Exceptional, Extraordinary, and Underestimated
Journey to Paisley Park
This is the second in a series featuring Prince faithful’s making their way to Paisley Park for Celebration 2017, April 20-23. They share their thoughts on Prince, his impact on their lives, and what this Journey to Paisley Park represents for them.
“My first visit to Paisley Park was in the Summer of 1991. I was spending one month with a host family in Rochester, Minnesota, to improve my English. I was already a die-hard Prince fan at the time, and had picked Minnesota with the hope that I’d be able to go to the Twin Cities and visit Paisley Park. We went the day Prince was to perform at the Special Olympics. We arrived in the morning but he was not there. Trucks were being loaded, and I pushed open the front door, went to the front desk and explained that I was a huge fan, etc. They told me that he was rehearsing for the show downtown, but that I could walk a bit around if I wanted to. It was surreal.
Prince is the soundtrack of my life, yes, but he is much more than that. People tend to underestimate how exceptional and extraordinary he was. He was human, flawed of course, but his talent and his vision made him unique. I was attending an INSEAD seminar on leadership a few weeks after he passed away and was asked to pick a theme and present it to the class; the idea was to convince the audience of the significance of that theme. I chose Prince and explained why I thought that he was not only a wonderfully gifted musician, but also a leader, someone who pushed boundaries, disrupted the old ways and helped redesign the music industry. People (senior executives of blue chip companies) were a bit startled, but I think they got the point. Well, I hope so at least!! I am currently writing a case study on his feud with Warner Bros.”
When asked why he is traveling from across the world to attend Celebration 2017, Eric says, “For bonding with other fams and musicians. For mourning and celebrating the man, the artist, and his legacy.”
Photos: Eric then (1991 at Paisley Park) and now