On our recent trip to the Twin Cities, a quick decision to see Paisley Park turned out to be one of the highlights of the visit.  Our chance meeting on the tour developed into over an hour of fascinating conversation.  I wish we could do it all over again.

Before entering Paisley Park, we snapped a few pictures.  Craig Jurczewsky and his daughter Miranda smiled for the camera when a man with a big smile on his face approached us.  He offered to be in the picture too and explained that we may not know who he was at the time, but by the end of the tour we would.  Damon Dickson was such an entertaining and likable guy.  He was right, we had no idea who he was, but that didn't last for long.

When you enter Paisley Park, there's a sense of wonder. Prince's wishes to allow music lovers to enjoy the space was apparent as he had already designed display rooms, each dedicated to specific albums, long before his death.

As we entered rooms dedicated to each album, many artifacts adorned the space.  In one room, a mural of the band spanned the wall and a music video looped on the big screen.  It was there that Damon pointed himself out on the video and the mural as being a part of the New Power Generation, Prince's band.  Our next step was to the tour guide.  "Is this guy really who he says he is?" we asked.  "He sure is." responded our guide.  In addition to our guide sharing the life of Prince and all that happened within the walls we walked, Damon would occasionally and respectfully share some of his stories too.

My favorite story that Damon shared went back to Prince's performance at the 1991 MTV Music awards. Even a planned performance had a surprise or two according to Damon.  Before the performance, the stage was dark, Prince had a long coat on and he mentioned to the band that something unexpected was about the happen.  Just before the lights came on, Prince dropped the coat to the stage floor and the band started to play.  The audience hadn't seen it yet, but the band could see the backside of Prince and a perfectly exposed rear end in the tailored suit.  Next came the choreographed dance moves, which included Prince falling to the floor, and a very surprised Damon falling on top of him.  Damon says he did everything he could to make sure he kept his face from any skin to skin contact!  He laughs about it now.  Watch it all at :48 seconds into the video, and the full moon at 2:57.  Heads up, those dancers are not very family friendly.

Paisley Park was not revamped into a quick museum space to make a buck. It is a showcase to not only an incredibly gifted man but how dedication and passion to what you love can pay off if you don't give up and work incredibly hard.

 

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