Lawrence instructor remembers working with Prince

Bill Carrothers performed with Prince in his band, "The Family", April 22, 2016. (WLUK/John Doran).

In 1985, Prince was topping the charts, and a 20 year old Bill Carrothers was briefly a part of his success.

"We all wore like purple pajamas and hard shoes," Carrothers said.

Prince selected Carrothers for his band, "The Family", where Carrothers played for 8 months. It was there that he got his first taste of pop music.

"There was no improvising," he said, "Prince was very, not controlling, but he knew what he wanted. He was very clear about what he wanted."

While working with "The Family" Carrothers says his favorite musical times came during the jam sessions, but most of his memories with the rock legend didn't involve music.

"He pulled up at a stop sign in a gorgeous BMW in a four-door something or other and I had my little Honda Civic I was driving and he rolled down the window and looked at me and goes, want to drag? And I was like no and he sped off," said Carrothers.

Music wasn't Prince's only forte.

According to Carrothers, he was a man of many talents.

"I've always heard he was an excellent basketball player," he said, "I personally saw him play pool, he was great at it. I played pool with him and he was very good, I couldn't touch him with that."

He also remembers frequently seeing Prince with Nacho Cheese Doritos.

"I don't know how many he ate," said Carrothers, "but seemingly he had a lot of Doritos around. He was in his 20's he could get away with it then."

Now 31 years later, Carrothers travels the world playing piano, focusing on Jazz music. Now, he is grateful for the time he took a peek into Pop music.

"It was a fun summer job for me that's kind of how I look at it now I guess looking back," he said.

Carrothers and Prince played in one concert together at the First Avenue venue in Minneapolis.

It's the same venue featured in prince's movie, "purple rain."

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