…or, if you prefer, proof that even the all-time greats can make spelling mistakes. The Milwaukee Record’s Justin Kern retells the tale of former acquaintance Joan, who during her tenure at the offices of a Los Angeles-based law firm during the early 1980’s, had a rather unique brush with fame :
Joan had a hot car and cool attitude and expensive shades. She was a young badass working in music, which she adored. Joan really dug Prince, especially those first hits. So, professional courtesy was one thing, but if there were a chance to meet Prince, she would take it. Further, she had a teen niece back here in Milwaukee who counted “The Artist Then Currently Known As Prince” as her fav. Joan was already the cool aunt for living in Los Angeles, in every way different than Milwaukee. Giving her niece a document of this cool via Prince himself meant a teenage lifetime of adulation and appreciation.
As Joan told it, Prince came to the office with his team of suits. Everything on the paperwork side of things was quick and orderly. Then, with it all wrapped up, Joan slid next to Prince and pulled out a copy of his 1979 self-titled album. She said he was sweet but brief. She introduced herself, then asked, “My teenage niece, Darlene, loves you. Can you sign a record for me to send to her? Can you write, ‘Darlene, Stay Sweet—Prince’?” She said Prince was courteous—”from the Midwest,” as she explained it to me—and quickly scribbled on the album, writing a nicety on a mass produced picture of his own face. Joan thanked him, and the parties parted, this time without any party. Joan said she mailed it out that day in the hurried splendor of a surprise gift given. She made no mention of his outfit or height, nor of his legal team’s possible use of dyed-purple giraffe blood.
A few weeks went by when Joan got a call at her office desk from her brother. He had finally wrestled the Prince LP from his teenager daughter’s hands and got a look-see at the famous autograph. Prince wrote what? The eyes of a father of a teenage girl do not miss such things. From Milwaukee, he called his hot-shot L.A. sister to complain.
“Joan, you idiot, did you read this before you sent it?” the brother yelled. “He wrote, ‘Darlene, Stay Wet—Prince.’”