When I moved to Minnesota in November of 2013, it didn’t take me long to hear that Prince lived in the area. Occasionally, he’d hold performances and dance parties at his studio and residence in the Twin Cities suburb of Chanhassen, known as “Paisley Park.” I’d always hear about these events on the radio, or even in local publications like City Pages. I’d always meant to go but figured I could the next time around.
Now there’s no next time around, unfortunately. For a man who seemed so private, mysterious, and guarded in the media, it was was a breathe of fresh air that he’d actually opened up his property to anyone who wanted to see him perform, or anyone who simply wanted to dance to some good music played by other artists whom he likely served as a mentor to.
Upon finding out about Prince’s untimely death on Thursday, I knew I wanted to pay my respects. I’d become a bigger fan once seeing his Super Bowl halftime performance in 2007. I didn’t own every single album (he released a whopping 39 over his career), but for the longest time, I’d rocked out his greatest hits CD in my car. It was a double disc that featured many of his most memorable tracks. Most recently in 2014, I’d bought one of his more recent CDs, Art Official Age.
Visiting Paisley Park on Saturday made me sad, but it was also refreshing. A little girl offered me a marker and said, “do you want to sign it?” She pointed to a poster hanging on the fence, already adorned with fan memorabilia, letters, and purple flowers. As I went to sign it, there was hardly any room to write anything. However, I managed to draw in a tiny little heart. So many fans around the world adored Prince. Simply said, he accomplished more in his 57 years than most of us combined will accomplish. He lived a full life and now he’s gone, but he will live forever through his music. Rest in peace, sweet Prince.