CLEVELAND - Certain moments burn themselves into your memory; in our video player is one of those moments for me.
September 5, 1984, the pop star Prince was trying to stealthily visit Cleveland to see his then-girlfriend Sheila E perform at the Agora.
Prince, was a red-hot sensation in the music biz at the time. His movie “Purple Rain” was released just a few weeks earlier.
We here at WEWS got a tip he was on his way via private jet to Burke Lakefront Airport. Reporter Paul Orlousky and I went to Burke Lakefront Airport and received clearance to be on the tarmac for the stars arrival.
One problem, one very big problem got in our way – Prince’s bodyguard. Charles “Chick” Hunstberry said “We don’t want no pictures taken, OK?”
We had permission to be there and informed Chick we would be staying. He sent two of his helpers to block our view but as you’ll see in our story, we do see Prince walking to his “limo”.
There was a real limo waiting for Prince, but he didn’t use it. The limo was a decoy, Prince went to the Agora in a camper, you’ll see a quick shot of it in the story.
On to the Agora and the wrath of Chick.
WEWS sent two camera crews to the East 24th St. concert venue - Jim Gates and yours truly.
At 6 foot 8 inches tall and seemingly as wide, Chick's his mission was to keep any media away from Prince, even though we were on public property.
As we began to shoot, the former pro wrestler was like a moth to the light, heading for which ever one of us had a light on. I didn’t use a light for long.
Prince went inside the Agora during the chaos you’ll see in our player.
The story aired at 11 p.m., Orlousky telling the story of Prince, his movie, his music, his persona and the attacks - with a bit of the choice sound bites bleeped out.
Orlousky left WEWS in 1985 for WKYC and later WOIO.