Craig Allen’s ’80s Prince story
The summer of 1984 was a great one for music, movies...and a story that ties it all together.
"When Doves Cry" (#1 for 5 weeks) and "Let's Go Crazy" (#1 for 2 weeks) were climbing up the Hot 100 chart.
So, Prince Roger Nelson was all over the radio...and "Purple Rain" hadn't even happened yet.
Hot summer nights brought long lines at the air conditioned movie theaters.
1984 was a summer for "blockbusters"...now-iconic movies including: "Revenge Of The Nerds," "16 Candles," "The Karate Kid," "Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom," "Gremlins," Ghostbusters" and "Once Upon A Time In America."
My college summer job was cleaning schools. I was a summer janitor for a Central Jersey school district. To this day, I am great with a mop, and a floor buffer. And, I'll add that there was no air conditioning in the schools back then.
I'll take that back...the "Teacher's Lounge" had an air conditioner. That's where we took our breaks, and ate lunch. It was a welcome change from the sweltering Jersey heat and humidity.
My University of Wisconsin-Madison dorm roommate was from Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Of course, as we registered for classes in the last week of August, the conversation turned to "So what did you do this summer?"
Jeff worked as a ticket taker/usher at one of the big multi-screen cinemas in the Twin Cities. Yes, it was air conditioned.
Here's the story:
Jeff says: "You know that Prince is from the Twin Cities."
"Sure," I respond, not knowing at the time...
...that I would be playing Prince's "Greatest Hits" all of my professional career (to come).
"Sometimes, Prince shows up at the movies," Jeff says, matter-of-factly.
"And, he tries to cut the line," he adds with a grin.
"Really," I respond. Sometimes, I can be a (young) man of few words.
"All of us guys recognize him...and we throw him out," Jeff says with a laugh.
And, as the guy who is ruling the pop music charts and radio airwaves is headed back to the end of the line, he's heard saying: "Don't you know who I am? I'm Prince. I'm Prince!"
Yeah, the Minneapolis movie theater guys knew.
And, your friendly "Jersey Jock" remembers.
And shares this end-of-summer..."I'm Prince, I'm Prince"...story, that you won't find anywhere else, but nj1015.com.