The Durango Telegraph Opinion Piece: Purple pilgrimage (Touring Prince's Home - Paisley Park)

by AndersonsInfo 3 Replies latest jw friends

  • AndersonsInfo

    Purple pilgrimage

    Missy Votel - 09/28/2017

    “Is that chewing gum?” the woman in the purple shirt at the front desk asked me, with more than a hint of disgust. “You will have to spit that out,” she scolded, handing me a box of tissues with her similarly painted purple fingernails.

    I dutifully and sheepishly spit the gum out, not quite sure what compelled me to pop it in in the first place. It was especially inexplicable given that only seconds earlier, a large man in a black suit confiscated my phone. He didn’t keep it, he just locked it in a case so I couldn’t use it, but the message was clear: don’t mess.

    Perhaps I was nervous knowing my every move was being monitored. Or maybe I wanted to make sure I had fresh breath when I met my idol. Or at least his remains.

    As you may have heard me mention before, I’m kind of obsessed with Prince – I guess I never really gave up the dream of someday being his back-up singer or maybe eating pancakes with him at one of his late-night pajama parties. There’s something about this biggest little badass that’s hard to shake. An enigma wrapped in a riddle and cloaked in royal purple satin and lace. He could “hush” the world with a stare and rock the Super Bowl in the rain in heels that put Melania to shame.

    Like many, I was shook by his death. A quiet, reclusive, Jehovah-fearing, vegetarian teetotaler, he was supposed to live forever. Then again, by rock and roll standards, 57 is pretty good. But it didn’t make the pain any less.

    Thus, when I heard you could tour his colossal suburban fortress, Paisley Park, I knew it was a pilgrimage I had to make. You know, for closure (and maybe a chance to jump on his bed or at least touch his stuff.) So, using a flimsy excuse to see family, I booked some tickets to the Mini Apple and bought my PP tickets online. Before I knew it, my sisters and I were pointing the Dadmobile to the equally unrock’n’rollish suburb of Chanhassen: the Prince promised land.

    Having never toured a dead star’s home (or any star for that matter), I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would there be a “Jungle Room?” Would they let us look inside his fridge or poke through his closet? Could we karaoke to “1999” in his private nightclub? Well, when we showed up, it was clear they had seen our kind before.

    Before I could so much as slink off to run my hands over the purple velvet chaise, I was yanked back in line. The tour was a well-oiled and supervised machine – and can’t say I could blame them. Prince was an extremely private person when he wasn’t gyrating on stage. The rules are how he would’ve wanted them: no roaming, no dawdling, no messing things up and no photos. (That latter of which I was actually quite thankful for. After all, Prince’s home is a shrine, not a place for selfie sticks and hashtagging. #havesomerespect.)


  • LV101

    Barbara - so good you posted and was wondering where you were!

    Thanks for the 'Prince' share. Loved Prince!

  • steve2

    I never quite 'got' Prince's music - but his followers were never halfway in their devotion, sticking with him even beyond his death and growing in devotion. If that ain't worship.....

    Anyway, I've seen interviews of him in which he articulated an odd take on JW doctrines, as if he always retained a quasi-mystical side despite his being a JW. Look up his views on birthdays, for example - and try to unravel his "reasoning" - or lack thereof. It's a case of, "What's he saying?!"

    His last CD before his untimely death featured him appearing on the cover with a third eye - a pagan religious symbol with satanic overtones from a JW organization perspective - which led me to muse once again that JWs who are "superstars" or "celebrities" get away with far more than rank and file Witnesses ever would. He was a million miles away from the lived experience of ordinary fellow Witnesses.

    A united brotherhood? I don't think so.

  • LV101

    The lives of the superstars - hard to believe he was a JW. He was under contract in LV for at least one year and I've never heard about any meeting attendance -- maybe he only went in his home town.

    Entertainers/musicians and the JW religion -- amazing.

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