'Purple Rain' again and again; and, Anthony Hopkins 007?

Alice Jones' Arts Diary

Everyone loves “Purple Rain” but does anyone love it enough to listen to it 19 times in a row? The ICA hopes so.

On Saturday night, as the culmination of their weekend Princefest, the arts centre will gather 19 guitarists to play the popstar’s classic 1984 hit.

Each soloist – a mix of established and amateur musicians, including Colin Lloyd Tucker who appeared with Prince on Kate Bush’s Red Shoes album and Dorian Baxter, aka the “Afrikaner Hendrix” – will step up to perform their version on a variety of stringed instruments.

They will be accompanied by the singer Gillian Glover and a house band, led by the ICA Director Tom Wilcox on stylophone with backing vocals from Maggi and Lisa Ronson, sister and daughter of David Bowie’s guitarist Mick Ronson.

The whole event should last “around 84 minutes”, I’m told. But if anyone decides to go for the 8-minute album version, it could go on a lot longer.

Moore's the pity

Was Anthony Hopkins once a contender to play James Bond? Speaking at a BAFTA ‘Life in Pictures’ event following the premiere of his new film Hitchcock, Hopkins revealed that he was, briefly, in the running, following his turn as a British agent in the 1971 spy film When Eight Bells Toll.

“I was, believe it or not, I met Cubby Broccoli and I didn’t think I was the right material for Bond but it was flattering to be offered it”, he said.

Roger Moore must be pleased that it didn’t work out.

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