March 19, 2017 at 1:58 pm #1710
Al ‘The Limo Man’ Bowman reveals Prince wooed singer during a bizarre 1985 date in which he refused to utter a single word to her
Prince insisted they communicate ‘only through their eyes’
Sheena looked totally bemused, and said: ‘Can’t we just talk?’
‘You go ahead,’ said Prince, ‘I just want to look at you’
‘The frustration of not being able to converse or be affectionate affected her so much that she clearly desired him even more,’ says Bowman
When the date was over Prince had an urge for ice cream
‘I have a very special flavor I like. Do you like Haagen-Dazs Rum Raisin? I do, Can you find me some?’
Easton was pictured at a supermarket in Nevada a day before Prince’s death
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Prince wooed singer Sheena Easton during a bizarre 1985 date in which he refused to say a single word to her, the singer’s former chauffeur has revealed.
The Purple One wouldn’t utter a sentence to Easton – insisting that they communicate ‘only through their eyes’ – during the memorable night out.
And Prince barely touched the Scottish starlet – then 25 – during the three-hour date, not even kissing the hit maker, famous for songs like Modern Girl.
But despite the singer’s odd romantic tactics Sheena fell for the eccentric star and was ‘totally smitten,’ according to limo driver Al ‘The Limo Man’ Bowman.
The extraordinary encounter was witnessed first hand by the baffled chauffeur, who drove Prince during the height of his fame in 1985.
Prince and Easton enjoyed a secret romance in the mid 1980s when he penned some hits for her including Sugar Walls.
Bowman, who also drove megastars like Madonna, Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson as well as rock bands Motley Crue and Guns N’ Roses, revealed his memorable time driving the star.
He recalls: ‘Prince was the most far out guy I have ever encountered in my life.
‘I have never seen anyone treat a date like that and it was one of the weirdest things I have ever seen in my life.
‘Prince refused to say a word to Sheena for three hours, but somehow by the end his tactic worked, she was totally into his aura and him.
‘The frustration of not being able to converse or be affectionate affected her so much that she clearly desired him even more.
‘It was a completely bizarre tactic, but it worked a treat. I think he and Sheena had a connection and somehow he wanted to make it transcend simply talking.
‘He felt that they should connect on a higher plane.’
Bowman recalled that Prince had happily spoken to him prior to the date and they also chatted some more afterwards – which made his behavior even more strange.
But he says Prince was a great client.
‘He was genuinely a nice guy, very charming, kind and a great tipper,’ he said.
‘When people say he was unique they are telling the truth.
‘I felt he had an almost holy aura, and a real glow about him unlike any other star. It was like a light exuded from him.’
Image source: Daily Mail UK | Credit: JDMC
Back in 1985, Bowman was contracted by Warner Brothers Records as one of their top chauffeurs driving talent and executives around Hollywood.
He was asked by the label to collect Prince in a stretch limo from The Argyle Hotel on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood.
Bowman remembered: ‘I pulled up and called up to Prince’s room and he came down alone within a couple of minutes.
‘He smiled: “We have to go pick up my date.”
‘After jumping in the car, he made sure he sat on the seat closest to the divider so that he could talk to me.
‘He was in a really great mood. He asked me if I was a Laker fan and said: “I love basketball”. I knew he was very small and knew he used to play in his heels.
‘Prince was just so relaxed, laughing and smiling as we spoke about his favorite players. Some of my star customers behaved like divas or just a-holes, but not him.
‘He was like an excited kid, “I like the fact you have a telephone man – that is really cool”, I remember him saying.’
Shortly afterwards Bowman pulled the limo up to the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where Sheena was waiting in a glamorous cream dress and high heels.
He recalled: ‘She looked beautiful. Prince bounced out of the car, hugged her and I remember she was taller.
‘They embraced, hugged and he gently said: “Baby I want to communicate with you tonight with our minds”.
Image source: Billboard
‘I couldn’t believe my ears, I almost burst out laughing.
‘He then continued: “Look baby, I have got this thing for you. I am putting my waves out and I am putting them into you and I wanted us to connect through synergy”.
‘Sheena looked totally bemused, and said: “Can’t we just talk?”
‘Again he reacted: “You go ahead. I just want to look at you”.’
Bowman said he drove the pair to Nicky Blair’s Italian restaurant in West Hollywood, which was a very popular hotspot for celebrities at the time.
‘By now Prince was putting his plan into action,’ Bowman recalls.
‘He sat opposite Sheena in the back of the limo and just stared at her, glaring into her eyes and making these faces.
‘Sheena thought, at first, it was a passing thing, and she kept saying: “Please can you just talk to me for a moment.”‘
‘But he glared at her again – and she went: “Come on please”.
‘I then put the divider up, but I could still hear her pleading with him to talk.
‘It was really hilarious sitting there listening to them.’
