As soon as the concert date was announced, I purchased tickets for the museum to correspond with the date of the concert. I highly recommend the VIP tour. If you go, you may as well do it big! Don’t be cheap with yourself! I booked a hotel (which I canceled later) near the first announced concert venue. Dernise, my Road Diva, and I stayed with relatives. I used a vacation day to be off work to stalk Ticketmaster to purchase our concert tickets for The Official Prince Tribute at the Xcel Energy Center before they were sold out. I was totally overjoyed to have tickets since the tickets sold out within minutes! We named it our Prince Road Trip! We drove six hours from Chicago to Minnesota. The entire time we were like teenagers.
Judith Hill tore up “How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore.” She can sang! YouTube her! You can’t say enough about a performance from Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan because they are always topnotch entertainers. At one point, Stevie Wonder, was overcome mildly with sorrow from missing his dear friend, Prince. Doug E. Fresh beat boxed in a way only he can and the crowd was joyous and rocking with him. Prince muses covered many of his songs. I could go on and on but that would be hard because the concert began at around 7 p.m. and lasted until approximately 12:00 a.m. We still wanted more and didn’t want it to end. It felt too much like a goodbye.
We exited the bus and waited in line for our turn to enter Paisley Park. While waiting, we were instructed that photos were not allowed and you can be banned for life from ever visiting again. One woman tried to sneak photos but the staff made her erase photos and any photos her boyfriend may have been attached to on social media. Our phones were sealed in neoprene cases that can only be opened by the staff. With the VIP tour, you can purchase a flash drive which can also be a great souvenir. It’s purple and silver. You can bring your own to take photos near Prince’s purple piano later during the tour.
His kitchen is located on the main floor too. It is set up like a small restaurant with two or three booths. We were told that Prince hung out in the kitchen on the sofa watching TV between sets. Many of the rooms are decorated very colorfully but tastefully done. Prince wouldn’t have it any other way. We visited rooms with his stage costumes. Although, he had a small frame, Prince was one sharp dresser and extremely attractive. Was it Jamie Foxx that stated he was gay for five minutes after looking in Prince’s eyes? We were told that he had a personal clothes designer.
Several of the rooms played videos from concerts, interviews, and movies starring His Purple Highness. Our tour guide led us into his office. We were told that it was left the way that Prince had left it. It included his unpacked suitcase against a wall from recent travel, sketches on his table, and his cat’s cage. Someone asked about the cat and was told that family members are taking care of the cat. Prince’s sister, Tyka, walked around speaking to the guests. She was the perfect hostess by allowing us to enter her brother’s world.
Security is tight! I peeked around a corner from one of the studios and I could hear security describing me (I was wearing a gold jacket) over their radios. It should have been roped off! I didn’t know I couldn’t peek in it. Again, when I went to the bathroom, I heard security describe me as I stepped away from my tour group. The various studios are definitely topnotch!
Every hallway has photos of Prince or his many gold and platinum records. Someone asked if the records could be played. The guide told us that the records are usually old records that may not have sold from another artist. The records cannot be put on a turntable and don’t work. Bummer! One hallway of photos begins with Prince’s musical journey to the present. The photos are fabulous because he was one good-looking man.
The purple room is painted with glow in the dark paint and simulates purple rain drops or sparkling stars. In the Purple Rain Room, one side contains mirrors in which Prince practiced his dance moves. Our guide told us that the motorcycle from the movie, Purple Rain, and costumes were added into the room as well as Prince’s Academy Award. The piano in this room has marks from Prince dancing on top of it! The movie screen rotates scenes from the movie. It’s an amazing experience being in Paisley Park!
This is where your purple flash drive will come into play. Dernise and I played a game of ping pong on the table in one of the studios while we waited to take our photos behind the purple piano. Our tour guide told us that Prince played the game between studio breaks. YouTube Jimmy Fallon as he describes being beat badly by Prince playing ping pong. Prince's handwriting is on the piano. This was one of the best parts of the tour!
After we left the NPG Club, it was the end of our tour. We exited into a big tent that contained souvenirs (t-shirts, posters, tambourines, key chains, bags, necklaces, etc.) for purchasing. Tables and chairs were set up for our convenience. We had also purchased tickets in advance for meals created by Prince’s personal chef, Ray Roberts, that featured his favorite dishes. It was a vegetarian dish but extremely good. I missed out on the chocolate cake because the kitchen ran out.
The finale for our Prince Road Trip was to hit thrift stores. I can’t go anywhere without going to one and I found great deals!
You should add Paisley Park to your planned vacations or Bucket List. You will not regret it!
Tell me your thoughts! Leave a comment.
UPDATE: Paisley Park is now officially a permanent museum! Tours start again!