Then he pointed to the legs of the stage, braced by a labyrinth of steel. The wet, soft ground was slowly swallowing up the sinking stage like it was quicksand. Worse yet, one side of the huge stage was sinking faster than the other so things were getting a bit uneven on deck. We nervously finished the show. But, in the end, it can be said that the seemingly never-ending Purple Rain tour was relegated to unceremoniously sinking away.
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APRIL 9 – On this date in 1985, I Fred Astaired my way (IE: Flying Down To Rio) to Brazil. Prince manager Steven Fargnoli had suggested a post Purple Rain tour “vacation”, (a word I soon learned Prince simply could not understand.) We reserved the entire top floor of the Cesar Park Hotel on Copacabana Beach, conveniently designed for 8 suites and rooms – exactly what our entourage required. A loca...l security would be posted at the elevator 24 hours a day to keep the floor private. Prince’s chef, Rande Laiderman, and I advanced the group by a day to prep everything. I quickly learned the advantages of being “hooked up” in a 3rd World country – we were met at the arrival gate by a our local record company rep and some uniformed officials who quickly escorted us to an elevator and down to waiting cars where they would soon load our luggage. No passports, no immigration – plane to car! Our escort suggested a stop on the way to our hotel where he quickly acquainted us with unbelievably affordable rock and roll style recreational sustenance – and I don’t mean rum. I couldn’t avoid staring at the squalid favelas en route to the hotel but I was conversely fixated on a source of Brazilian pride, the female derriere. Just a breath of Rio’s air was a Viagra precursor and every woman visible from the car was stunning. More about this trip in a couple days but suffice it to say, in less than an hour I found Rio truly bootyfull. I couldn’t wait for Prince to get there. I just knew we were in for a week to remember (be careful what you wish for).
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A lire absolument... Trop drôle...
APRIL 11 – Gotta start by pointing out that on this date in 1956 a 23 year old vocalist and his group from Georgia made their debut on the national charts with a record called “Please, Please, Please”. This weekend in Cleveland, James Brown’s Famous Flames – Bobby Byrd, Bobby Bennett, Baby Lloyd Stallworth and Johnny Terry, will at long last join him as inductees in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. Hooray!!
On this date in 1985 the entourage of another hall of famer was up early and hit the beach – Copacabana Beach in Rio – manager Steve Fargnoli, body guard Bill Snouffer, chef Rande Laiderman, myself and Prince homies Jerome Benton & Wally Safford. Where was Prince? Across the street, in the hotel and fast asleep. Sleep on the first day in Rio?? Finally around noon, our pre-cell phone walkie talkies crackled and a small voice squeaked, “where is everyone?”. Rande and I volunteered to fetch him from his suite where he was ready to hit the sands – in silk pajamas and high heel boots! Is this how they beach at Lake Minnetonka?? We ignored the pj’s and said, “Prince, you can’t go down there in boots. You’ll twist an ankle in the sand.” Rande then pulled out sandals and various beach wear she had bought him for the occasion. He looked at it and turned up his nose. “I’m supposed to look like this?”. Rather than try to convince him he’d be okay on a beach in shorts, tee shirt and sandals, I chose another approach. “You don’t want to be recognized and spoil the chance at some fun, so for once dress to blend in with us regular folk.” He reluctantly bought it…trunks and t shirt went on under his clothes - all except the sandals. So we went trudging through the lobby and across the street where he dejectedly swapped his boots for flip flops before stepping in the sand. We had picked up a bunch of body boards and Jerome and Wally were already off eagerly riding waves. After about fifteen minutes of sitting around ("Do I need sun screen on all my exposed areas?"), Prince finally asked about the water. Would the salt hurt his eyes? Were the waves safe? We explained that we’d been warned about serious under-tow but that it just meant being careful. Finally Prince rose and we cautiously made our way towards the water. Then he turned and asked if my then teenaged son Tristan had ever been to the ocean. I said, “sure, in fact just a couple days ago we hit the beach in Miami”. Prince looked impressed. It was the “aha moment”. Suddenly I got it. He had never been to a beach…at least not an ocean! He had reverted to a little boy, intimidated by nature’s vastness (not to mention petrified at the prospect of being viewed as an ill at ease novice). I didn’t say word, just led the way. I grabbed a board and dove head first into the robust waves. He hesitated……went in gingerly. Then the man took over from the boy and he got bolder. Long and short of it is that it turned out he was a decent swimmer and he had a ball. In fact we had to really watch him from getting caught in the under-tow….at one point he had drifted so far down the beach he was almost out of view. At the end of the day he was the last one out of the water.
The next morning he knocked on my door surprisingly early and asked what we had planned. I told him we could spend the morning back at the beach and then do some sight-seeing. He curtly said, “we did that already. Can we get a flight back home?”
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Alan Leeds annonce la sortie prochaine de son livre! Enfin disons qu'il l'a terminé!
Mais vu l'intérêt d'un type qui a côtoyé James Brown & Prince au sommet de leurs carrières respectives, trouver un éditeur ne devrait être qu'une partie de plaisir!
Voilà sa déclaration sur le sujet :
I won! All bets are off. I actually finished my book (20 years in the making, lol) before D'Angelo wrapped his album! Stay tuned..............
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