When Prince Made Wesley Snipes Pay Full Price for Tickets
Prince was fiercely loyal to his hardcore fans in the early 2000s, offering advance tickets — including coveted up-front seats — to members of his recently launched NPG Music Club. So when actor Wesley Snipes tried to charm his way onto the guest list during an L.A. show on the 2002 One Nite Alone… tour, the Purple One didn't budge.
"He said, 'Yeah, [Snipes] called me, and he asked for tickets,'" live engineer Scottie Baldwin recalled during the Up All Nite With Prince podcast. "And [Prince asked Snipes], 'Well, how many do you need?' And [Snipes] said, 'Six.' And [Prince] said, 'Okay, that'll be $900." And [Snipes] said, 'No, no, no, I was just figuring you'd give me six tickets.' And [Prince] said, 'Oh, oh, oh, okay. Well, when I watched your  movie, Passenger 57, I rented out a whole theater and it sucked' … I know my show is worth $150 apiece,' or whatever it was."
Baldwin recalled laughing with Prince about the ticket request — but then, two weeks later at L.A.'s Kodak Theatre, the engineer spotted a famous fan in the audience. "The show is about to go on, and L.A. had a huge fan following, so it filled up this whole fan section almost all the way to the soundboard. And a couple of minutes before the show, I turned around, and who was sitting behind me with shades on two rows behind my soundboard? Wesley Snipes. So I reported that to Prince and we had a good laugh over that. He wanted [to reward] the true fans."
The One Nite Alone… tour, which spanned early March to late November 2002, promoted the artist's album of the same name from that year. Legacy Recordings and the Prince Estate teamed in April 2020 to reissue that studio LP, along with the jazz-fusion record The Rainbow Children and live recordings One Nite Alone…Live! and One Nite Alone: The Aftershow…It Ain't Over!