Prince was in town in Toronto. I needed to see him live. I had never seen him perform live. Each time an opportunity came up I could not make it. I was on my bicycle, needing a desperate fix of caffeine. It was Thanksgiving weekend in the United States and everyone who I knew who could get me to the show was on holidays. I was not about to disturb anyone over Prince, Welcome2Canada, not when they are with families. I know how big Thanksgiving is in the United States, hell, one of my director friends Gurinder Chadha discovered at the Toronto International Film Festival years ago even made a film about it, Thanksgiving Weekend. I was just gonna go with the flow. An Idea, thumped into my brain as if Thor himself had hammered it in. My neural senses went on full alert. No I was not going to go to Clafouti to get my cafe first. I was going to go see two ladies, at Magpie fashion and she what they had that Prince or Andy Allo could rock on stage. I had my weapon of choice that would allow me to distribute my findings to the world. I had my iPhone. My office.
Walking into Magpie, the energy flowing through me was at new heights. I was playing what Mark Zuckerberg calls the hacking game. You are constantly evolving your plan, your path, as things emerge, you adjust, you experiment.
Cathy and Angela, partners, owners and designers of Magpie on Toronto’s Queen Street West, were busy doing what they do, designing and stitching. Both dressed in black, looked at me and Angela with her high energy greeted me with, “hello Timothy”, while Cathy calmly smiled her way of saying hello. I explained to the girls I was on a mission and I had this idea why don’t they give a shout-out to Prince, show him a few things that he or Andy Allo could wear, I am headed over to Air Canada building, and perhaps I can show it to him, (if I run into him), nevertheless I was going to YouTube it. Quickly the girls assembled a rolling rack, and I was recording the result you can watch here.
Having beamed the video onto YouTube while having my coffee, it was time to get back on the bike and negotiate the streets of Toronto, pot holes, tram tracks, taxi’s and within a matter of time I was at Air Canada Center at the security entrance. I chatted with a few security people various people came to talk to me, but no one really could help. A car pulled up. It was at this time the security told me if anyone could help me it was that man. That man was Sammy Wong.
Sammy Wong and and I talked he looked at a few emails that I had sent to some people in Los Angeles, that had come back with a respond, ‘on holidays will not be picking up emails’. I explained to Sammy, that I was not going to call anyone on the cell phone on a long weekend.
In the conversation finding out that Sammy had been a photographer on tour with the Rolling Stones, I knew the Rolling Stones, and Sammy said “what do you need”, “tickets”, I told him. Sammy took my business card, took out his iPhone, started tapping the keys on his screen, looked at me and said, “they will be at the will call window”. I was going to see my first live performance of Prince in my hometown to which I had returned from Los Angeles, knowing virtually no-one. The show, seven encores later, was out of this world.
A day later, I was again riding my bike having stopped for a coffee at another cafe. My cell phone rang, it was the girls of Magpie (correction it was Angela), “Prince’s assistant called she told us he saw your video, and wants us to send clothes to him in Montreal for the show”, “You’re screwing with me right?”, I said. Angela let me know it was for real. I jumped on my bike and raced over.
Arriving at the Magpie, (magical kingdom) as I like to call it, Angela gave me the number of Prince’s, assistant to call. Angela had already told Prince’s assistant about me, and how I know various bands. I called, and Prince’s assistant and I spoke, no this was no prank, it was real, she told me Prince saw the video, and if I could bring up some cloths to Montreal for Prince, and Andy Allo, she gave me the information where to take them, we exchanged contact information. I was going to personally transport them for Prince.
After the Montreal show, I was sitting with friends at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, bar drinking wine, Prince, Andy Allo, and his assistant were off to the after-party jamming session. The iPhone sitting on the bar, rang, I apologized to my friends, told them I was working. The voice on the other end was that of Prince’s assistant, “Tim, can you text me the telephone number of your designer friends, Prince loves everything, he wants to call them personally”.
This my friends is a story of magic, of going with the flow, of the hacking game of experimentation that through social media with social interaction can lead to potentially, unleashing the forces that create magic in this world.
Angela and Cathy of Magpie, ended up designing for Andy Allo, who now is out performing in Chicago her ‘Superconductor’album produced by Prince as well as the King himself, the master of funk, Prince.
These are the things that happen in life that makes it all worthwhile.