Jenny Morris remembers touring with Prince

As the world mourns Prince, ARIA-award winning singer Jenny Morris considers herself one of the lucky few people who met and performed with the influential musician.


Morris, now the chair of APRA, was invited by Prince to open for him as his support act around Europe in 1990.

At the time she had a hit with her song Saved Me, which Prince heard in a club and liked so much he invited her to perform on his tour.

As Morris remembers, everyone on the tour was given a list of instructions on how to behave around Prince, such as not being able to look him directly in the eye.

“He was very reclusive, especially at that time in his life, so we had this list of rules that we had to adhere to like `Don’t look Prince in the eye, don’t approach him and don’t talk to him’,” Morris told AAP on Friday.

Despite these directions, she remembers how warm he was, even taking time to play with her then two-year-old son, Hugh, who she had on tour with her.

“Lots of times Prince would play with him in the catering room. He would take him over to the other side of the room with him and throw balls or bread rolls or whatever,” she said.

He may not have said much, but Morris remembers his warm gaze, something he bestowed upon her a number of times.

“Prince was a very warm person. On several occasions he stood on the route between my dressing room and stage and when I went past he would look at me and was very warm and engaging, kind of that Prince flirty thing that he did,” she said.

The US musician also sent Morris flowers on her birthday.

But most of all, she remembers his love for music.

Morris travelled all over France, Germany and Scandinavia on the tour and watched Prince every single night, either from the side of the stage or standing out front with the crowd.

“It was a very otherworldly experience because of the kind of person that Prince was,” she said.

One of her highlights of the tour was when Prince played her song.

“He plugged in side of stage and played along to my song Saved Me that he liked from the club, just one night.

“We got that on tape and it was one of the highlights of my life that he was playing on my song,” she said.

The Purple One was recognisable for his flamboyant onstage style, which was something he cultivated almost on a daily basis.

According to Morris, he had a team of dressmakers on standby 24/7 and, if he spotted something he liked in a club after his gig, he would get them to create it.

“So he could wear it on stage the next night,” she said.

“He had more clothes than everyone could ever imagine.”

Morris, who is devastated, said she understood why he was sort of reclusive.

“Prince had a tough life as a kid and that coupled with the fact that he had this sort of genius brain, he obviously saw the world differently and I think he was very protective of himself but inside of himself he was a very engaging person,” she said.

“At those shows and tour he just wanted to just give and give and give.”