Prince was never a regular guy. The singer, songwriter and expert performer was a talent like no other. While, of course, he possessed a great deal of God-given talent, much of his expertise came through that simplest of things. Practice.
We’re dipping into the Far Out Magazine vault to bring you some candid footage of the enigmatic singer rehearsing with his band The Revolution back in 1984. The group were getting ready for a show-stopping performance at Prince’s 26th birthday party.
Prince’s performances, as equally varied as they are vibrant, were always underpinned by extravagance. An extravagance of sound, of visual delight and of performing prowess. With a birthday party planned at Minneapolis’ iconic First Avenue, The Purple One would not let his audience down.
Unfortunately, the audio of the event has been pulled down from YouTube and other streaming platforms as quickly as they have gone up. But we do have one thing to marvel at and that’s the rehearsal footage which has over an hour of Prince perfecting his craft.
The footage, taken from a security camera, sees Prince and The Revolution working through some of the songs that they would perform that evening on June 7th, 1984. With the setting a perfectly shoddy warehouse in the bowels of Minneapolis, it works as the perfect juxtaposition for Prince’s glittering moves.
The sound quality is relatively pristine and allows us to hear some rougher cuts of ‘Irresistible Bitch,’ ‘Erotic City,’ ‘Roadhouse Garden’ and so many more, as the footage stretches out for over an hour. The rehearsals may have been blessed with some epic dance moves and guaranteed dancefloor fillers, but it was the meticulous practice that we found most interesting.
That’s because, underneath it all, Prince was a perfectionist. The singer may have had all the flamboyance of an R&B Bowie, but like the Starman, Prince was a dedicated craftsman. He worked tirelessly on his act so that on the night it looked effortless, like an extension of his exuberant personality.
It paid off too. As well as delivering perhaps one of his most outstanding performances at his birthday party in First Avenue, Prince’s style would translate across every media option. Through his videos he was enacting his artistic vision, he had already created a feature-length film, his records were selling like proverbial hotcakes and none of it would have been possible without Prince Rogers Nelson dedication to his craft.
Below, we take a look at Prince and The Revolution’s candid rehearsal footage as they prepare for The Purple One’s birthday party.