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Thread started 11/14/16 5:17pm

AlexHahn

My Visit to Paisley

Having returned from my visit, unfortunately I am left with concerns about the administration of Paisley Park as a museum.

It was my first visit to Paisley, and on this level alone it was remarkable to see the space where Prince lived and worked. Every dimension of the facility was geared towards creation of music, and every nuance helped fulfill this goal.

Our guide was fairly knowledgeable -- although I kind of chuckled as she told me stories from my own book. But neither she, nor the tour itself, provided enough meaningful context for Prince's career. Visitors are not educated as to why Prince was an important artist. A novice visitor would simply get the impression was that he was a famous musician who built an amazing complex. Sorely lacking is a basic overview of what made Prince special.

Seeing Studio A and B were pretty amazing, but regrettably there is no access to the control rooms. This seems silly -- there are ways to protect the equipment, just as as museums manage to protect Van Gogh paintings worth millions without putting them behind glass.

For much of the tour, you are told that you can't go into that room, can't sit on that couch, etc. I understand why we don't get see Prince's bedroom for privacy reasons, but a visit upstairs presumably could be accomplished without entering the bedroom.

Likewise, the Linn machine and the Oberheim synth are behind glass and it's hard to even see them. These items are treated far more protectively than the Mona Lisa is in Paris. And here again, for a layperson, it's hard to know what their meaning is. It would have made sense, for example, to play "1999" when talking about the Oberheim or "When Doves Cry" when discussing the Linn.

One thing that was interesting -- not that a guide would have pointed it out -- was that Prince used apparently used mainly Ibanez digital effects pedals (that's what they looked like through the glass). I'm not surprised, because his guitar tone was often rather thin. Some have said this was deliberate so as not to drown out other sonic frequencies, which is probably true, but it's still very surprising to me that he didn't use vintage analogue effects. I do wonder what he used for Lotus Flower because that album sounds very Hendrix-like in terms of guitar tone.

Anyway, I understand that such matters are of little interest to the five-year-old who was battering ping-pong balls all over Studio B. Her mother, by the way, looked at me like she'd seen a ghost when I told her about the lyrics on a music stand from Prince's last session. Far be it for the guide to elucidate this interesting detail. On the way out, I was tempted to stop by the front desk to pick up a paycheck.

Back to the tour. The Purple Rain Room and Under the Cherry Moon room struck me as wax museum-esque. I'm not interested in seeing costumes -- let's learn more about key instruments. I started to feel like Vincent Price was going to come out from behind a closet.

All told, I am suspicious that the current concept will attract a huge number of visitors from across the country and world for years to come. the approach needs to be adjusted -- more educational elements, more explanation of the music, more context.

I could complain more because I am basically a complainer. But all that aside, it was moving to visit Paisley, and it certainly reaffirms the sense of sadness we have over him not being there. As we all would, I would trade ever visiting Paisley for having him back in there recording and enjoying himself.

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Reply #1 posted 11/14/16 5:48pm

laurarichardso
n

AlexHahn said:

Having returned from my visit, unfortunately I am left with concerns about the administration of Paisley Park as a museum.

It was my first visit to Paisley, and on this level alone it was remarkable to see the space where Prince lived and worked. Every dimension of the facility was geared towards creation of music, and every nuance helped fulfill this goal.

Our guide was fairly knowledgeable -- although I kind of chuckled as she told me stories from my own book. But neither she, nor the tour itself, provided enough meaningful context for Prince's career. Visitors are not educated as to why Prince was an important artist. A novice visitor would simply get the impression was that he was a famous musician who built an amazing complex. Sorely lacking is a basic overview of what made Prince special.

Seeing Studio A and B were pretty amazing, but regrettably there is no access to the control rooms. This seems silly -- there are ways to protect the equipment, just as as museums manage to protect Van Gogh paintings worth millions without putting them behind glass.

For much of the tour, you are told that you can't go into that room, can't sit on that couch, etc. I understand why we don't get see Prince's bedroom for privacy reasons, but a visit upstairs presumably could be accomplished without entering the bedroom.

