Prince remembered throughout Minneapolis 1 year after death

Published: Wednesday, April 19, 2017 @ 9:51 AM

The city where Prince loved, Minneapolis, is gearing up for a celebration of the musician one year after his death.

A lone jogger sprinted down the pathway between the hulking white Paisley Park compound and Minnesota Highway 5, indifferent to the history living on the other side of the sagging chain-link fence.

A purple makeshift wall on the property – the Prince4Ever Tribute Fence – cluttered with fan-donated mementos and photos, remained off limits Tuesday as Paisley Park closed to prepare for Celebration 2017, a four-day event launching Thursday.

The first anniversary of Prince’s still incomprehensible death arrives Friday, and the commemorative gathering is expected to attract about 2,000 fans from 28 countries, as well as offering musical performances from The Revolution, Morris Day & The Time and New Power Generation – a collective hug to honor the memory of the musical titan who died of an accidental opioid overdose at 57.

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Although Paisley Park, located about 30 minutes from downtown Minneapolis in the suburban enclave of Chanhassen, now functions as a museum – a quick turnaround from studio to tourist attraction by the same folks who manage Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee – many fans have chosen to contribute to a “Graffiti Bridge” of sorts a few steps from the property.

The Riley Creek underpass, which connects Lake Ann Park and Paisley Park, was, before April 21, 2016, a naked slab of curved concrete.

Now, spray-painted R.I.P.s and messages of sadness, hope and gratitude are etched on the walls.

“Purple rain is what we bleed,” read one, while another also invoked a Prince lyric: “There’s something else…the afterlife.”

More love for Prince.(Melissa Ruggieri/AJC)

While Prince spent his later years in his Chanhassen hideaway – an area that was devoid of commercialism when he built it in the ‘80s but now resides less than a mile from a Target and across the street from a day care center – his loss is hardly relegated to the city of about 25,000.

In nearby St. Paul, the Minnesota History Center retrieved one of its treasured artifacts – the purple coat and white, ruffled shirt Prince wore in his 1984 career-making “Purple Rain” movie – to put on display this week.

The outfit, which Prince gave to the Minnesota Historical Society in 1992, is in danger of fading, so it can make only brief public appearances.

St. Paul residents Jason and Rachel Gorski donned purple attire Tuesday evening specifically to visit the small exhibit at the History Center.

“He and I were born the same year,” Jason Gorski said. “I’m trying to maintain just a tenth of his coolness.”

Rachel Gorski, 50, said she and her friends became Prince fans in high school.

“It was wild to be here (in Minnesota) when he died. The entire energy of the city was just down. People would cry spontaneously,” she said.

But, like many of Prince’s fans, the Gorskis eventually found a way to combat the sadness – they attended a Prince tribute show with Morris Day & The Time at the famed First Avenue music club in downtown Minneapolis and “danced the night away.”

Jason Gorski is confident that Prince’s legacy is solidified for generations.

“He will beat time because he has 100 more years of music (in the vault),” Gorski said. “It’s just too bad he won’t be here to spread it.”

Paisley Park will host the Celebration 2017 this weekend.(Melissa Ruggieri/AJC)

It’s probably not an exaggeration to say that everyone who lives in Minneapolis has some sort of Prince story.

But it makes sense that the staff at the Electric Fetus, a funky independent record shop that has been a musical mainstay in this city since 1968, would have much to say about one of the shop’s most famous, and most loyal, customers.

Fans might recall that Prince visited the store on Record Store Day 2016, five days before he died. He tweeted his thanks on April 16, and noted that he “rocked” a Stevie Wonder album on the way home (he also scooped up albums by Santana and Missing Persons).

Despite his obvious feelings of nostalgia that day, Prince was renowned for his interest in new artists.

“He would always be on top of the new music,” said David “Chilly” Caufman, who has worked at Electric Fetus for 18 years. “He really supported the scene here. He loved supporting local businesses.”

The store, unsurprisingly, has created a Prince sales display of books, candles and T-shirts, as well as a mug with the inscription from that final tweet.

The Electric Fetus record store has a Prince-centered music display, as well as one featuring books and candles.(Melissa Ruggieri/AJC)
 

Charlie Daniels compares Confederate statue removal to ISIS' actions

Published: Sunday, August 20, 2017 @ 6:33 AM

Robert E. Lee Never Wanted Confederate Monuments Built

Charlie Daniels has always been outspoken about his political beliefs. So it comes as no surprise that he is sharing his opinions on the recent movement to remove Confederate monuments and memorials from public spaces in the U.S.

