Prince’s former assistant claims the press misquoted his comments on the Foo Fighters’ “Darling Nikki” cover. Foo Fighters covered the 1984 Purple Rain track in 2003. Prince did not give his blessing. He told Entertainment Weekly that the 15-time Grammy-winning band needed to record his own music.
In 2003, Foo Fighters recorded a cover of Prince’s “Darling Nikki” and released it as the B-side to the Australian version of their single “Have It All”. According to MTV, the cover became so famous that the Foo Fighters started playing it at the end of their shows in 2004.
Hawkins said the band recorded it as a joke. “Dave loved ‘Darling Nikki’ because it was really funky,” drummer Taylor Hawkins said. “So we recorded our version in my garage, and it somehow ended up playing on the radio, which was weird, because we did it as a kind of joke.”
However, the cover did not please Prince. According to frontman Dave Grohl’s True Stories, the band asked for his blessing. “It shut us down faster than you can say, ‘Beloved…'” Grohl wrote. “I think I remember him saying, ‘You should write your own melodies…’ or something like that.”
Grohl was right. Prince’s feelings about the Foo Fighters cover were made public in a 2004 Entertainment Weekly article. Prince said, “I don’t like anyone covering my work. Write your own melodies!”
Royal Badness’s comments weren’t surprising given his stances on music ownership, pirates and streaming services. In 2011, Prince mentioned his disdain for cover songs in an interview with George Lopez (per Loud Wire).
“I don’t care if the fans sing along to the songs,” he said. “My problem is when the industry covers music. Covering the music means your version no longer exists. A lot of times, people think I’m singing the Sinead O’Connor song. [‘Nothing Compares 2 U’] and Chaka Khan’s song [‘I Feel for You’] when, in fact, I wrote those songs.”
RELATED: Taylor Hawkins Said Dave Grohl Barbecued All Night: ‘He’s a Beast’
Prince’s Comments About Foo Fighters’ ‘Darling Nikki’ Cover Are Fake, Claims His Former Assistant
According to her latest Medium post, Prince’s former assistant Ruth Violette Arzate claims that Entertainment Weekly misquoted Prince’s comments on the Foo Fighters cover.
Arzate explained that he mentioned his love for the Foo Fighters to Prince, and he asked him what he loved about them. She replied that the Foo Fighters’ music “gets into her veins”.
Arzate also mentioned that the band performed “Darling Nikki” as if it “belonged to them”. He knew that he had made a mistake by saying that immediately. “Her big eyes of hers had turned into slits,” she wrote.
“I initially heard them play live when I was trying to set up a meeting with Prince and the band,” he said. “I told him that it had been played at one of the shows that he missed and he acknowledged that he was aware of it.”
However, Prince said they were great, which was surprising. Arzate. “’Shut up,’ I said, ‘I thought you said in that interview with Entertainment Weekly that you didn’t like me. Seriously, what did you think?’”
“Prince turned and looked me square in the eye and said, ‘First of all, don’t believe everything you read. That statement was taken out of context. Second, that band embodied the song in the way it was meant to be played. They’re so good they could make an entire album of my rock songs.’”
RELATED: Dave Grohl’s Dad Didn’t Expect His Music Career to Last More Than a Year
Hawkins thought the artists’ version of the band’s ‘Best Of You’ was payback for their version of ‘Darling Nikki’
Yes Arzate’s comments are true, and Prince loved the Foo Fighters, so it would make sense why Prince invited Grohl to play with him during one of his Forum shows (even though he forgot about the arrangement). If Entertainment Weekly misquoted Prince’s comments on the Foo Fighters’ “Darling Nikki,” then it also makes sense why he covered the band’s “Best Of You” during their 2007 Super Bowl halftime show.
Unfortunately, Hawkins died before Arzate revealed Prince’s feelings. For years, he was under the impression that Prince covered “Best Of You” to get back at the Foo Fighters for covering “Darling Nikki.”
“We wanted to get it out here in the States, but Prince wouldn’t let us,” Hawkins told MTV. “I heard that he didn’t like our version. Or maybe he just didn’t like us doing it.
“Dude, I have no idea why he did it, but I’d love to find out. I mean, the thought crossed my mind that maybe he was doing it as some kind of ‘F— you’ to us, or maybe he just really likes the song. Either way, it was pretty amazing to have a guy like Prince cover one of our songs and actually do it better than us.”
Later that year, Prince gave the Foo Fighters permission to perform “Darling Nikki” at the MTV Video Music Awards. So that was also a significant indicator that Prince was a fan of the Foo Fighters. Grohl says that Prince’s version of “Best Of You” is his greatest musical achievement. Prince hoped that they liked him.
RELATED: Tom Petty Thought George Harrison Would Have Liked Prince’s Solo During His Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction
We would love to say thanks to the author of this article for this incredible content
Prince’s Comments On Foo Fighters’ ‘Darling Nikki’ Cover Was Misquoted, Claims His Former Assistant