BEST PLACE TO TAKE OUT-OF-TOWN GUESTS - 2002
Paisley Park Studios
7801 Audubon Road
Chanhassen, MN 55317
Caustic critics and disaffected fans aside, who wouldn't jump at the chance to see Prince perform live? He's the Eiffel Tower of the Twin Cities, still more iconic than the Leno guest in the governor's office. Lots of folks who don't know the Mall of America from the Spoonbridge know "Pussy Control" from "Under the Cherry Moon." And for friends and family visiting from out of town, this is one Mount Rushmore who still breathes and makes speeches--and rocks out (best when he's playing late, long, and locally). Plenty of longtime fans find themselves making the late-night road trip for his word-of-mouth, wee-hours parties, held on any given night at His Majesty's secret surface: his Paisley Park studio in Chanhassen. It's no architectural wonder--a white, boxy building lit purple at night. But for a nominal donation, you can enter a warehouse-size studio room illuminated for dancing and fortified with a soda bar and couches. These sometimes-crowded alcohol-free events are usually announced online (see above), and they often occur as an after-party for concerts by visiting Prince fans, such as Alicia Keys. Sometimes Prince won't show up, and sometimes he merely DJs, cutting his own music with whatever hip hop or R&B obsesses him. But if you're lucky, he'll quit resisting the urge to show off, perhaps bringing legendary bassist pal Larry Graham onstage, too. With band in tow, he'll launch an all-out live jam starting well after midnight and peaking sometime after 3:00 a.m. After watching Prince crunch through a delicious guitar solo during a till-dawn rendition of "Gett Off," your guests may happily baptize themselves in the waters of Lake Minnetonka, green muck and all.