There were several reasons why Ruth & I included Minneapolis on our summer trip. One of them was to see Paisley Park, Prince’s home in nearby Chanhassen, a community southwest of the Twin Cities. But we made a big mistake. Well, it was more of a false assumption. We assumed we could get on a tour for what is called the General Admission Experience. This includes Paisley Park’s main floor where Prince recorded, rooms commemorating Purple Rain, and the concert hall where he rehearsed. We had only one full day to do this, a Wednesday. It wasn’t until we were there to see several attractions that we learned that tours of Paisley Park are given only 6 days a week. There is only one day the operation is completely closed…..Wednesday. We offered to do the first tour on Thursday morning, but it was not available. Oh well, reason to return.
Ruth & I were aware of Prince but not rabid fans. So why did we go all the way to the Twin Cities area for a tour of Paisley Park? We have done some celebrity house tours and enjoyed them. Last year, for example, I toured Sunnylands, the Annenberg estate in Rancho Mirage, CA. In honor of his June 6 birthday, the Prince estate released a posthumous album containing unreleased tracks. Called “Originals”, it features 15 songs that Prince, who sold more than 100,000,000 recordings during his career, recorded in his prime. He recorded these songs himself, but they were released by other artists. “Originals” became officially available on what would have been Prince’s 61st birthday. Thanks to CBS News and Caitlin O’Kane, I now know that a Minnesota prosecutor has ruled that Prince thought he was taking an ordinary painkiller when he ingested a counterfeit containing fentanyl, a dangerous, very potent synthetic opioid. It’s estimated that 70,200 died from fentanyl the year after Prince did. No charges have ever been filed in his death.
If you’re a fan, you probably know that his vault contained much recorded material that was never released, including many personal videos. Look for a lot more unheard Prince releases in the future. Also, Graceland Holdings, the company that manages Elvis’ former home in Memphis, also manages Paisley Park. If you want more than the general admission experience, you can take a VIP tour or have “The Ultimate Experience” any day but Wednesday. There is also something called “Paisley Park After Dark” on certain Saturday evenings. All of these must be booked on officialpaisleypark.com.
ps Because I have no pictures, I got the Prince image above from freepik.com. He apparently liked the color purple and red Corvettes.