Advertisement

PHOTOS: Purple pilgrimage


First Ave. Prince memorial -- photo by Matthew Terry
First Ave. Prince memorial — photo by Matthew Terry

Paisley Park, the personal sanctuary and recording studio of the enigmatic purple one, Prince, beckoned my friends and me to Minnesota last Saturday — specifically, to Chanhassen, an unassuming business park some 20 miles southwest of Minneapolis.

Paisley Park -- photo by Matthew Terry
Paisley Park — photo by Matthew Terry

Built in 1988, this studio was the birthplace of some of the biggest pop songs of the last 3 decades. On Apr. 21, 2016, less than a week after hosting what would be his last installment of the storied “Paisley After Dark” dance parties, Prince took his final breath in an elevator of the building.

A throng overwhelmed our arrival. Accompanying the fans and friends, the media paparazzi and the local police had their own sort of vigil.

There was a distinct sadness blanketing the grounds; except for when a man pushed a bike with a small stereo on the seat, blasting Prince’s music along the closed-off road, it often felt as if the wind was the only noise to be heard within the immense crowd.

The fence surrounding Paisley Park was covered in purple condolences, masses of purple and magenta flowers littered the ground, while others were suspended and intertwined within the fence itself. Drawings, paintings and personal poems were also part of this collage of admiration. While hundreds arrived to leave their various symbols of love and respect along the fence line, many traveled along the wall enthralled, simply reading and pulling out phones to capture the outpouring of love left by those that came prior.

The impact this androgynous artist made on the world is undeniable. There were signs on the wall from all across the country — people from California, Kentucky and New York paid their respect and adoration for the boundary-pushing artist whose very name became a glyph.

A few blocks south of Marquette, in the welcoming purple glow of restaurants and hotels, sits First Avenue, the venue made famous largely in part by Prince and his movie, Purple Rain, after many of the film’s live performance scenes were filmed here.

First Avenue is home to another memorial honoring the late Minneapolis based artist. The growing memorial centers around the Prince star on the wall near the venue’s entrance. Flowers were piled three feet high.

Sunday morning brought storms and a sparse crowd along the street. Twenty people with a musical bond collected along the historical corner of First Avenue and Seventh Street to pay their respects. The wet weather only seemed to underscore the loss of one of the greatest musicians of our time.

Paisley Park -- photo by Matthew Terry
Paisley Park — photo by Matthew Terry


Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV » editor@littlevillagemag.com

Advertisement

Summer Programs 2020

Get 150+ local restaurants delivered to your door in the Iowa City & Cedar Rapids areas!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US!

July 2020 marks Little Village’s 19th anniversary. With our community of readers alongside us, we’ll be ready for what the next 19 have in store.

BECOME A SUPPORTER:

Regular

$10/mo or $120/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.

Italic

$20/mo or $240/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.

Bold

$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
LittleVillageMag.com connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.