Prince’s close circle of friends is sharing their thoughts on what led to his death. We all know that Prince died from an accidental overdose on the synthetic opioid Fentanyl in 2016, but the original reason will surprise you.
The insiders speak out in a new book called Nothing Compares 2 U: A Oral History of Prince.
Early excerpts from friends and bandmates suggest that the Purple One was supposed perform in a bathtub, as per the When Doves Cry music clip (above), for his Purple Rain tour. Only the tub was suspended 10ft above the ground. His tour manager Alan Leeds recalls that things went horribly wrong during a rehearsal for the amazing stunt.
“[The bathtub] fell 10 to 12 feet with him in. I have never seen him move so fast in my entire life.”
It’s so scary!
The musician was not in any serious danger, but the pains he suffered would last a lifetime.
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“His back started to hurt every day after that. In Los Angeles, he fell and injured his knee. He received some medication and completed the tour. However, I don’t believe his hip or leg were ever fully normal after that.
Many believe that these minor injuries were the catalyst for Prince’s addiction to pain pills, the one that ultimately killed him.
It is a sad, but great irony that this happened after years of being strictly antidrug. The 1999 singer rose to fame despite having a bad reputation as a goody two shoes, or as his cousin Pepe willie put it:
“He wasn’t hip at all.” Prince was square.”
Ha! We wouldn’t put it like that. He did, however, hate drugs.
The “Godfather” of the Minneapolis Sound, the legendary singer, was adamant that he hated it when others in his circle drank, even as a young adult.
“We would go outside, smoke a pipe, and then come back upstairs. He goes, ‘Oohhhh!, oooooohhh, look at me! Your eyes are red! You are red!
According to another friend’s memory, it seems like the rockstar had a good reason for being so cautious about drugs — he’d been on a horrible trip once! The story is told by Morris Day, lead singer for The Time and co-star in the movie Purple Rain.
“I bought some mushrooms, and we both tried them. We went to a club, and the dude starts panicking. The next thing I know, he is on the ground, his head in his hands, and he is tripping like he is playing mind games with me. He was like, “I’m not never doing that s**t again with you.”
LOLz! I love that he knew his limits!
He knew exactly what he needed in order to spend all night making music in the studio. Prince preferred a sugar high to get high. Susannah Melvoin (his former fiancee and vocalist in many bands), says that Prince loved desserts.
“He loved cake during marathon sessions.” He loved, loved and loved cake, especially vanilla with chocolate frosting.
HAH! It’s so cute! Susannah added:
“I would make that for him every day and that would keep him going. He would get up from the studio, take another slice, and then go back down. He kept going like that.”
Prince Rogers Nelson was a music icon who disliked drugs so much that he allegedly dumped his girlfriend Vanity for her love of getting high. Leeds says that everyone in his circle had the choice of staying sober or getting out.
“If he saw two crew men in a corner that looked suspicious, he would have me check it.” He was borderline paranoid about anyone who was into drugs.
You’re probably aware that the dude was very passionate about narcotics, which is why his death is so tragic. According to Jill Jones, his ex-girlfriend and background singer, the Minneapolis-born artist believed to have taken ecstasy or hallucinogens after the failure of Lovesexy’s 1988 album Lovesexy.
“He began using hallucinogens together with Ingrid Chavez, his then-girlfriend, and all these other people. Looking back now, that’s a red signal.”
The author of the book claimed that Prince made the last-minute decision to release Lovesexy over The Black Album. He had a “bad feeling about” it while under the influence. It would be released in 1994. The writer believes that Prince’s drug addiction and dislike for doctors had a significant impact on his decisions.
The piano player confronted the actor of Under the Cherry Moon after he began to experiment with drugs.
“Hey man! I don’t mean no problems, but you’ve been really weird and acting really outlandish lately. According to the streets, you are experimenting with drugs.
Morris claims that his boss replied:
“Aw, man. I’m not doing that. I’m not working, I’m doing stuff. It’s nothing like this. It’s cool.”
After failing to show up for rehearsal, the musician vanished for a week. He disappeared for seven days, and no one heard from him. When he returned, he surprised everyone by saying that he had gone seven days without writing or playing the guitar. According to Prince, he told his bandmate:
“I took some time for lying about and it was kind of cool out. I appreciate your coming in here to say something.”
Hayes was even more concerned by this interaction. He reflects:
“It was a huge deal that he didn’t play or write for a whole day. I have never seen Prince do anything musical for more than a day. I was like, “Well, what did he do?” We didn’t hear anything from him, and no one in the band did. I don’t know what he could have done other than to go somewhere where he was alone. I believe he went to rehab. I hope he went rehab. I believe he was struggling with an issue. I hope he went to rehab.
It has not been proven that he went to rehab. Unfortunately, things didn’t change much after the break, regardless of whether he sought professional assistance.
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As his final days approached, he was unaware of the severity of his condition and remained dependent on opiates. Wendy Melvin, Susannah’s twin sister, writes:
“I believe that his drug addiction was the thing that controlled him.”
She agrees with others that the drug addiction was a failed attempt to keep his “aches & pains” at bay.
“His use pain pills probably lasted longer than we thought. He relied on them when he began to feel aches and pains. He was very young. It just got worse over time, I think.”
Mark Brown (also known as Brown Mark), bassist of The Revolution, adds:
“I believe that the whole fentanyl issue was just him trying to escape pain from his hip and it got outof hand.”
Mark recalls the early mistakes of Prince’s career and adds:
“[He] needed] something to take away that pain, but then it got so bad that the addiction settled in. But he’s keeping it secret because the one thing he lived by was, “Never let anyone see you sweat.”
Prince, who was just 57 years old, died on April 21, 2016. Wendy says that Prince weighed in the neighborhood of 145 pounds when he was healthy but was only 107 when he died. She also recalls that he was found dead in a building with “thousands” of pills.
The author concluded that Prince’s death was not the result of a rock star going rogue but rather a sad reality for many people in the country.
He wasn’t doing drugs like a hedonistic rockstar. He was using drugs like many working-class Americans, who need pills to help them get through the day and be able to show up for their families.
Wow! This is a very important lesson. Prince may have had one of the most prominent lives, but ultimately the thing that took him away was the same struggle that hundreds upon hundreds of people face.
Thoughts, Perezcious readers! What do you think? Comment below to let us know. Nothing Compares 2U: An Oral History of Prince can be found in bookstores all over the world.
For confidential and free treatment referrals and information from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), call 1-800-622-4357 if you or someone you know is suffering from an addiction.
[Image via Prince/YouTube]
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August 26, 2021, 11:00 AM PDT