The Controversy Tour marked the debut of Mark Brown, a.k.a., Brown Mark on bass guitar replacing the departed André Cymone and the introduction of Prince’s new bodyguard, Chick Huntsberry. At first, Prince contemplated dismissing the huge Huntsberry after only being on tour with him for a few days, as Prince thought he was too big and he scared him. Guitarist Dez Dickerson talked him out of it and he eventually became a confidant to Prince and later appeared in Purple Rain as a bouncer. This tour was also notable for Prince’s new side group The Time joining him on tour and the resulting backstage drama and arising tension that developed between the two bands.
Although The Time became superstars overnight with their debut album, The Time, they were frustrated at the lack of input they contributed to the album as, with the exception of Morris Day, they didn’t write or play their own music and were only being paid as a live act. During the tour, The Time would put on such a great show during their set that it began to worry Prince just how good they had become and with them performing right before his set, began to feel they were outshining him, so much so, that during the 1982-1983 1999 Tour, he kicked them off the tour for being so good.
The conflict came to a head on the final night of the tour in Cincinnati as during The Time’s set, Prince and some of the members in his band began egging them from off stage. Near the end of the set, they grabbed Jerome Benton from the stage and proceeded to “tar and feather” him by pouring honey all over him and dumping trash on him. Things got further escalated after The Time’s performance, guitarist Jesse Johnson was handcuffed to a wall-mounted coat rack and further humiliated with Prince throwing Doritos and other food at him. When The Time went to retaliate, they were stopped by the tour manager and told there would be no interruptions during Prince’s performance, but as soon as he left the stage, a food fight erupted between the two bands. When the battle continued at the hotel causing damage, Prince made Morris Day pay for all damages, claiming that he had started the whole thing.
- Intro: “The Second Coming”
- “Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?“
- “I Wanna Be Your Lover”
- “Dirty Mind”
- “Do Me, Baby”
- “Let’s Work”
- “Private Joy”
- “Jack U Off”
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