Likewise, the Linn machine and the Oberheim synth are behind glass and it's hard to even see them. These items are treated far more protectively than the Mona Lisa is in Paris. And here again, for a layperson, it's hard to know what their meaning is. It would have made sense, for example, to play "1999" when talking about the Oberheim or "When Doves Cry" when discussing the Linn.

One thing that was interesting -- not that a guide would have pointed it out -- was that Prince used apparently used mainly Ibanez digital effects pedals (that's what they looked like through the glass). I'm not surprised, because his guitar tone was often rather thin. Some have said this was deliberate so as not to drown out other sonic frequencies, which is probably true, but it's still very surprising to me that he didn't use vintage analogue effects. I do wonder what he used for Lotus Flower because that album sounds very Hendrix-like in terms of guitar tone.

Anyway, I understand that such matters are of little interest to the five-year-old who was battering ping-pong balls all over Studio B. Her mother, by the way, looked at me like she'd seen a ghost when I told her about the lyrics on a music stand from Prince's last session. Far be it for the guide to elucidate this interesting detail. On the way out, I was tempted to stop by the front desk to pick up a paycheck.

Back to the tour. The Purple Rain Room and Under the Cherry Moon room struck me as wax museum-esque. I'm not interested in seeing costumes -- let's learn more about key instruments. I started to feel like Vincent Price was going to come out from behind a closet.

All told, I am suspicious that the current concept will attract a huge number of visitors from across the country and world for years to come. the approach needs to be adjusted -- more educational elements, more explanation of the music, more context.

I could complain more because I am basically a complainer. But all that aside, it was moving to visit Paisley, and it certainly reaffirms the sense of sadness we have over him not being there. As we all would, I would trade ever visiting Paisley for having him back in there recording and enjoying himself.

Are you fucking for real. eek

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Reply #2 posted 11/14/16 6:02pm

HerecomethePur
pleYoda

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Alex don't play...

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Reply #3 posted 11/14/16 6:08pm

Latin

This is the wrong forum to post your tour experience.

There is a sticky for this specific topic in the fan gathering forum which focuses on the experience of touring Paisley Park.

Here it is:

http://prince.org/msg/2/433296
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Reply #4 posted 11/14/16 6:10pm

petalthecat

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The problem they have is trying to appeal to a fan and also the average visitor. I guess people are going for different reasons and are interested in seeing different things. Some for the musical side, some more interested in the personal stuff. I'm surprised the tour guides aren't well informed, but it is early days and they will probably get better. It would be nice to hear some new personal anecdotes from the guides that no one has heard before. I'm not sold on the studio karaoke idea, seems a little tacky and I was hoping the studio was still going to be a working studio. It seems to me they will have to aim the museum more at the lay person for longevity and direct the events towards the fan base.
There's always a rainbow 🌈 , at the end of every rain ☔️
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Reply #5 posted 11/14/16 6:23pm

tomcooper2323

That was kind of a weird review and basically you would just prefer a different tour than the one they are offering. I am a hardcore fan and prett picky myself, but I don't think I share any of the concerns you stated. Well of course I would like a tour that focused on the music more, but I get why they have all his costumes and such on display. But most of the reports about the tour that I've read suggest that it will be worth my time and $.

.

Anyway thanks for sharing your experience and your review.

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Reply #6 posted 11/14/16 6:31pm

PennyPurple

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AlexHahn said:

Having returned from my visit, unfortunately I am left with concerns about the administration of Paisley Park as a museum.

It was my first visit to Paisley, and on this level alone it was remarkable to see the space where Prince lived and worked. Every dimension of the facility was geared towards creation of music, and every nuance helped fulfill this goal.

Our guide was fairly knowledgeable -- although I kind of chuckled as she told me stories from my own book. But neither she, nor the tour itself, provided enough meaningful context for Prince's career. Visitors are not educated as to why Prince was an important artist. A novice visitor would simply get the impression was that he was a famous musician who built an amazing complex. Sorely lacking is a basic overview of what made Prince special.

Seeing Studio A and B were pretty amazing, but regrettably there is no access to the control rooms. This seems silly -- there are ways to protect the equipment, just as as museums manage to protect Van Gogh paintings worth millions without putting them behind glass.

For much of the tour, you are told that you can't go into that room, can't sit on that couch, etc. I understand why we don't get see Prince's bedroom for privacy reasons, but a visit upstairs presumably could be accomplished without entering the bedroom.

Likewise, the Linn machine and the Oberheim synth are behind glass and it's hard to even see them. These items are treated far more protectively than the Mona Lisa is in Paris. And here again, for a layperson, it's hard to know what their meaning is. It would have made sense, for example, to play "1999" when talking about the Oberheim or "When Doves Cry" when discussing the Linn.

One thing that was interesting -- not that a guide would have pointed it out -- was that Prince used apparently used mainly Ibanez digital effects pedals (that's what they looked like through the glass). I'm not surprised, because his guitar tone was often rather thin. Some have said this was deliberate so as not to drown out other sonic frequencies, which is probably true, but it's still very surprising to me that he didn't use vintage analogue effects. I do wonder what he used for Lotus Flower because that album sounds very Hendrix-like in terms of guitar tone.

Anyway, I understand that such matters are of little interest to the five-year-old who was battering ping-pong balls all over Studio B. Her mother, by the way, looked at me like she'd seen a ghost when I told her about the lyrics on a music stand from Prince's last session. Far be it for the guide to elucidate this interesting detail. On the way out, I was tempted to stop by the front desk to pick up a paycheck.

Back to the tour. The Purple Rain Room and Under the Cherry Moon room struck me as wax museum-esque. I'm not interested in seeing costumes -- let's learn more about key instruments. I started to feel like Vincent Price was going to come out from behind a closet.

All told, I am suspicious that the current concept will attract a huge number of visitors from across the country and world for years to come. the approach needs to be adjusted -- more educational elements, more explanation of the music, more context.

I could complain more because I am basically a complainer. But all that aside, it was moving to visit Paisley, and it certainly reaffirms the sense of sadness we have over him not being there. As we all would, I would trade ever visiting Paisley for having him back in there recording and enjoying himself.

What is your view on the Urn being at PP on display?

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Reply #7 posted 11/14/16 8:22pm

FlyOnTheWall

Everybody is a critic, it seems. Paisley Park will do fine as a museum. I anticipate that it will get better with time.

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Reply #8 posted 11/14/16 11:24pm

luv4u

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moderator

cool

Edmonton, AB - canada

Ohh purple joy oh purple bliss oh purple rapture!
REAL MUSIC by REAL MUSICIANS - Prince
"I kind of wish there was a reason for Prince to make the site crash more" ~~ Ben
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Reply #9 posted 11/14/16 11:53pm

CandaceS

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I also wished we could have at least looked into, if not entered, the studio control rooms. After all, they let people in his office with only a rope to keep them away from the furnishings, etc. When I looked at his office, no staffer was present. If the tours (at least the VIP tours) entered the control room, at least one guide would be there keeping an eye on everyone.

Of course, one problem with taking the tours in there, is that people do bring in a lot of dust.

"I would say that Prince's top thirty percent is great. Of that thirty percent, I'll bet the public has heard twenty percent of it." - Susan Rogers, "Hunting for Prince's Vault", BBC, 2015
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Reply #10 posted 11/15/16 7:44am

Superfan1984

Also, you have to remember that different people want to see different things. Musicians care about the musical equipment but some fans (like me and my sister) can't wait to see Prince's clothes! It might sound shallow and silly, but I would die to be able to see, in person, some of the outfits he wore from Graffiti Bridge and Under the Cherry Moon (and my sister design's clothes so that is one of the main things she wants to see) so... not everyone has the same issues.

