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Prince from Minneapolis: A Guided Tour Exploring His Roots

  • First Avenue & 7th St Entry 701 North 1st Avenue Minneapolis, MN, 55403 United States (map)

Prince Rogers Nelson was born on June 7, 1958, in Minneapolis and attended schools on both the city’s North and Southside. How did growing up in Minneapolis shape Prince as the artist he would later become? Are the stories about him being homeless and needing a family or standing outside of McDonald’s smelling the food because he was hungry & broke actually true? What was his family like? Was he nurtured and cared for? Join us on a guided tour where his family will dispel some of the myths, the rumors, and the mystery. You’ll find out from people who were actually there.

We’ll also learn about the city’s diverse music history, how the Great Migration brought Prince’s ancestors to Minnesota from Louisiana and how growing up in Minneapolis produced the specific experiences that enabled the creation of the “Minneapolis Sound.” We’ll discover what instruments Prince learned to play and where; his early songwriting and studio experiences; and we’ll explore the neighborhoods and learn about his family and the close friends who later became members of his first band, Grand Central. The original band members included Prince Nelson, Charles Smith, Andre Cymone (Anderson), Terrance Jackson, William “Hollywood” Doughty and Linda Anderson.

The tour will be led by Charles “Chazz” Smith, the musician’s cousin and original drummer of Grand Central, the band that spawned Andre Cymone, Morris Day and Prince. Chazz will share specific stories about his family, the band’s music development, and some of the influences that shaped their music. He will touch on the style, the fashion, the band’s early performances, songwriting and more.

Twin Cities-based historian Kristen Zschomler will co-lead the tour with Chazz. Kristen has researched places associated with Prince up to his construction of Paisley Park and will discuss key locations throughout the city, and the value of identifying and recognizing the historical significance of these properties that connect Prince to his Minneapolis roots.

Tickets are $40 and each guided tour is approximately 2.5-3.0 hours. Ride in comfort on a party bus featuring a premium sound system and dance floor, H20, soda, light snacks, and LED dance lighting while listening to Prince’s earlier music. A restroom is on board. Tickets are available online only. We will not be able to accommodate walk-up registrations.

Guided tours in June on Eventbrite will be offered on the following dates departing promptly from First Avenue & 7th St Entry (next to Prince’s gold star):

Thursday, June 7th at 1:00 PM

Friday, June 8th at 3:30 PM

Sunday, June 10th at 1:00 PM

*We are planning a gathering in downtown Minneapolis with light appetizers (location TBD) immediately following the guided tour on Friday, June 8th

Purchase tickets on Eventbrite through the following link: