Prince Got Creepy With Hair Metal Legend


Steve Lukather recently recalled how Prince once creeped him out with his eccentric behavior during their first meeting. He noted how the music icon kept giving him the cold shoulder the next few times they met.

Steve Lukather opens up on the matter

Steve Lukather has had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with many of rock’s mythical figures. However, he still remembers meeting Prince as a particularly unusual experience.

During a recent chat with producer Drew Dempsey, Sunset Sound Recorders owner and president Paul Camarata, and legendary producer and recording engineer Niko Bolas at the iconic LA recording studio, Lukather recalled how Prince creeped him out when they first met around 1978.

It has been noted that at the time, Lukather was brought in to play on Valerie Carter’s sophomore LP “Wild Child”, and producer James Newtown Howard told him that the company had flown in this kid going under the name of Prince, He was newly discovered by the Cavallo-Ruffalo agent company, and that the powers that be wanted the kid to co-produce the record.

Lukather recalled Howard telling him not to sweat it, and that the kid was just going to “hang out a little bit”. The guitarist went on (transcription via Music Radar):

“I didn’t know Prince, so I go in, and the first thing hear is someone’s called Prince. ‘That’s his name!? Did he give that to himself?’ I’m just being a smart-ass. I didn’t know nothing about this guy! Prince, huh? So, anyway, he’s there, and he’s just this quiet, skinny little dude.”

As Lukather recalls, Prince remained quiet throughout the day. The only time he saw Prince make a reaction was when His Royal Badness poked up his head from a couch he had been laying on while Lukather recorded a solo. He continued:

“I said to James, ‘What’s wrong with this cat!? He’s creeping me out!’ He never said a freakin’ word to me. That was the first Prince encounter. I’m playing all day long and the cat never said nothing to me. he would just occasionally stare at me in a really odd way. Then he becomes Prince.”

The second time they crossed paths happened in a studio where Prince was mixing his iconic “Purple Rain”:

“It was like 10 in the morning. I was here for a tracking session for somebody – I forget who it was – and he was sitting on that purple bike, that was in the movie, in a silver lamé suit, sitting on it!

“He had this huge bodyguard, with the white hair. The cat was on the bike. I see him and say, ‘Hey, man!’ He goes [nods]. I got a little ‘uhh’. I am a big fan. Let me just say, as a musician… But he wouldn’t talk to me, man, and it lasted a long time!”

Many years later, they met yet again – only that time, Lukather had the upper hand:

“We did a show in Curacao, the North Sea Jazz Curacao, and we were headlining one night and Prince was headlining one night. We were there the night before. I knew we were going to this island, so six months prior I had booked the biggest suite overlooking the ocean, because it was a vacation I’m going to hang here and I want the nicest room they got. [It’s] my dime!

“Well, apparently Prince wanted that room, and I already had it, and he was pissed. I was right above him. I wanted to go see the show and he wouldn’t let us come on the stage and see the show. And our tour manager at the time used to work for Prince. I found it humorous. I was going to drop down a little rubber duck with sign on it saying, ‘Hey, man, are we cool?'”