Morris Day is undeniably a part of Prince’s musical legacy, but now the industry vet is opening up about some of the tension that existed in his relationship with the late music legend.
According to the The New York Post, in his new book, “On Time: A Princely Life in Funk,” the snazzy dressing frontman for The Time, reveals that at times it felt like Prince was his rival off-screen just as much as he was on-screen.
The tell-all touches on Day’s cocaine use, and tensions on the set of the 1984 classic Purple Rain movie in which he claims reached a boiling point thanks to the superstar’s unchecked power trips and an incredibly stressful shooting schedule.
Day even tells an anecdote about how he showed up late one day and Prince exploded so aggressively he shoved him. In the moment he instinctively wanted to throw a punch, and it took the intervention of Prince’s bodyguard and The Time drummer Garry George “Jellybean” Johnson to stop the two from getting into a physical brawl.
“Of course it would have went my way,” Day told The Post with a laugh. “I outweighed the dude by a good 25 pounds!”
Despite all the behind the scenes drama, both men had a charisma and star power together that was undeniable and the movie went on to be a box office hit, grossing $70 million and catapulting both of their careers.
However, Day is painfully aware that his fate was always tied to Prince causing him to live in his shadow. Even his group, The Time, was assembled and controlled by Prince, who co-wrote their songs, including stand-out hits “Jungle Love” and “The Bird,” under his pseudonym Jamie Starr.
This new book, co-written with David Ritz, is formatted as a conversation between Day and Prince, and gives an intimate look into the prickly but life altering friendship between the two men who met in the mid-1970s as teenagers in Minneapolis.