Manhattan club king remembers 'secret' Prince show
Actor and nightclub associate Wass Stevens reveals that Prince gave one “secret” show in Manhattan before he died in April — and no one who was there will ever forget it.
“Nobody knows this,” he told us at the premiere of ‘The Hollars” at the Cinepolis Chelsea theater on W. 23rd St. “Prince performed a month before he passed at Avenue and I went in to watch the show. I’m a huge fan of Prince’s since I was in college.”
Stevens, who’s a partner in the hospitality group that includes Chelsea boites Marquee and Avenue, sometimes works as a doorman at the latter, which is relatively intimate and exclusive. He’s also appeared in films including “The Wrestler” and “World Trade Center.” It says something when he’s left starstruck.
“(Prince) walked up the runway — you know how we have that walkway to go up to the mezzanine?” Stevens recalled. “He came and was singing three feet away from me.”
Stevens said there was no indication that the legendary “1999” singer was weeks from being found dead in his Minneapolis mansion.
“He didn’t seem ill,” Stevens said. “He played for two hours. He sang his ass off. He played every instrument. He sang everything. He sang all his old-school stuff. He sang all his new-school stuff.”
Stevens says that Prince even had the energy to keep up with not one but two dates.
Wass Stevens was starstruck by Prince’s secret show in Manhattan.
(Andy Kropa/Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)
“He was running back and forth with his — he always runs around with two women,” he said.
Stevens says that honoring His Purple Majesty’s wishes was part of the deal before the secret performance.
“He was really nice. The only rule was, no one was allowed to record, film or photograph. And no one was allowed to talk to him or look at him,” Stevens says, adding that Prince was apologetic about the terms he apparently set.
“Every time he would walk in and out, (he’d say), ‘Sorry, boys. Sorry guys. Sorry. I know I’m being a pain in the ass,’” Stevens said. But no one seemed to mind at all.
“Being a pain in the ass?” Stevens marveled. “It’s your show, man.”
With Jeffrey Slonim