No, the gossip was about the entertainer's entourage taking over Chapel, Capitol Hill's classiest, swankiest restaurant/watering hole, after those August 30 and 31 dates, inviting name celebrities to bask in his presence, and then reportedly spending the little time he had in the vicinity of that beautifully adorned venue in his limo.
From all accounts, this much is clear: After scoping various Seattle nightspots (including a bar in Wallingford that called The Stranger to report the possibility of its hosting a Prince afterparty), Prince's people settled on Chapel. Two pool tables were carted into the bar, as well as an entertainment system (Chapel owner Jeff Jenness says the video equipment was set up because Prince "likes to view his show and critique it"), and the venue staff did its damnedest to make the gorgeous space shine.
The problem was, Prince's parties never included Prince himself. Local DJs hired to spin those nights reported that only his entourage showed up Monday. Tuesday night the Prince camp requested invitations to the private Chapel event be sent to the Cure, who were playing the Everett Events Center that night, and to members of Pearl Jam. Those present say the Cure never showed, but the gracious Eddie Vedder (a notorious homebody due to his new baby) made the trek out, only to be stood up by his host (I heard the running joke that night was that Prince was concerned Vedder might be the taller of the two). Prince was reportedly in that area, though. "Prince did come after his concert and he gave pretty short notice of his arrival, so we basically just cleared the space for him to have a party," says Jenness. "But he really just wanted to have a very small, intimate party with people he was with. So he basically hung out in the portico in his limousine and had dinner."
Trying to figure out if this princely behavior--standing up honorable people you've invited and all--was par for the course with Prince, I called a music authority from Prince's Minneapolis HQ, City Pages senior arts and music editor Melissa Maerz, who also happens to be my snappy younger sister. "He has a reputation for being a total control freak in a really bizarre way," she told me. "He also has a list of blacklisted journalists who are not to be invited when he has a press junket--a number of whom have been called back [by Prince] and given a little 'talking to.' It just shows how controlling he is." Stay tuned: Word has it the Lavender Royalty may be swinging back through town again soon. Let's hope he'll make his future playdates.
On to more Northwest-appropriate behavior: This weekend (September 10-12) marks the first annual Yeah! Fest! at the Eagles Hall in downtown Olympia. For three days and nights, the legendary building that once housed shows by the Kingsmen and the Wailers will play home to a top-shelf list of performers like the Hunches, Glass Candy, Mecca Normal, Scream Club, Xiu Xiu, Numbers, the Gossip, the Decemberists, Calvin Johnson, Shoplifting (who had all their drum and guitar gear lifted from their van in Queens last week), the Legend! (former Stranger music editor Everett True), and a final show for Kill Rock Stars favorites the Bangs, among others--60 bands in all. Says Bangs member/Yeah! Fest!'s Maggie Vail of the event, "It's mostly bands we like that are dedicated to getting the word out about voting. We also wanted to focus on local bands. Olympia has a lot going on these days." Adds Kill Rock Stars' Slim Moon, "We wanted to have something positive and upbeat because it is easy to get down in the dumps about things that are happening in America and in the world right now." With various bands playing every 20 minutes across three floors from early afternoon to early morning, Yeah! Fest is one of the NW's heftiest, coolest ideas for a fall jam. For more info, visit www.killrockstars.com/yeah/.
Congrats of the week: to KEXP DJ John Richards and his wife, Tiffany, whose baby boy, Arlie, was born last week to two very proud parents; to the Intelligence for signing to In the Red, and to Invisible Eyes for signing to Bomp! Records.