A Mere Two Feet Away

Dakota Jazz Club, Minneapolis
January 18, 2013

“I was very lucky to score a ticket to the 11pm show at the intimate Dakota Jazz Club for a show called “Surprise”. I was to learn this was the night Prince would debut his new band 3rdEyeGirl. Getting there early I was among the first five people let into the venue and found myself practically standing on the small foot-high stage, lit only by candles. We all kept pinching ourselves – was Prince really going to be performing a mere two feet away?

When Prince emerged and began with Endorphinmachine, I was blown away! I was eye-to-eye with his guitar neck; if I had extended my arm I would have touched him. He was the most beautiful man I have ever seen, with an infectious smile and sparkling eyes. I could hear his voice before it hit the mic, incredibly pure – from his perfect falsetto to rumbling bass to seductive whispers. His guitar playing was electric genius as I watched his fingers bend the strings with blinding speed. And then he decides to change guitars, looks at me standing inches away, and tenderly hands me his next guitar to hold while he attaches the strap and amp cord, brushing his hand against mine. I cannot believe this is happening! I hand it back, he thanks me, and launches into Purple Rain. We all lean in and sing along with him and to all of the songs that followed, as he shares the mic with us. It felt like we were in someone’s living room jamming with friends.

Then, I meet the real Prince – he sets down his guitar at my feet and applies a spray lubricant, mist billowing in my face. Looking at me and the girl next to me, he says “Y’all be careful – this stuff is poisonous!”, then laughs as we jump back, and chuckles “Just kidding!” From then on, it’s a joke between us – he periodically pretends to spray me in the face. Later, as he leaves the stage, he turns to me and says, “Don’t let anybody touch my guitar while I’m gone”. “Don’t worry, it’s safe with me!” I reply, and he laughs. When he returns for an encore, he’s wearing a kid’s winter hat with a large stuffed toy lion head on top and huge paws hanging by his face. He was so funny, so charming, so fun loving and happy to spend the night with us. That night, Prince went from being a ‘celebrity’ to being a real person to me.”

Kathy Holzer