Thirdeyemom

Minnesota rains purple mourning the death of Prince

“There’s a few legends left and he was one of them…The mural helps with the grieving process.” – Rock Martinez, artist of mural below located at 26th St and Hennepin Ave in Minneapolis. (Star Tribune)

Mural of Prince in Uptown by Artist Rock Martinez.

Mural of Prince in Uptown by Artist Rock Martinez.

There has never been any public figure so dearly beloved by Minnesotans as Prince. The shocking news of his death last week has brought my hometown to its knees, raining purple tears and bursting into all night dance celebrations in remembrance of the enigmatic super star that put our amazing state on the world map.

Since his death, thousands of Minnesotans have been flocking to Prince’s fortress Paisley Park in the western suburb of Chanhassen to what has been called “Ground Zero” for remembering and honoring Prince. All night dance parties have continued outside the famous First Avenue in downtown Minneapolis where he first found his fame in the early 80s playing at the club and filmed much of his 1984 hit movie “Purple Rain”.

A sea of purple yesterday at Paisley Park. 

As a born and bred Minnesotan, his loss and the ongoing celebration of his remembrance has been stunning. I have never in all my years living here witnessed anything like it. Even our bridges and buildings downtown glow at night in purple light, and it feels like our entire town has been raining purple.

Yesterday, as a family we drove out from our home in Minneapolis, twenty minutes west to Paisley Park to pay our respects for an artist beloved by all. I hadn’t had time to fully process his passing and as a girl who grew up in the 80s literally ten minutes away from his studio Paisley Park, I wanted to say goodbye. I wanted to say goodbye to my youth, to the magic of the 80s, to dancing all night long like it would never ever end. To permed hair, blue eyeshadow and baggy jeans and shirts with shoulder pads. My youth.

I will never forget my first adventures living aboard in my early twenties. Everyone would ask where was I from.  I’d reply Minnesota and they would give me a confused look. Then I’d swiftly respond, ” You know, Minnesota is between Canada and Chicago and home of Prince”.  The moment I said Prince, Minnesota was on the map.

Despite all his incredible fame and success, Prince never left Minnesota and continued to call it his home. He built his massive recording complex Paisley Park, in the once cornfields of Chanhassen and continued playing concerts there and at First Avenue. He supported the local community and was an inspiration to the black youth living in continual crime and poverty that anything is possible if you put your mind and heart to it. You can escape it and rise above.

Paisley Park, Minnesota

Paisley Park, Minnesota

My daughter on the right

Paisley Park, Minnesota

My daughter on the left

Paisley Park, Minnesota

Paisley Park, Minnesota

 

Paisley Park, Minnesota

Rest in Peace Prince. May your purple reign never leave. You will be missed.

 

20 comments

  1. Lovely tribute for our native son. I’m still in shock and I’m not even over Bowie’s death yet 🙁 Thank you for the wonderful photos!

  2. I really think you are my twin!! I loved him! I wish I had grown up so close to Paisley Park. On a road trip cross country we visited his house, Paisley Park and his club:) It hit me hard this week because like you said it is a goodbye to our youth. My girls and I went through my closet and pulled out some of my outfits that Prince would have approved- some awesome short jackets with buttons and of course shoulder pads! Hugs to you for this loss, I am taking it as a reminder that life is short.

    • I agree Cathy! We have been listening to Purple Rain all weekend long. I used to also love Michael Jackson and even learned to break dance when I was 13. A sad loss.

  3. Wow, you’re so lucky to be there. I was shocked to find out about his death. I wasn’t a die hard fan but I did grow up with his songs blasting on my radio. It was the magical 80’s. I don’t think there’s any era that can come close. It’s the likes of Madonna, prince, Duran Duran, Bowie, Wham, boy George, michael Jackson, Whitney and many other giants that made the 80’s so special…and it’s sad to witness the demise of so many…
    I watched all his YouTube interviews and I gained more respect for the private man that he was…

    • I was born in 1971 and the 80s by far is my favorite generation of music. I also love the 7os and 90s alternative bands too. This was our youth. I don’t think the music today could possibly have the same amazing quality of playing. Prince and his Electric guitar was unbelievable. Have been watching old YouTube videos of his music.

  4. Nicole I have goosebumps reading your post. A wonderful tribute. Such a loss to so many. Lovely see how the people of Minnesota are honoring one they were so proud of.

  5. When these kinds of things happen, I can’t help but think how wonderful it would have been if all this outpouring of love and appreciation would have taken place when Prince (or whoever) was still alive.

  6. Mike Hohmann

    Nice post and tribute… but we all die at some point. Prince, however, will continue to live on through his music. I’ve spent a significant amount of my life at First Avenue, although for many of those years it went by other names. Prince had a life beyond his music… he helped a lot of folks along the way. RIP

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