How a Foo Fighter Ended Up in Prince’s ‘Raspberry Beret’ Video


The mid-’80s wasn’t the best interval of Pat Smear’s profession. He’d achieved approval for his rhythm guitar work with Los Angeles punk band the Germs, however the group had break up in 1981. Later, he’d go on to grow to be a touring member of Nirvana after which a member of Foo Fighters, however in 1985, he was struggling to search out work.

Thankfully, one other member of the punk scene had grow to be a casting director and he helped out his outdated mates by discovering them bit components and further roles on TV reveals. Smear had appeared in CHiPs, Quincy, M.E. and different productions, so when he was invited to audition for Prince’s “Raspberry Beret” video he was fairly certain he knew the drill.

He didn’t. When he arrived at SIR Los Angeles studios, he found that he was required to carry out a easy dance routine – which was past him. “Since I’ve two left toes and may’t dance, I assumed I wasn’t going to be picked for the video,” he informed Really feel Numb in 2019. “As I used to be strolling out, one in every of Prince’s folks stopped me and informed me that Prince favored my look and needed me to sit down subsequent to the drum set.” (He’s truly seen in entrance of the piano.)

Foos bandmate Dave Grohl supplied an identical clarification in the 2012 e book I Need My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution. “That’s when Pat had dreadlocks all the best way all the way down to his butt,” Grohl stated. “Pat can’t dance. So, he obtained lower. They despatched him house. He begins strolling down the hallway and hears, ‘Hey, you!’ He turns round and there’s a giant bodyguard standing subsequent to Prince. And Prince whispers within the bodyguard’s ear. The bodyguard says, ‘You may keep. He likes your hair.’ They needed his hair within the video!”

Watch Prince & the Revolution’s ‘Raspberry Beret’ Video

Smear has supplied fewer particulars as a result of he signed a nondisclosure settlement, and though many years have handed and Prince has since died, he needs to stay devoted to the contract. He did counsel, nonetheless, that it wasn’t the best of experiences. He wasn’t allowed to speak to Prince, and if Prince needed him to do one thing for the video, he’d inform an assistant, who would then inform Smear.

That meant there was no alternative for the pair to speak guitars and even for Prince to be informed he had a punk icon for an additional. However, doubtless, Prince wasn’t even within the temper to hear as a result of he wasn’t having a great day. As revealed in Duane Tudahl’s 2021 e book Prince and the Parade and Signal O’ the Instances Period Studio Periods, “Raspberry Beret” was the second video he shot that day. The primary was for “4 the Tears in Your Eyes.” “That day there have been just a few crew members which he hated to have round, however he needed to as a result of it was a video manufacturing and these folks have been essential,” sound engineer Susan Rogers recalled. “He went off in a darkish nook by himself.”

“It was the primary video we did the place there have been extras round,” guitarist Wendy Melvoin recalled. “In order that was bizarre. It was the primary scripted video we had performed. … It took for much longer than we thought it will take. I may inform Prince was barely aggravated by how lengthy it took. He was simply not a really affected person man.”

Inside a decade Smear can be on the high of his recreation with Foo Fighters, nevertheless it wasn’t the final time he had a damaging expertise with Prince. In 2003 the Foos needed to advertise their cowl of “Darling Nikki” however Prince wouldn’t enable it, later slamming the band by saying, “I do not like anybody overlaying my work. Write your individual tunes! … Once I need to hear new music, I am going make some.” That made issues much more shocking when Prince lined the Foos’ “Better of You” at his iconic 2007 Tremendous Bowl present.

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Ask a musician if they have a Prince story to inform and so they simply may shock you.


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