The Night Prince Crashed an FPD Prom in Macon
Brad Evans talks with Dave Rozier about the night Prince crashed an FPD Prom.
On April 26, 1980, Dave Rozier was just like any other Jr. at First Presbyterian Day School in Macon, Georgia. He and his date for the JR/SR Prom, Emilie Clarke, were excited about the night that lay ahead of them. The Ballroom at the Hilton in Downtown Macon had been transformed to an “Over the Rainbow” Wonderland, and all in attendance were looking forward to a special night. But no one knew just how special or how purple it would be.
“The way the prom was set up back then, we came out and did our formal walk, in dresses and tuxedos, and we danced until about midnight. Then we did breakfast and changed into more casual clothes and came back in to dance again until about 1 AM.”
It was in between the breakfast and the last portion of the prom that they noticed something different about the lobby at the Hilton.
Prince was in town, opening for Rick James at the Centreplex. When we came out into the lobby during the break, someone noticed that he and his whole band were out there. He was sitting in this club chair, over this glass coffee table. Dez Dickerson was with him (Prince’s guitarist), Matt Fink, the guy who dressed like a doctor, he was there. Bobby Z. I think they were all there.
Everyone was grabbing stuff for him to sign. I had grabbed this brochure and a pen from the front desk. I was the last one in line. My Date had a name that was spelled different so she spelled it out for Prince. I was so nervous, when I got up to him, I spelled out D-A-V-E, and he cut his eyes up at me like,
“Yeah dude, I know how to spell Dave.”
I”ll never forget what he was wearing. He had on this tight outfit, made of red leopard print. He also had a red leopard print headband, and he had on tons of jewelry. Rings, necklaces, all turquoise. When I commented on it, he suggested I try some of it on. So there I am, trying on Prince’s jewelry. And I just asked him if he’d like to come back to the prom with us.
HE SAID SURE.
I told him it would be great if he’d sing with the band we had playing. But he said he didn’t want to steal anyone’s thunder and that his voice was tired. So when we got up to the door, my baseball coach Billy Kilgore was standing there. When we explained what was up, he let Prince and his band come on in and sit down. They sat there, on the floor, and watched as we had our last dance at the Jr/Sr. Prom. The lights came up, and Prince walked us out to the front door, opened it for us, and told us it was nice to meet us, and told us to be careful. He was the perfect gentleman. I will never forget that night.
Dave Rozier is now Director of Business Development at Kim-Co Services in Macon.
The 11th Hour
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