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    Exclusive Interview:- Sheila E. in LA Weeklu


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    Exclusive Interview:- Sheila E. in LA Weeklu

    Post by Mace2theO on Tue May 24, 2011 2:11 pm

    Exclusive Interview: Sheila E. Reveals the Secrets of Prince's "21 Nite Stand" at the Forum in LA--Afterparties, Rehearsals and What It's Really Like to Work with the Purple Genius
    By Gustavo Turner, LA Weekly

    As much as Prince blew us away the opening night of his 21 Nite Stand at Inglewood's Forum, Sheila E. left us scraping our jaws off the floor. People were visibly excited when stagehands set up her drum set, but when she strutted onstage, they went wild. She's, as we said, the Helen Mirren of pop.

    They'll be performing tonight, Friday, April 29 and tomorrow Saturday, April 30 (yes, there are still tickets and you should get some; trust us, you'll regret not seeing one of these shows--read our account of the truly magical opening night).

    And it is Prince's gig, but Sheila E. deserves the spotlight, too.

    So we gave her a call:

    LA WEEKLY: We were there opening night. It was so amazing.
    Did you all feel that way? Did you think you were just warming up, or
    did you feel like it was a special show?

    SHEILA E.: For me, it's always special. It's always wonderful. To play Los Angeles--I don't think we've played since Musicology.
    That was the last time I played with him here that I can think of. It
    was special, but every show is so different. Last week
    Saturday--Thursday and Saturday--were just incredible. Beyond words.
    Like it was opening night. Again, every show is different, but like I
    said, last Saturday was a-MAZ-ing.

    How much do you plan the show in advance?
    Well, first of all, I don't really rehearse with him. He just calls me
    when he wants me to come and play. Like today, I'm not--I don't think
    that I'm playing. So I'm just here at the office, working. [Ed.'s note:
    "at Prince's office, working" must be the weirdest (or coolest) office
    job ever!] When he wants me to play, he'll send a message, and then I
    get there, go into hair and makeup. Maybe an hour before the show he'll
    give me a list, and I'll figure out where I come in and out of the show.
    But the rest of the band have been rehearsing every day.

    So you actually don't know in the afternoon if you're gonna be playing.
    No. (laughs)

    Does that ever cause you anxiety?
    Nahhh. He and I have been like this for a long time. Sometimes I'll even
    get there and he'll change his mind, and say, "Maybe we should wait
    until tomorrow, and you take a rest."

    Last Thursday, my family, the E Family, opened up the show, and then I
    played the whole two and half hours with him, and then I played the
    afterparty. So Friday I went to the Forum to go to work, and he said,
    "You know what? You should just rest." So I hung out on Friday and just
    got to watch the show. I don't think I remember the last time I was ever
    able to watch the show from the audience's perspective. He ended up
    calling me to dance onstage to "Cool" with Cuba Gooding, Jr. But that's
    how he does things, and you just roll with it. They call me Miss
    Spur-of-the-Moment anyway, so i sometimes do the same thing. It's all

    So he's been doing afterparties?
    Yeah, at the Forum Club.

    What happens in those? How does he have all that energy?
    Well after the show, he has DJ Rashida spin upstairs, and now what we've
    been doing is he's set up gear up there, and we'll just jam. And other
    artists come up there, someone we know, and we'll bring them up on the
    stage cause it's really small. It's more of a hang. It's not like we're
    performing; we're just having a great time in other room.

    And you don't know if the actual show will be short or not?
    The show on Saturday--the list of songs was so long, it looked like they
    made the font smaller on the page. It must've been thirty songs, I'm
    not kidding. Usually we do two encores, maybe four. Last week we did six
    encores, and each encore was between one and four to five songs. One of
    the nights last week, I didn't even start playing until the encores.
    And the encores, we played an entire hour. That's a whole 'nother show!

    The first Thurs, that's what happened- half of the people left, they didn't realize that he kept going.
    Yeah, so we never know--sometimes he'll cut it short, it depends on how
    he feels. I mean, if you can imagine, that show was over three hours,
    three and half hours or something like that. It takes a lot of energy to
    do that. Everyone's pretty tired. But once you get backstage and you
    say hi to everybody, get something to eat, you kinda just hang out and
    you wanna socialize with people you never get to see. Especially in Los
    Angeles, a lot of friends and family come out, people you haven't seen
    in a long time. It's a good time to fellowship.

    So the Welcome to America tour started in the East Coast, and then went to the Midwest?
    I only played two or three shows in New York, and then they went to the
    Midwest, North, South Carolina, and I didn't play any of those. Now he's
    here for 21 shows. I think he's just picking and choosing where he
    wants to hang out. I think it's great. For us as entertainers traveling,
    the schedule gets really crazy--flying all the time, being on a bus
    tour, changing hotels every day. And it's challenging. I love this just
    as much, or maybe more--he's an artist who is able to say, hey I'm gonna
    stay here for 21 shows, and just kinda hang out at a place. Then I'll
    pick the next place where I wanna go perform. I don't know anyone who's
    ever done this. Ever.

    What were you doing before you got the call to do this?
    My family has a new album called Now & Forever, and we just
    realased it. We have Gloria Estefan, Joss Stone, Raphael Saadiq, George
    Duke, Israel Houghton, Earth Wind & Fire. It's a great cd, we're
    doing a lot of shows. I actually bought the masters from the record
    company because they were holding our cd hostage for two and a half
    years. What a waste, all the work that we did--and they ended up letting
    their company go, and I bought the masters back myself about four
    months ago. And I released it and put it out on my own label,
    Stilettoflats Records. Right now, you can only buy it officially at The E
    Family website, and at the Forum at Prince's concerts.



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