If you have no motivation to at least peruse this, we weren’t meant to be friends.
I was hired by the Soho Weekly News to photograph him [PRINCE] at The Bottom Line. They said, ‘Yeah, there’s this new guy, there’s a lot of talk about it, he’s from Minnesota. We want you to get some concert shots. And we want you to ask to go backstage and see if you can get a photo.’ And I’m like, ‘I don’t do that.. I… I…. I…’ I was really shy.
So, I go make my way backstage, knock on the door. Introduce myself to the man who answers the door – big tall guy. I really quickly ask if I can get a portrait backstage of Prince. And the guy said, ‘Nah. Prince doesn’t do that.’ And then with great relief I was like, ‘Okay, thanks!’ and went running back to my [place in the pit]. I’m getting ready to shoot, and I feel a tap on my shoulder. That same man signals for me to follow him backstage and looks at me and says, ‘You were so nice about that, come on in and take a few pictures.’
I get in the room, it’s the two of us, it’s a really teeny tiny space. And I think after 12 shots, I didn’t know what the hell to do after that. I mean, really, what were Prince and I gonna talk about? After ‘Hi, how are you?’ What was there to say? He’s getting ready to go on stage for his first New York show, and I didn’t know what took over me but I just said, ‘Would you like to take a picture of me?’ So I now have a picture of me taken by Prince.
I didn’t know what the hell to do. I didn’t even finish one roll of film. Look at the picture of me, I’m just sitting like a dork smiling, and then there’s a picture of him all happy walking out the door.
You had to be pushy in that business to get your pictures. It was mostly men — there were a couple of us women, but it was a lot of men – and the last thing you could ever accuse me of was being pushy. To a fault. And I think [my manner] hit a nerve with him and I think he felt like doing something nice in turn. That was kind of always my experience. I was always polite."