>> Watch the interview here

In a new interview with cable network Newsmax TV, the 80-year-old country music icon was asked whether or not he thought Confederate statues should be taken down.

>> On Rare Country: Blake Shelton weighs in on the Charlottesville tragedy

He simply answered, “No.”

“If you don’t like it, don’t look at it,” Daniels explained. “I walk past movie posters that I don’t like. There’s all kinds of symbolism in this country that I don’t like, but I’m not going to go tear them down. I just don’t look at them. These statues aren’t preaching or shouting out some kind of crazy epithets or something. They’re just sitting there. So just turn around and don’t look at them.”

>> There are hundreds of Confederate monuments, not just in the South

Daniels, who seemed more concerned with preserving the history and culture of America, also compared the current debate over the removal of Confederate statues to situations going on with ISIS.

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“There were pieces of history that they didn’t like. [So] they were taking them down,” he said before echoing words that President Donald Trump wrote in a tweet, “Where does it stop? Is it going to be Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, or are we headed into Jefferson, Washington, who were both slave owners? How deep into history are we going to go?

“You don’t have to condone what happened in the Civil War,” he added, “but they’re statues of people who are part of our history.”

>> On Rare Country: Charlie Daniels honors America with his latest video

Plans to remove several Confederate statues around the U.S. come just days after a white nationalist rally to protect a Statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia, turned deadly. According to CNN, Texas, Florida, Kentucky, Georgia and Alabama are just some of the many states pushing to remove Confederate monuments.

Charles Barkley offers brutally honest take on Confederate statue debate

Published: Sunday, August 20, 2017 @ 7:55 AM

Robert E. Lee Never Wanted Confederate Monuments Built

Former basketball star Charles Barkley recently weighed in on an argument that has the entire nation riled up: the removal of Confederate statues.

>> Watch the interview here

“I’m not going to waste my time worrying about these Confederate statues. ... I’m going to keep doing great things, No. 1 in the black community because I’m black,” Barkley said in an interview with Rick Karle of WBRC.

>> Charlie Daniels compares Confederate statue removal to ISIS' actions

He continued: “I’m not going to waste my time worrying about a neo-Nazi who’s going to hate me no matter what.”

>> There are hundreds of Confederate monuments, not just in the South

When asked if the best option is to leave the statues up and ignore them, Barkley answered, “I’ve always ignored them. I’m 54 years old; I’ve never thought about those statues a day in my life. I think if you ask most black people, to be honest, they haven’t thought a day in their life about those stupid statues.”

In an interview, basketball superstar Charles Barkley called pushing for the removal of Confederate statues "wasted energy." http://bit.ly/2x0lmmJ

Posted by Fox News on Saturday, August 19, 2017

Barkley has weighed in before on the Confederate statue and flag debate. In 2004, he said he was on his way to a NASCAR race and turned around when he saw 10 Confederate flags.

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Barkley was a star player with the Philadelphia 76ers and then with the Phoenix Suns, where he earned the NBA Most Valuable Player award.

ESPN's Robert Lee pulled from Virginia game because of his name, report says

Published: Wednesday, August 23, 2017 @ 4:44 AM

Robert E. Lee Never Wanted Confederate Monuments Built

ESPN broadcaster Robert Lee was scheduled to call an upcoming University of Virginia football game, but in light of recent tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia, the network has pulled him from that assignment because of the similarity between his name and that of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

>> Charles Barkley offers brutally honest take on Confederate statue debate

Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch released ESPN’s statement on the situation, saying it was Lee’s decision to request a different assignment:

>> See the tweet here

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Lee’s decision to request a change of assignment comes on the heels of recent protests in Charlottesville, in which a counter protester, Heather Heyer, was allegedly killed by a white supremacist.

USS John S. McCain collision: Commander of Navy's 7th Fleet dismissed

Published: Wednesday, August 23, 2017 @ 12:58 AM
Updated: Wednesday, August 23, 2017 @ 4:18 AM

USS John S. McCain Collides With Tanker, 10 Sailors Missing

The commander of the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet has been dismissed following the USS John S. McCain collision and other recent ship accidents, The Associated Press reported early Wednesday.

>> Navy plans operation pause, calls for review of collisions in the Pacific

>> 10 sailors missing after USS John S. McCain collides with tanker

>> USS John S. McCain collision: Remains found during search for missing sailors

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