The choreographer, dancer and singer talks to Calum Waddell about working with Prince during his most purple of purple periods…

Cat Glover was at the side of Prince as a choreographer, dancer and rapper during what many consider to be his peak period – from Sign O’ The Times in 1987 through to Lovesexy, and the accompanying tour in 1988. Since then Glover has branched out as a solo artist, most notably with her EP Catwoman in 1989. We spoke to the performer about some of her purple and peach memories on the eve of the release a new German Blu-ray edition of Sign O’ The Times

Do you remember how you first got to meet Prince?

I had actually run in to him a few times – I remember when he was touring Dirty Mind, I was getting into an elevator at a Holiday Inn in Los Angeles just as he was getting out of it [laughs]. But I was on a television show called Star Search – and that is where I made friends with a young dancer called Devin DeVasquez, who went on to work for Playboy. One night she called me and said, “Hey, there’s a little dinner going at Prince’s place and if you want you can come with me…”

And who would say no?

Right! I remember he walked in and looked right at me – I was wearing purple and black and a chauffeur hat. Prince loved that and when you see him wearing it in the images and concerts from Sign O’ The Times and Lovesexy – that came from me! 

What do you most remember about that first meeting?

He played this brand new song that he wanted us to hear – it was Housequake, and he had just come from the studio and recorded it. It was amazing. After that he wanted us to go to a club – there were about 10 of us. He knew this private club in Beverly Hills called Voila. It was packed with celebrities but this was not my crowd so I went up to the DJ and asked him to play some House. When he did, I got out of my seat, did my ‘Cat Scat’, got down on the dancefloor, jumped on and off tables… I was going nuts! And I heard Prince say to Steve Fargnoli, his manager, “I want her in my band.” That’s how I appeared in the U Got The Look video.

What was it like choreographing the Sign O’ The Times tour?

It was amazing but the tour was a challenge because during our first rehearsal in Europe, two weeks before the first show, I fell over on my ankle during Hot Thing. I had to go to the doctor and was told I had a severe torn ligament. I remember them wrapping my ankle up. Prince used to travel with a portable TV and video recorder so he brought those to my hotel and just told me to heal. But I was in so much pain on that stage – all through that tour they had to have doctors backstage to look at me. But when I was up there dancing, I was so psyched I just didn’t feel it. It was only when I came off stage that it was agony!

Did you sense that he missed The Revolution during the Sign O’ The Times period?

Never. He fired The Revolution in a hotel room in Europe. I thought that was pretty cold. I told him that when I got to know him. He just shrugged and told me he wanted a funkier band. But he knew what he was doing – we got Sign O’ The Times out of that decision.

Tell us a Prince story that you do not think people will know…

Prince loved junk food – especially lollipops and Doritos. He never ate a lot.

Do you remember any Prince projects that never quite came to fruition?

Prince called me one night when I was staying in Minneapolis and he said, “Cat, what are you doing?” I said, “Sleeping” and he says, “When you sleep you miss out on something. And right now I have Madonna in the studio. Come down here.” Myself and Sheila E would sleep in our makeup because we never knew when he would call us and ask us to get down to Paisley Park. Anyway, it turned out that Madonna and Prince were bickering over the script of Graffiti Bridge. I really didn’t know why I was there but it turned out that Madonna wanted a dance-off with me in the movie and Prince thought it was a bad idea because I would show her up. That night they recorded Love Song together. But she didn’t make the movie.

Calum Waddell