Hours before the 2007 Super Bowl in Miami, Florida, producer Don Mischer called up Prince to tell him he’d probably have to perform his halftime show in the middle of a torrential downpour. “I want you to know it’s raining,” Mischer said. “Are you OK?” Prince had a very simple response: “Can you make it rain harder?”
Prince knew that the horrid weather would only add to the drama of his show, which he packed with surprise covers like “We Will Rock You,” “All Along the Watchtower” and “Best of You” by the Foo Fighters. Pleasing 100 million people with every musical taste imaginable is nearly an impossible task, but Prince pulled it off better than any other halftime performer in recent memory. He wrapped up with a spine-tingling “Purple Rain,” reminding the whole world that Prince was still the single greatest performer on the planet.
Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins was watching the game with producer Nick Raskulinecz and the guys from Rush that night. “I’m outside smoking a cigarette with [Rush drummer] Neil Peart and someone sticks their head outside and goes, ‘Uh, dude, Prince is doing your song,'” Hawkins said. “I have no idea why he did it, but I’d love to find out. I mean, the thought went through my head that maybe he was doing it as a sort of ‘fuck you’ to us, or maybe he really likes the song. Either way, it was pretty amazing to have a guy like Prince covering one of our songs — and actually doing it better than we did.”