Prince's greatest talent? Self-confidence, says the manager who landed 'Purple Rain'

Jon Bream, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on

Published in Entertainment News

MINNEAPOLIS -- Bob Cavallo was starting to panic.

Three weeks behind schedule, the movie producer had only one week to shoot all of the concert scenes for "Purple Rain." If he didn't meet the deadline, his insurance company would bring in a new producer and director to finish the movie.

The first-time producer was working with a first-time director and, of course, a first-time star. Needless to say, he was beyond anxious.

Cavallo arranged for no fewer than five cameras to shoot the performances by Prince and the Revolution, the Time and Vanity 6.

"You know how perfect Prince was," he recalled. "If there was a spot he had to land on with a body spin, it was exactly the same every time."

The deadline was met. An international superstar was born.


Cavallo, leader of a three-man team that managed Prince from 1979 to '89, has countless tales about the Minnesota icon who died three years ago this Sunday.

He and Prince had a falling-out before the star's third movie, 1990's "Graffiti Bridge." Cavallo went on to start another management firm (its clients included Green Day, Seal and Alanis Morissette), and produce such movies as "City of Angels" and "12 Monkeys." In 1998, he took over Disney's music division, working with everyone from Miley Cyrus to the Plain White T's.

Cavallo retired in 2011. But he isn't reticent as he approaches his 80th birthday in May. In a rare interview, he had a lot to say about Prince's flaws as well as his talents.

On how they met:


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