When The Rolling Stones Fans Hurled Racist And Homophobic Slurs At Prince And Forced Him To Leave The Stage
There’s no better moment for rock fans to see two legendary artists sharing the same stage while touring and that’s exactly what happened when Prince was the opening act for the Rolling Stones in 1981 prior to his rose to immense fame. While Prince was the same iconic musician that he was during the concerts, he only managed to perform on several dates during the tour after being forced to leave the stage by homophobic audience members throwing trash at him.
After releasing his fourth studio album, ‘Controversy’ on October 14, 1981, Prince wasn’t the internationally famous rock star that he was to become yet, however, he caught the attention of the Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger who personally invited him to be the opening act for the band’s shows at The L.A. Coliseum in October 1981.
While many fans may think the concerts were a delight to watch, the audience actually booed and forced Prince to walk off stage because of his outfit that broke the boundaries of gender. Let’s take e closer look into one of the most homophobic incidents that took place in rock history.
Prince Was Kicked Out By The Rolling Stones Fans Because Of His Outfit
In order to promote his ‘Controversy’ album, Prince performed several dates for the Rolling Stones’ US tour as the band’s opening act in 1981. Due to the fact that he wasn’t the household rock icon that we all know now back then, Prince was mostly just an opening act for the Rolling Stones fans which caused a disastrous incident because of the never-ending homophobia as well.
Only after three shows, Prince took the stage with his gender-defying outfit that included a see-through trench coat, thigh-high boots, and black bikini brief in front of 90,000 people in the crowd at The L.A. Coliseum in October 1981 which must have been one of the most courageous move to make at that time.
While his bold fashion choices and gender-bending looks are some of the biggest reasons why his fans fell in love with Prince in the first place, homophobia never sleeps, therefore, his outfit bothered a number of fans in the crowd who begin to boo the legendary musician among throwing racist and homophobic slurs at him. In order to calm the audience, Prince decided to play more rock-style material such as ‘Bambi’ and ‘When You Were Mine,’ however, the crowd started to throw bottles and pretty much anything else on top of the endless verbal abuse.
After realizing that the horrible actions of a portion of the crowd weren’t going anywhere, Prince and his band left the stage allegedly in tears after being horribly treated as a human being that just didn’t fit in the norm of a heterosexual and cisgender male rock star. Following the incident, the musician decided to fly home to Minnesota and left his band in Los Angeles.
What Did Mick Jagger Say About The Incident?
Despite Mick Jagger convinced Prince to return for the second show and said to him he needs to grow a thicker skin to survive in the music industry, the musician experienced similar actions coming from the audience the second time around. Thanks to being prepared for the reaction, Prince made his piece with the prejudiced actions of the audience and ended his show with his song, ‘Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?’
During an interview in 1983, Mick Jagger opened up about the incident and stated that he talked to Prince on the phone in order to encourage him to do another show since he must mentally prepare himself against being thrown at with multiple objects by the crowd just as Jagger did due to the fact that this is how you become the main act in the music industry.
The Rolling Stones frontman’s statement during the interview follows:
“I talked to Prince on the phone once after he got two cans thrown at him in L.A. He said he didn’t want to do any more shows. God, I got thousands of bottles and cans thrown at me! Every kind of debris. I told him, if you get to be a really big headliner, you have to be prepared for people to throw bottles at you in the night.”
Fans couldn’t be happier that Mick Jagger supported Prince when it comes to his confidence at the beginning of his career and regardless of the fact that the musician wasn’t initially the confident, outstanding, and unapologetic star that he was, he managed to stick to his own guts, thus, became the rock icon that all of his fans admired until his passing on April 21, 2016, at the age of 57, due to an accidental fentanyl overdose.