When Night Ranger “pissed the shit out” of Prince at the AMAs
At the height of his career, Prince was known to have strict rules about how he interacted with others. In early 1985, Night Ranger managed to break them all down.
“We’re at the American Music Awards, with Dick Clark – he asked us to be album of the year presenters,” Night Ranger frontman Jack Blades told UCR. “We thought, ‘Okay, that’s gonna be Purple rain. ‘”
Blades wasn’t the only one who thought Prince would take top honors. A week before the event, Purple One management sent a letter to the Night Ranger team, advising them on how to proceed when presenting the award to Prince.
“We understand that Jack Blades and [drummer] Kelly Keagy will host Album of the Year and the possibility that Prince’s Purple rain will be this record is very high, ”recalls Blades. “We want to inform you that Jack Blades or Kelly Keagy are not to speak to Prince or touch or recognize Prince in any way.”
The instructions elicited a strong response from Blades.
“You tell someone like me something like that [and I immediately want to break all of those rules]», Admits the rocker.
At the awards show, the Night Ranger duo were seated directly behind Prince and immediately decided to interact with him as often as possible.
“Every time someone won something, I would lean over and pat them on the shoulder, ‘Prince, can you believe that, man?’,” Blades recalls. “He turns around and looks at us. Amazing, man! ‘ We pat him on the back and everything. [Laughs] I’m sure I’m just pissing him off! “
The Night Ranger guys continued to ignore the rules when presenting Album of the Year.
“We go on stage and we give the prize. Of course he won. Purple rain, of course, won, ”says Blades. ” He climbs. We’re not supposed to say anything. I handed the thing to him and said, “Here we go, Prince, man!” Good work! What do you think?’ We just started talking to him and it must have pissed off those guys. But yeah, it was pretty funny.
Watch Night Ranger present Prince Album of the Year at the 1985 American Music Awards
While some performers may have been intimidated by Prince and his entourage, Blades insists he was never worried about receiving a flashback for their actions.
“What are they going to say? “We’re going to arrest you for touching Prince!” He laughs. “” You’ll never tour with Prince again. Anyway, we never toured with him. What difference does it make? “
Decades later, the group crossed paths with Prince again, this time at the Pollstar Awards where Night Ranger was present again. “I said, ‘Prince, man. It’s crazy, 20 years ago we gave you the Best Album award at the American Music Awards, ”Blades recalls.
“’Here we are … 20 years later. Twenty years have passed and you get the award for the best tour. He turned to me and said, ‘Yeah, man, sometimes I feel like it’s been 20 days, right?’ I went, ‘You know what? You are right.’ I thought it was beautiful.
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