After pulling up to the restaurant, Bowman opened the door for his star clients.
‘Sheena came out with a face like thunder, and he was smirking at me,’ he said.
‘He just gave me a look and she didn’t say anything. I didn’t want to disrupt him so I told them I would wait.’
After about an hour and a half, Bowman saw the pair coming out of the restaurant.
‘Again Sheena led the way looking really frustrated and he seemed to be smirking at me.
‘All of a sudden she stops dead on the sidewalk and shouts: “I can’t do this for an entire night.”
‘Prince span around, passionately grabbed her arms and just pushed his face right up to hers and held this gaze for a minute
‘She begged him, “Please please can’t we just talk?”, but he held out and didn’t say a word.
‘Then while I am standing there watching this – she turns to me and says, “Take me back to the hotel please this date is over”.
‘After getting back in the car she just let him have it.
‘She was moaning: “How do you expect me to be in a relationship if you don’t talk – and it is so difficult having a conversation when just one person is talking.”
‘I couldn’t contain myself from laughing.’
Bowman remembers arriving back at the hotel and the couple got out of the car and hugged and embraced for a long minute.
Image source: Daily Mail UK | Credit: JDMC
And even though Prince had driven her mad with his silence game Bowman could tell she was still besotted by him.
‘She said: “We will talk soon yes”, and he just nodded. She then scampered back into the hotel,’ he recalls.
Expecting Prince to call it a night, Bowman was shocked at the singer’s next move.
‘Calm as anything he just starts talking to me. He said: ‘I have got an urge for ice cream. I have a very special flavor I like. Do you like Haagen-Dazs Rum Raisin? I do, Can you find me some?’
‘So I drove around and a few stores didn’t have it, so I went to the 7/11 store on Curson and Sunset and bought him some.’
Bowman, who now lives in Las Vegas and is the executive producer of The LA Music Awards, was then ordered to take Prince to an address in the nearby Benedict Canyon district of LA.
‘I had no idea where we were going, but we go to the address which was a huge mansion, but it was pitch black.
‘There was not a single light on. I asked him if this was the place as it appeared to be abandoned, but he answered: “This is the place. Don’t worry someone’s there.”
‘He walks up to the front door, and just pushes it open and disappears for 30 minutes.
‘I had no idea what this place was or why we were there, but he calmly walked out and just said: “Okay let’s go back to the hotel”.
‘And then after all that he didn’t say a word. He took a couple of licks of the ice cream which was pretty much melted and just sat quietly.
‘He only piped up as I drove past this restaurant called Old World. He quietly said, “That is my favorite restaurant. I like the brown rice and vegetable stew”.’
After arriving back at the Argyle. Prince handed Bowman a $200 tip – which was almost as much as his $240 fee.
‘He got out and said: “Thank you. Good work”.
‘Looking at my stretch he added: “I think about getting one of these, but I am going to paint it purple”.
‘He ended up getting one in the end.’
Bowman says that along with his payment Prince threw in a backstage pass for the singer’s show at The Forum.
‘It was amazingly generous, that was the kind of guy he was,’ he says.
Bowman drove dozens of record executives and stars from Warner Brothers but never Prince again.
They met first during a night out with other clients at the Carlos and Charlie’s nightclub on Sunset Strip in Hollywood.
‘I was with there with my driver Carol, one of our top girl drivers, who was wearing a lingerie top and black jacket. ‘Prince saw her and just gave her the once over as she was so pretty.
‘So I said hey if you ever need a limo, call me. He said: “Is this one of your drivers? You have a sexy company.”
‘Knowing his reaction to Carol, I said back: “I have got the best rates. I can have Carol drive you any time”, but Prince just said: “No I want you to drive me”.
‘I was excited about this but you never know if people ring. A couple of weeks later I got the call.’
Bowman mixed with many executives and friends of Prince because of his Warner deal.
‘Everyone knows he was an enigma and such a huge talent.
‘He was greatest performer who could drive crowds wild and I was surprised when there was mention of drugs. We all knew he was a teetotaler and a vegetarian – back then it was quite rare.
‘Prince was a clean living guy. I would never have imagined him doing drugs – but you never know.’
On Saturday Easton released a heartfelt statement on her website following Prince’s death.
The star, 56, worked with him on songs including The Arms of Orion and U Got The Look.
She said: ‘It is impossible to sum up in a few neat phrases what his loss means to all of us.
‘He has been described as iconic, innovative, controversial, unique, charismatic and one of the driving forces of music for the last four decades.
‘Yes, he was all of those things, but he was also warm and generous, gentle and kind and when he chose you as his friend, you were blessed.April 24, 2018 at 3:00 pm #4674
Prince has always been very funny! If I had been Sheena Easton I wouldn’t have been frustrated…I would been all right with it…I’m not much of a talker anyway…I’m better at writing my thoughts than expressing them verbally.
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