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The night Prince came to the Foxfire

Prominent local musician Prince

Prominent local musician Prince

The Foxfire Coffee Lounge, celebrated in our extensive oral history, didn't just book indie rock. There were also DJ nights, and during one of these, a certain tiny genius we all know strolled in to check out the club.

TOM ROSENTHAL [Foxfire booker]: The DJ thing was more like the [promoters] were using our space for their event. Family Werks approached us; we provided them the space and the sound system. They had their own security people and their own door guy.

JULIUS ROMERO [DJ]: Foxfire was pretty instrumental in the sense of allowing the DJs to come through and do shows. They were open to us coming in and doing pretty much what we wanted [on Friday nights]. We tried to do it regular, but at best, we’d get maybe 80 to 100 people.

CITY PAGES [May 5, 1999]: We caught a fine mid-winter set that saw [Family Werks’ DJ] Tyrone mix the anti-intuitive, fault-line groove of Aaliyah’s R&B hit “Are You That Somebody?” with a cartoonishly puerile slice of underground ghetto-house.

PETER S. SCHOLTES [CP, August 9, 2000]: At 3:45 a.m., I walk into the backroom of the Foxfire Coffee Lounge, worried that I’ve missed [DJ] Boogie’s three o’clock set. But I hear some familiar samples as I open the door: “Ass. Ass. Titties, titties!” Nope, he’s still on.

BRANDON IVERS [DJ]: I saw [British DJ] Dave Angel an after-party there one time. It was pretty rad. It was just that little room and like 75 people. He was already here for another big rave [Tricknology, July 10, 1999]. I really had never heard of Dave Angel. It was such a tiny room, and he was so energetic.

HAUGEN: I remember at one point there was talk about trying to beg Prince to buy the place.

TODD FINK [singer, the Faint]: I remember seeing a limo pull up in the back alley, and a little man in a completely yellow outfit got out. We decided that was certainly Prince.

DAN HAUGEN [Foxfire barista]: Prince showed up there late one night, like one or two in the morning, toward the end.

ROSENTHAL: It was during one of those late-night dealies, where it was DJs and we were letting other people use the space.

ROBIN KYLE [Foxfire barista]: He spent some time reading the jukebox; I know we had a couple Prince records on there. He came up to the counter and asked a couple questions to someone I was working with; a lot of people around me [were] trying to contain their freak-outs. I remember thinking, “Wow, he’s really short.”

ROSENTHAL: He sat around in the dining area for a while, perused the jukebox, went into the performance space, hung out there for a minute, and then split. I do very clearly remember him having a handler-type guy, a big dude with an overcoat and an earpiece.

KYLE: He went into the bathroom and his bodyguards stood outside.

AMY NIELSEN HART [Foxfire barista]: I was already gone but got a call that he was there and immediately sped back to work! He left before I got there. I guess he came in to use the men’s room.