Sheila E On The First Time She Met Prince, Playing On "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough" + More
Let’s be honest, this week has been owned by Prince since it started. From personal accounts by Chris Rock testifying to the best-ever status of Purple Rain to the duo taking over SNL this weekend, our friend up north has been on the move and dropping live tidbits to get our ears perked up for the madness that’s on its way. Today we have another account of the greatness that is The Purple One with a few early tales from his left-hand percussion lady Sheila E, delving into the first time she met the crazy-eyed performer; how she practically stalked him and lusted over him, before finding out that he was already well aware of who she was through her father Pete Escovedo‘s work and being called upon by Quincy Jones to record percussion on Michael Jackson‘s solo reboot “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.”
As she points out, though they met early in their respective careers (and were clearly quite smitten with one another) fate had other plans for them, eventually landing as the drummer and percussionist in The Revolution and having the entirety of her solo debut The Glamorous Life and parts of its follow-up Romance 1600 produced by the bite-sized phenom, which reared one of 1985’s unspoken heaters “Love Bizarre.” Head down below for some morsels from her piece, but be sure to hit the link for the full script.
On her infatuation with Prince, even before meeting him:
“Only the previous night, before falling asleep, I’d stared at his poster, gazing intently at his striking hazel-green eyes. And now those same eyes, decorated with more eyeliner than mine, were staring right through me. I’d always thought beauty was an attribute reserved for women, but he was proving me wrong. I’d never seen a man so beautiful.”
The first time seeing him play:
“Not only did he look totally different from how he’d looked at the Greek Theatre, but he looked totally different, period. His look was as unique as his music, and he was killing the stage.
Being recruited by Quincy Jones to perform on MJ’ “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” :
“When Quincy Jones called me in to provide percussion on a Michael Jackson song, “Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough,” which would soon be the number-one hit from his Off the Wall album, I contributed the distinctive percussive sound. It was the perfect song title for my pace at the time—I wasn’t stopping, and I was nowhere near getting enough.We were going after a particular sound on that number, and after trying various instruments I ended up putting water into a glass bottle. Once I’d pitched the key, I tapped it with the metal beater from my triangle. If you listen closely, you can hear that exact sound.”