My Sojourn to Paisley Park
Posted by lawfultrainer
Mannnn….. in late August when the news broke that Prince Rogers Nelson’s estate was going to be opened up for public tours, I went immediately into a purple purpose, looked at my calendar and proceeded to book a flight and then buy those VIP Tour tickets with the ONLY other person on earth I knew loves Prince like I do.
If you have no idea who the purple king of shade was/is, you can stop reading right here and go atone for your egregious sins because I am about to go IN about this experience and it’s not for the Prince novice.
Anywho, we were up and out our doors at a time that would frighten fish and landed in Minneapolis before noon only to see an airport that was devoid of folks and the car rental agency had zero lines anywhere. I inquired and was told it’s usually snowing this time of year here and nobody visits this place in the winter.
It was our lucky day I guess and we were cool with that!
I took my friend Tanisha to see a couple of places where Prince used to frequent and one of them was First avenue where he filmed parts of the movie Purple Rain. She was super stoked and it was cool to watch her experience for the first time what I had an opportunity to soak up last May when I took my first trip here after he died.
We took off and when we got within a mile of the place, I told Tanisha to prepare herself but when we turned the corner, she was shocked that the estate was RIGHT there visible to the highway. We pulled into the grounds and I could hardly contain myself because 6 months before, I was looking wistfully through the fence determined to be back and be inside.
We have arrived. 7801 Audobon Rd, our Mecca to all things Prince!!
We collected ourselves, hopped out that car and made it into that building in record time! We were given our Instructions, bought our flash drives for a special opportunity and off we went. Our VIP group consisted of 5 people and so we were feeling special especially after seeing another group that was super large.
We were ushered into the entrance and the first thing we saw was Mural of the shady One with the inscription “I am watching you.” Right above that was a camera which told his guests he had cameras on them at all times. I cackled at the shadiness of it all.
Our phones were locked in special bags as NO pictures were allowed to be taken and it allowed us to fully soak in what we were about the see. On the first wall were all these gold and platinum records from his early and future work. As we stood there in awe, Tanisha was visibly shaken and leaned on my shoulder with tears in her eyes.
When we stopped into the atrium where he hung out and peeped into the kitchen where he spent loads of time when he wanted to relax , I could see him in my minds eye moving about within and felt his spirit strongly for some inexplicable reason. I was soon to find out why.
Smack dab In the middle of that atrium were his remains. I damn near fainted looking at that purple urn built into a replica of the Paisley Park compound and encased in fiberglass.
Lawd. I got emotional. Had a quiet moment.
There were also two doves sitting in large cages above the atrium and we were told they were 24 years old. The lifespan for them is usually 15 years. That atrium looked like you were standing in the middle of heaven with clouds and points of light everywhere.
We went on to visit his office and it was in there I noticed how freaking cool his furniture was!! Deep purple and designed in the most unusual shapes!! I was fascinated!! We saw his handwritten songs in rooms dedicated to Paisley Park, Purple Rain, Musicology Tour and the list went on!! He was a pack rat and threw away nothing. They are still finding and archiving things. His penmanship was beautiful by the way. They found vaults of music and video. He was famous for firing editors and spent hours editing his own work. He was simply a creative genius!
He had hundreds of guitars. No exaggeration. My head spun at the volume of them we saw in every space! His costumes too were out of this world right down to the shoes of which he had over a thousand. Chile Listen.
We visited studios A, B and C, each space carrying his strong presence and we could feel Him Throughout. Studio C especially was lined with cherry wood for perfect acoustics and we were told artists like Stevie wonder recorded there.
Hallowed ground I tell you.
We got to listen to a jazz piece he was working on shortly before he died. I hope they release it because it’s dope.
This place was deceptive looking from the exterior because within was 65 thousand square feet of space !! He has a main stage that could hold over a thousand people, was 12 thousand square feet and had concerts there along with filming parts of his movies. We walked around and marveled at the rich history within. Behind the main stage was a more private setting to seat 120 folks and we heard Madonna performed for him in late 2015
We saw a wall of the artists he supported and the ones who influenced him. Tower of Power, Jimmie Hendrix, James Brown, Chaka Khan, Earth Wind and Fire and the list went on. We saw his numerous awards, the bike he filmed Purple Rain on, pianos in purple and a sundry of Other colors but I wasn’t prepared for this one. At all.
We had a special photo opportunity in Studio B that I will share soon and that was special.
Whew!! I think I captured the essence of the visit.
Wait until you see his zen space. So peaceful!! He also loved scented candles and they were everywhere.
We left on a happy purple haze of peace and closure after buying stuff from the gift store but don’t tell my husband😂😂
Babay did we ever have a rocking good time!!! This place is for the true Prince fans!! I sang along to his music and even did a slight jig watching him perform in various rooms. I saw a clip of him in Philly during the Musicology tour and was ever so grateful that I was front AND center at the concert they highlighted..
We saw a piece of history and Prince was right there with us. How does it even get any better than that? Go see what has become the museum of his life if you can. Dude lived and died in his purpose and it affected millions of us around the globe.
That alone, is worth the sojourn there.
Dueces and mad love,
About lawfultrainerPassionate Educator on all things but especially family partnerships. Determined. Driven.
Posted on October 30, 2016, in Culture, Education, Entertainment, history, Ifestyle, love, men, movies, music, Prince, Service, Uncategorized, washington Post, Writing and tagged music icon, Paisley Park, Prince. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.