Grupo Fantasma performs with Prince in February of 2007 in South Beach, Florida, at a private party for CBS affiliates. Grupo members Adrian Quesada, Greg Gonzales, and Kino Rodriguez are shown onstage with Prince. Photo by RPGough of Dodd Technologies

When talking about the time Grupo Fantasma spent kicking it with Prince yesterday, one of the things Adrian Quesada emphasized that the artist was hysterically funny.

“It was just never a dull moment and that’s just how he lived his life,” he said.

Prince was a genius, and the world caught on to his phenomenal talent and unique vision when he was still a teenager. Consequently, his sense of reality was very unorthodox and “he truly had this magic around him,” Quesada said.

He was cognizant about the colorful mythology that swirled around his eccentric mystique and he riffed on it.

“He liked to play games and be funny,” he said. 

When Grupo Fantasma did a brief residency stint at 3121, Prince’s Vegas club in 2007, Prince had a separate backstage lounge. It was plush and purple and had a DJ booth. By unspoken rule, it was off limits to anyone but Prince. One night, after the band had hit a comfortable stride with the residency, they decided to live dangerously and indulge in its comforts.

Out of nowhere, the petite musician popped in his head and, in a voice that sounded suspiciously like an impression of Dave Chappelle doing Prince, said, “You know you’re not supposed to be in there, right?” Then he disappeared.

Quesada’s story casts a new light on this amazing tale from Roots drummer and band director Questlove. Once Prince hired him for a last-minute DJ gig then fired him and played a DVD of “Finding Nemo” when he didn’t like his selections.

Turns out Prince spent a good amount of time trolling all of us.


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