*In a new interview with the New York Post, Morris Day talks about the last time he spoke with his childhood friend and one time musical collaborator, Prince.
The singer said he got a surprise call from Prince in January. He wanted Morris to fly to Minneapolis with his band, The Time, and play a private show.
“It was the first time in a while that we’d had a chance to sit down and chat,” Day tells The Post. “It had been a few years since I’d seen him. I questioned why he was calling me up at the time. In hindsight, it’s almost like he felt something or knew something was up.”
Barely three months later, Prince was dead.
Day, 58, started his singing career with Prince in their Minneapolis band Grand Central in the ’70s. When Prince became a solo star, he took his buddy with him. Day co-wrote “Partyup” for the 1980 album “Dirty Mind,” and Prince formed The Time, with Day as lead singer, as a way to pursue funk music on the side.
In 1984, Day got more than a closeup in Prince’s movie “Purple Rain,” often overshadowing the star himself.
“I’ve heard that a few times,” Day says. “He comes across as this serious, dark guy [in the movie]. But the Prince I knew was quite the comedian. We talked s–t and laughed all the time.”
But there were tensions, too. The Time’s drummer Jellybean Johnson recalls Prince and Day brawling on the “Purple Rain” set. Years later, Prince prohibited Day from using the name the Time on recorded work.
The Paisley Park show included Day and Prince enjoying one last dance. “I heard he was having a good time when we were playing,” Day says now. “There will always be a void. But life goes on. If it were me, I would want people to get on with it. I’m pretty sure he would want the same.”
Day performs Aug. 12 with the Time at the Ford Ampitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk, on a bill that includes Kool & the Gang.