ROME — In 1990 Prince embarked on the “Nude Tour,” a no frills greatest-hits concert tour in Europe and Asia which brought the star singer/songwriter to the Simonetta Lamberto Stadium in Cava de’ Tirreni, near the Southern Italian town of Salerno.
Here’s how Italian music impresario Sigfrido Caccese remembers that balmy July 18 night, a performance reminiscent of Prince’s final stripped-down concerts.
“He was alone on stage. The band was practically hidden behind him. Prince performed non-stop for three hours and never stopped singing. He also never said a word to the audience,” says Caccese who was 25 at the time.
“Prince moved like an elf, in front of a gigantic pulsing pink heart which was the only piece of scenery, and the symbol of the tour.” “It was all about the music, nothing else.”
Caccese said that Prince was “very shy, surrounded by bodyguards.” But he still managed to shake his hand, before one of them pushed him away.
The day before his performance, Prince did a very long rehearsal. “He asked everyone to leave. He didn’t want anyone around, not even the roadies.” The next day he requested a piano in his green room. “He spent more than two hours playing that piano without ever stopping. He played some of the songs on the tracklist, improvised others, and covered tracks by other artists. We were in awe: the sound reverberated everywhere backstage.”
In terms of ticket sales the concert was a flop. Only 13,000 tickets sold for a giant of that status. Two days later Prince was supposed to play in Turin, but that gig was cancelled. Caccese recalls that some say the cancellation was due to the Naples venue owner blocking the “Nude Tour” trucks because he had not been paid. “But that’s not true,” he says. “I think Prince just wanted to get out of Italy, maybe because he was disappointed by the flat sales.”
This is the tracklist, as Caccese recalls it:
“The Future,” “1999,” “Housequake,” “Kiss,” “Purple Rain,” “Take Me With U,” “Don’t Make Me Pay for His Mistakes,” “Alphabet St.,” “The Question of U,” “Controversy,” “Do me Baby,” “Ain’t No Way,” “Nothing Compares 2 U,” “Batdance,” “Partyman,” “Baby I’m a Star.
Prince’s ‘Nude Tour’ segued to Madrid on July 22.