In 1994, the artist formally known as Prince appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman. He was not a fan of Letterman. Prince sang a song called "Dolphins" from his new album "The Gold Experience" and changed the entire ending of the song to incorporate a fake gunshot to the head so that he didn't have to talk to David Letterman or shake Letterman's hand.

It was crazy because he told me he said, you know David is a smart alec and, and he just didn't want to shake his hand that night. You know, Prince had an unpronounceable name at the time. And so David had to do everything with this symbol. So every commercial break he just made a joke about it. And Prince didn't think it was funny. -Prince's longtime keyboardist and musical director Morris Hayes

 

This video shows David Letterman having fun with the actual symbol Prince used to describe himself during a record label dispute.

He's watching in that green room and he's, he's pissed off man. He's hot as cayenne peppers. We've rehearsed it, we know how it's gonna go, he get's to the door and he just says, um, do you have the gun sample? I'm like, um, I can get it. He said well okay, put that on. I'm gonna do like this (holds fingers to head) at the end of the song when I pull the trigger, you shoot the sample and Coco our big bodyguard's gonna come grab me and drag me off the stage and I won't have to shake his hand. And we gonna cut out the second verse, go straight to the bridge...and no mistakes. -Prince's longtime keyboardist and musical director Morris Hayes

 

The entire performance of Prince singing the song "Dolphins" on David Letterman in 1994. The ending is eerie with Prince pretending to shoot himself in the head with a pretend gun. His bodyguard carries him off stage when he fake collapses. He edited the ending of the song and through in the gunshot and fake death scene to that he didn't have to shake David Letterman's hand.

He's like I don't care, I'm over it. And so he just said, we gonna make a lil edit and I'm gonna do this thing and bam, just like that. He didn't shake, David came out and he, let me tell you, David was thirty-eight too. After it was over, he was walkin' through the halls swearing like...Prince can never come back to this show again. He was super hot. You know, 'cause he knew what had happened and that it was a slight. He was very upset about the whole deal too. -Prince's longtime keyboardist and musical director Morris Hayes

 

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