On Feb. 4, 2007, Prince took the stage at Dolphin Stadium for what would become remembered as one of the greatest Super Bowl halftime shows ever.
“There was a feeling that nobody knew what surprise this sexy MF would bust out next,” writes Rolling Stone. “At a high-profile event like the Super Bowl, it was a historic blast of rock & roll arrogance. Total mastery. Total cool.”
“He went We Will Rock You < Let's Go Crazy < Baby I'm A Star < Proud Mary < All Along the Watchtower < Best of You < Purple Rain for his set," notes Fox Sports. “That’s a Queen cover, Tina Turner cover, Bob Dylan cover, an odd Foo Fighters cover and three songs from his masterwork, Purple Rain. Game, blouses.”
Keyboardist Morris Hayes recalls that day, in a reminisce published in Billboard. “It was raining when it was time to go on,” Hayes remembers, “but it wasn’t raining hard enough to stop us. The producer asked if we were okay, and Prince was like, ‘Can you make it rain harder?'”
The most infamous moment in the set was the fabric silhouette, in which Prince held his guitar in a manner that suggested…well, you know.
“Did he plan the silhouette?” Hayes writes. “Well, this is the kind of thing Prince would do: One time we were talking about [Prince’s show-stealing guitar solo at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony], and he told me, ‘I went easy on ’em in the rehearsal, but I figured when the show came, I was gonna let ’em have it!’ He did that a lot: ‘I’m not gonna let ’em see everything I’ve got.’ And I’m sure he said in his mind, ‘When they put up the silhouette, I’mma have somethin’ for ’em!'”
After triumphing through the rain, that was it for the band’s instruments. “Oddly enough, everything worked until the show was over — and then, once we turned [the instruments] off, they wouldn’t turn back on again. They were dead. We autographed them and auctioned them off to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.”
The NFL has now published a video of the halftime show, so you can revisit the performance in all its glory (with some rude interruptions by sources reminiscing about that day). This year’s Super Bowl is in Texas, and a lawmaker has introduced a resolution commemorating the anniversary.
Next year, of course, hometown fans will be remembering Prince as well. “It’s really too bad he’s not around,” muses Hayes. “In 2018 the Super Bowl is going to be in Minneapolis. It would have been amazing to see him back in his hometown.”
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