Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Prince Rogers Nelson


                   IT'S BEEN 7 HOURS AND 13 DAYS...

 i know you've heard the news that Prince died.
i was on the internet the morning of thursday april 21st when i saw the 
first news that the police had been called to paisley park for reports that
someone had been found dead.

paisley park is not even 2 miles from my house.

i thought, "it couldn't have been Prince".
 but it was.

like pretty much the whole darned world, i was in shock.
because i was leaving my house anyway, i decided to drive past 
paisley park.

the first 4 pictures below were about 11 o'clock that morning. (less than 1
hour after i heard it confirmed that it was Prince that had passed away).
to say that people were flocking to P.Park is an understatement.
the road running north and south past Prince's studio and home had
already been blocked off and police and news vehicles were
streaming that way.

as the day wore on, helicopters flying over chanhassen made a steady
 buzz in the air.

i left the next day to go to duluth for the weekend and thought maybe
when i got home things would have died down, but little did i know that
the impact Prince's death had on the world was really just growing
momentum. it didn't matter where you went in the western suburbs
of minneapolis, people were talking about Prince.

i was on was on a frontage road here, but look at the traffic jam to the right that was already 
piling up in chanhassen at 11 a.m. that morning. It looks like a parking
lot, but it is the 2 lane hwy. that takes you past paisley park.


it's been 2 weeks now since the day Prince died, and although i had driven by 
Paisley Park a few times, until yesterday i hadn't parked and walked over to see up close what 
was happening out there. i knew it was big. i'd heard people talking and seen
things in the media. but what i didn't know until yesterday
 when i went there myself, was how profound and really 
incredible the outpouring of love and affection for this man
would be. i don't think i'll ever forget what i saw there.

it starts with graffitti covering the walls of an underpass that takes you to his studio.
none of this was there before.

there is a fence surrounding the several acres of paisley park.
 as you know, Prince was very private.
this fence is now a memorial the likes of which i've never seen 
and probably never will again.
i brought my camera and took a bunch of photos that i'm going to
share with you. if you're not interested that's ok, but i think
a lot of you may be, and don't live close enough to go there and see for yourself
 the amazing tributes that people from all over the world have brought here.

i guess Prince was our Lady Diana.

i've asked myself if i would have this much interest in 
his death if i wasn't from the same little town where he lived, and i
guess the answer is probably no, but i don't think i had any idea
how fascinating his life was~until he was gone.

Prince and i were born just a month apart. 
he could dance and do the splits. over and over.
even watching videos of him dancing makes my knees and hips hurt!
he lived with chronic pain because of all the crazy-fun dancing.
i've heard that he could play over 2 dozen instruments.
(and even played guitar equally well either right or left handed.)
he was only 5'2" but he played basketball in high school.
he was married twice and had a baby boy who died.
he didn't sleep much.
he was incredibly private. he rarely did interviews.
(yes, i know he was odd... a musical genius. genius's are often odd).
he was a prankster with a keen sense of humor.
he was an extremely generous benefactor to people who'd helped him in life
  and anonymously donated boatloads of money.
he embraced sensuality.
he always wore heels.
 he did his own makeup.
he was a vegetarian.

I always thought he'd named himself Prince, when in fact it's what his momma named him.
he recorded way more songs than have been released.
*i cannot get PURPLE RAIN out of my head. lol

there were several sheets like this that people could sign. you couldn't find a square inch to do so.

he loved to ride bike.

 if i had to guess, i'll bet there was 50 thousand dollars worth of plants and flowers stuck in the fence.

 and the variety of things his fans have brought is so interesting. there were several packages of
doritos. many feather boas. many stuffed gold fish (? anyone know why), many basketballs and
 jerseys, tons of lamanated photos, guitars, paintings, letters, balloons, candles and dream catchers...
an amazing sea of purple.

 this was my favorite tribute. these are small balloons in the shape of his symbol.

 i counted at least 7 real full sized guitars.

the day Prince died, a local artist set up his easel outside Paisley Park and painted this
canvas, which he then left for all to enjoy.

 this is about 6 ft. tall and all fresh flowers...can you believe it?

 a purple bagel and a little red corvette.

 a tribute from france.

 another original artwork

 Prince on the back of an all star wrestler~   : )

 string art, over sheet music.

eric clapton was once asked: "what's it like to be the greatest guitar player in the world"?
he replied, "i don't know, ask Prince".

a love letter, from japan.
(i peeked inside and it was a long letter.)

a couple other fun tidbits on a personal note about Prince:

for a couple of years,my oldest son mowed lawn and removed snow at Paisley Park, and at many of
the other properties Prince owned all over MPLS.
when he was at his personal residence, he was told that if Prince came home
 when he was working, he should look the other way.
(hey~dude wanted his privacy!!)
There was a guard shack at the end of his personal property and once when
eric was mowing, Prince and his girlfriend were on their bikes, just standing at the gate
waiting to be let out. the guard had fallen asleep, so eric went over and 
rapped on the door of the guard shack so he'd wake up and let them out...

Prince, on the night you died the sky around
chanhassen mn. turned purple through the rain and 
the rainbow that showed up over Paisley Park could have just been a 
cool coincidence, but for those of us that witnessed it
it seemed sacred and even heaven sent.

 you impacted the whole world in a way that i never even realized, until you were gone,
and like my youngest said last night, "music impacts us in a way that
very little else in life does". 
music is the soundtrack by which we tell our stories.


xo, beth

me, last night with a bag of doritos. I love 'em memory of my neighbor.


  1. love every word and every image!

  2. That s is beautiful, Beth. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Thank you Beth, reading your account of events is like unto touring your heart and your love for "Prince", a great read, thank you for sharing "Prince" with us, the pictures are beautiful, and add very much to your wonderful very touching story, thank you Beth, we love you, rburnett.


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