As a legendary rocker in his own right, Sammy Hagar is used to rubbing shoulders with some of the biggest names in music. Still, there’s one star he was never able to meet: Prince.

The closest the Red Rocker ever came to meeting the Purple One was at the 27th annual Grammy awards. Both men were nominees, Hagar for his contributions to the Footloose soundtrack, Prince for his iconic Purple Rain album. They were also part of the ceremony, with Prince one of the event’s performers, while Hagar served as a presenter.

During dress rehearsal, the Red Rocker thought he’d found a way to get introduced to Prince. “My guitar tech, Zeke Clark, who now works for Slash… he was working at the Grammys,” Hagar recalls to UCR. “I was up for a Grammy and he was working for Prince at the time. I asked him, I said, ‘Hey man, introduce me to Prince!’”

To Hagar’s disappointment, his request was rejected.

“‘No, man. I can’t,” the Red Rocker remembers the guitar tech saying. “‘What do you mean you can’t?’ He’s going, ‘I’m not allowed to talk to him.’ I said, ‘You’re his guitar tech, and you’re not allowed to talk to him?’ He said, ‘No.’”

Upon further questioning, Hagar discovered the unique way the guitar tech communicated with Prince.

“You’ve got to write him a note and you kind of hand it to him. You can’t look at him,” the tech explained. “It will say, like, ‘What guitar do you want for the next song?’”

In the end, Hagar never got to meet Prince. The Red Rocker is currently prepping for his Las Vegas residency, set to kick off in October. Still, looking back on that Grammy experience, Hagar can’t help but laugh. “I thought that was pretty fuckin’ weird.”

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