Justin Thomas Photography

Prince

 Prince

The Lyceum Ballroom, The Strand, London - 2/6/1981


I’d gone to The Lyceum to photograph someone called Prince. All I knew about him was that he was an American artist and this was his first London show. When he came on, I remember all the photographers in the pit looking at one another and saying ’WTF!’. This diminutive figure came on in a dirty old man’s raincoat with a ’rude boy’ badge on it, black stockings, black panties and high heels in different colours. When I turned round the audience were going mental before he’d played a note, and then when he did, I understood why! Prince is an extraordinary talent. I’ve seen most of his tours and lots of his legendary ’after show’ gigs, my favourite being at Les Bains Douches in Paris when he came on at 4am and played til 7am for 150 people.

Absolute genius!

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