Category Archives: Prince

My Sojourn to Paisley Park 

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 then went to get ready for our tour which was to begin promptly at 5 pm and as I dressed, I could barley contain myself at the thought of what was to come!! 


Hontey!! I was ready baby!!

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.


I’m told he bought it on the late 90’s. He was such a man before his time.

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,

Diva 

Awww purple sookie now….

The good old year called 2016 has been a beast to The mind and soul. If I haven’t learned anything beyond the fact that folks can truly be here and be gone tomorrow, then I learned plenty. 
I have always fully embraced every ounce of my life and when I tell you that I am super psyched to be on a plane and heading to THE Paisley Park for a once on a life time VIP Tour of Prince’s estate, that is the understatement of the year. These bags have been packed since August honey and it is all I can do to keep my emotions in check… 
for the Rabid Prince fans- this is indeed the Mecca visit and I will get every detail to you later on.. the rest of y’all please catch up and get your purple lives!!😂😂

Today we will not be discussing elections or any such thing. If it ain’t purple, you can wait until

Tomorrow.

Lemme me grab my bag and get off this plane.. much to capture..
Deuces and Mad love, 

Diva

The day the “petty” purple one left us..Lawd!!

April 21st 2016 began with my jumping into the divamobile at the ungodly hour of 5 a.m. and as I pointed it towards the gym, my music shuffled to Prince and his iconic song “Kiss.”

I pumped up the volume and screeched right along with him and walked into the gym doing a jig. 

I LOVE me some Prince. 

No. I need you to fully grasp this.

I LOVE ME SOME PRINCE.

So while the folks in the gym cracked up laughing at me, I didn’t care because as far as I was concerned, the day began just right.

So around 2 that afternoon when the first of many text messages came in that asked if I had heard about Prince, a sense of foreboding washed over my entire being and with shaking hands, I googled his name.

I wasn’t ready for the headlines that screamed he had died.

 I dropped my phone, the tears began and I was inconsolable for what became months. My children and husband all called worried and I couldn’t form the words beyond sobbing. My friends who knew what this meant for me got in their cars and began ringing my doorbell.

Chile, I was just devastated!

I discovered Prince as a teenager and while I like every other child in the eighties, enjoyed Michael Jackson, Prince was so different and his music so lyrically conscious, he quickly became my favorite of the two.

My momma thought he was a confused cross dresser and the devil so when I was given a cassette tape of purple rain and played it all damn day, it disappeared without warning and I decided when I became an adult, I would own anything Prince pushed out.

I did too. 

When my first marriage ended and he took all the Prince music we enjoyed together, I made it my mission not to allow that to happen again. Princes music calmed my soul and made me feel it was okay to be different and to explore those differences with boldness as a woman who kept getting consistent messages that my voice should be tempered.

So there I sat on April 21st, all lost in the sauce and that evening, One of my friends Jacine, inadvertently began the healing garden when she rang my doorbell and offered a bunch of purple plants to help me.

I went the very next day and bought a bunch of tools, dirt, plants and began with the help of two friends, to turn over the very dry and weed filled patch of ground my husband ignored for 20 years.. this was the beginning of that garden

Friends began donating purple perennials among other things and the next thing I knew, the garden became this!


I had Princes music in rotation for months as I weeded and watered with love!! I have since transplanted those beautiful annuals into pots and given them away to friends in preparation for winter so I feel like his death was not in vain.

Not to be be outdone, my husband went online and immediately booked a flight for me to go visit Paisley park in Minneapolis and I believe that cathartic solo  journey, helped to heal my soul in more ways than ten!  I rented a bug and the first thing I did was find his studio and home. I was  not ready for the display of love and tributes I found. See for yourself


I was so incredibly TOUCHED and felt so healed knowing so many people Were impacted by him. I sat out there for HOURS watching people show up and had conversations with strangers about how they became Prince fans 


One would think that was enough for me right?

Nope.

I spent the next two days visiting his childhood home, high school, the place where he filmed parts of purple rain, drove to Lake Minnetonka and dipped my feet in and found a guy that was making Prince gear I could buy. I even went to the Hard Rock Cafe in the Mall Of America to see the donated outfits of his they had on Display. I was on a mission that was everything Prince!



What a journey that was!! I took that sojourn in early May and have been collecting all his music and magazine covers with him since.

Did I say I loved that dude??

It’s now six months later, and when I learned his estate was opening for tours, a friend and I booked our tickets and so I will share that another time.

I look back now and realized I was able to turn his death into a beautiful Giving garden while gaining peace in my soul.

We Aren’t going to live forever so what are you doing to leave an impact between your birth and death? It may not be on the scale of a Prince because he was truly a special Soul Who found his purpose  and walked fully in it come hell or high water.

I didn’t cook for months but I’m back to myself. Sort of. I think my husband is over my saying this- “Prince died man! The end! I ain’t doing nothing right now!” 😂😂😂😂

Thank you for walking this journey with me as I shared. For the die hard Prince fans out here- I feel you.  Hang in there. The petty one would expect no less.