I WISH U HEAVEN: my encounter with Prince

Back in 1999, while I was living in Spain, a hairdresser friend of mine arranged for me to go and do the make-up of one his clients, a woman called Olivia Valere, the grande dame of Marbella nightlife and owner of Marbella’s chicest nightclub. After I’d finished doing Olivia’s make-up she rang a friend of hers who’d only recently moved to the area to ask if she’d like me to go over to do her make-up too. So, Olivia’s chauffer drove me there and when I arrived a maid asked me to wait in the living-room. As I looked round at the décor – all white except for purple cushions embroidered with gold squiggles – it dawned on me whose house it was. A few minutes later, a stunning doll-like woman dressed in a black Chanel ballgown and the biggest diamond bracelets I’ve ever seen ran in and threw her arms around me. It was Mayte, Prince’s then-wife. She didn’t want her make-up done – she was already flawless – so we just hung out for a few minutes chatting. Then, a few minutes later I heard an echoing click-clack of heels then I suddenly found myself face-to-face with ‘The Artist Formerly Known As’ fully made-up and dressed in a white suit. He whispered something in Mayte’s ear. She said, “My husband asked me to ask you to tell him your name?” Carl, I replied, barely able to speak being such a HUGE fan. He whispered something else in Mayte’s ear. She said, “My husband says he’s pleased to meet you,” and with that Prince tottered away. So, Mayte invited me to be her chaperone that evening and off we went in Mayte’s pink convertible (I can’t recall what type of car it was) to Olivia’s nightclub. We danced and danced. She was adorable. After a few drinks I plucked up the nerve to tell her I was a massive fan of her husband’s and started to sing my favourite lines of my favourite Prince song ‘Adore’ from the ‘Sign ‘o’ the Times’ album. I said, “You’re so lucky having a husband who writes such beautiful music.” Giggling, waving her diamond-cuffed wrists in my face she replied, “And one who can afford to buy me these!” It might only have been a minute or so that I spent in his presence, but I never in my life dreamt that I would’ve ever had the opportunity to meet him…AND in his own home! Soon after that, Prince performed a concert in Marbella Bull Ring with the tickets priced ridiculously cheap. He told the audience that if everyone respected him and his wife’s privacy that there’d be many more concerts to come, and proceeded to play for three hours under a full moon. It is the most magical concert I have ever been to. Sadly, a few months later Mayte lost her baby and her and Prince split up, with Prince returning to live in the States. But that concert, dancing with Mayte and meeting Prince will stay with me forever. ‘Legend’ is a word too often abused but ‘legend’ isn’t a big enough word to describe Prince. I wish U heaven.