The Man Who Would Be Prince

1991 profile by Chris Heath:

Like his records, like his stage shows, Prince’s Paisley Park headquarters is a monument to this system of beliefs. It’s a strange place, even to visit. Something in the water, as Prince once so memorably put it, does not compute. It’s not anything physical, not the two doves in their cage or the purple galaxy painted on the boardroom ceiling or the obsessive cleanliness. It’s something more intangible, and you see it in the faces of the people who work there. They’re like students taking a long, perplexing exam, trying to work out what the question means before they can start writing. And the question is this: What does Prince want? “Ask him!” you want to shout. But there are few, if any, people here who can ask him a straight question or demand a straight answer. There was a tabloid story once that claimed Prince fired employees because they weren’t telepathically responsive. It wasn’t true, but they were onto something. There’s a lot of second guessing going on-a lot of people who believe but are still muddling through the messy, day to-day business of understanding.


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