Local Current Blog

Photos from Paisley Park: The NPG Music Club

With Paisley Park officially open for tours after some unsure times in October, the estate held a media tour day on Wednesday, November 2. Many reports have already shared words on what Prince’s home is like, but for this tour, Paisley Park promised something almost unprecedented: the chance to take photos inside four rooms. MPR photographer Evan Frost, plus Local Current writers Jay Gabler and Cecilia Johnson, headed out to Chanhassen to capture the scene.

Under the Cherry Moon/Graffiti Bridge Room

A purple motorcycle and Prince’s outfits from “Under the Cherry Moon” are displayed in a room named after the movie inside of Paisley Park in Chanhassen, Minn. on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016 (Evan Frost/MPR)

Just past the Purple Rain room,

The Memorial Fence

Miniature doves decorate a memorial fence exhibit in Paisley Park on Nov. 2, 2016; the walls are filled with fan art (Evan Frost/MPR) Fan art left on the fence outside of Paisley Park now decorates a wall on the inside of the building on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016 in Chanhassen, Minn. (Evan Frost/MPR)

In recent years, Paisley staff would sell merch in this spot at late-night dance parties. Guests would enter dance parties through its double doors, and while they paid their cover charges, they could see table on their left. Now, the merch table is gone, and a chain-link fence wraps around the wall, decorated with memorabilia fans left outside Paisley Park after Prince’s death. Ticket stubs, letters, flowers, and art live on as tributes to Prince.

On the opposite wall, visitors can see the Super Bowl room, where a TV broadcasts highlights from Prince’s 2007 performance. Not only did Prince perform a few of his own hits during that landmark show, he also covered Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower,” Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary,” Queen’s “We Will Rock You,” and the Foo Fighters’ “Best of You,” as a guide pointed out. Prince’s turquoise jacket and guitar will presumably be added once they’re moved from the Mall of America’s temporary exhibit (which runs through Nov. 14).

NPG Music Club

A psychedelic projection reflects off a heart-shaped mirror in the NPG Music Club inside Paisley Park in Chanhassen, Minn. on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016 (Evan Frost/MPR)

The NPG Music Club is a small room, but somehow, it feels like one of the grandest in the whole complex. That’s partly because of the high ceiling, which would take a few flights of stairs to reach. Staff used to hustle up and down the stairs during shows in this one-time performance space; the stairs run along the side wall, behind and to the left of people facing the stage — but for now, any upper levels are strictly sealed off. A car grill, from the cover of Sign ‘O’ The Times, is mounted on the first landing and faces attendees.

On the right if you’re looking at the stage, the art from The Rainbow Children decorates part of the wall. The cover also shows up in Paisley Park’s Piano Room, but there, the painting’s figures are on their own. In the NPG Music Club, a painted Prince sidles up next to the Rainbow Children, an unreadable expression on his face.

Near the end, several of the complex’s best moments went down in this intimate space, including Judith Hill’s performance and Madonna’s visit to Paisley. When the show happened in the soundstage a room over, guests could often sit on couches just like the ones currently on stage.