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Reply #11 posted 11/15/16 1:03pm

ksl1974

I guess when I went, I couldn't be too critical about anything. I was just happy to be there!!! Would I have liked to see more of Paisley Park? SURE! Who wouldn't!? But I felt fortunate enough to be seeing everything I was able to. Just being there, the atmosphere, was plenty for me! Our total time there was over 3 hours. And I think that's the longest I've ever put my phone away since like 1996!! lol I didn't miss it a bit! Time seemed to just stop in there. It was very..peaceful! The only thing I have to complain about is the smell. And complain in a good way! smile I've been trying to figure out all the "smells" in there since we left. And recreate them at home! I just can't figure it out what all those scents were!? Sounds crazy, but when people have asked me what it was like....I can't sum it up more than....."it was awesome and smelled ....purple and amazing" giggle (We were also lucky enough to be one of the first there that had our pictures taken with the piano.....Just touching the keys, I felt like I was gonna pass out! What an experience!)

[Edited 11/15/16 13:04pm]

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Reply #12 posted 11/15/16 8:33pm

AlexHahn

Superfan1984 said:

Also, you have to remember that different people want to see different things. Musicians care about the musical equipment but some fans (like me and my sister) can't wait to see Prince's clothes! It might sound shallow and silly, but I would die to be able to see, in person, some of the outfits he wore from Graffiti Bridge and Under the Cherry Moon (and my sister design's clothes so that is one of the main things she wants to see) so... not everyone has the same issues.

Absolutely! We all probably want different things in this. I think you would probably dig that aspect of it.

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Reply #13 posted 11/15/16 8:35pm

AlexHahn

PennyPurple said:

What is your view on the Urn being at PP on display?

It's a tricky topic...I think it was what the family wanted. I think it is a bit jarring. It possibly adds to the emotion of it. I felt a little emotional, but this aspect jarred me a bit.

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Reply #14 posted 11/15/16 11:24pm

rogifan

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I'm waiting to go (even though I only live 2 miles from PP) because I think the tour will get better over time. What I say to anyone with concerns (or ideas) is share them with PP management. Maybe in the future they could offer a music tour that's more technically focused on instruments, studios, production processes. Work with engineers/musicians that Prince worked with to beef up talking points for tour guides. Or maybe on occasion have special events with some of these people where they come to PP and give talks. There's a lot of directions they can go. My guess is right now the tours are catered to the 80-90%.
Paisley Park is in your heart
#PrinceForever 💜
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Reply #15 posted 11/16/16 4:48am

warning2all

Personally, I'd like to see more costumes- I.E. the outfits from the "Mountains" or "Kiss" Videos--or the Peach & Black SOTT outfit.

Everything is Art, and the visual appearance of Prince was a continuation of the Art. In some cases, the look was iconic.

The theme rooms seem a little sparse. As PP generates more $$$ I'd like to see them just go nuts with the memorabilia.

In any event, I think the family has done a great job thus far and in short order with things. I found the above review somewhat arrogant.
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Reply #16 posted 11/16/16 8:38am

Superfan1984

I agree, warning2all---- I would love to see all sorts of clothes from videos and the movies. Prince was Music but he was also so much more. That was what was so amazing about him--- with him you got everything- art in the clothing- backdrop- the music- music equiment- murals on the walls- the doves- all of it - smile

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Reply #17 posted 11/17/16 11:36pm

LRCdancer88

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ksl1974 said:

I guess when I went, I couldn't be too critical about anything. I was just happy to be there!!! Would I have liked to see more of Paisley Park? SURE! Who wouldn't!? But I felt fortunate enough to be seeing everything I was able to. Just being there, the atmosphere, was plenty for me! Our total time there was over 3 hours. And I think that's the longest I've ever put my phone away since like 1996!! lol I didn't miss it a bit! Time seemed to just stop in there. It was very..peaceful! The only thing I have to complain about is the smell. And complain in a good way! smile I've been trying to figure out all the "smells" in there since we left. And recreate them at home! I just can't figure it out what all those scents were!? Sounds crazy, but when people have asked me what it was like....I can't sum it up more than....."it was awesome and smelled ....purple and amazing" giggle (We were also lucky enough to be one of the first there that had our pictures taken with the piano.....Just touching the keys, I felt like I was gonna pass out! What an experience!)

[Edited 11/15/16 13:04pm]

Thank you so much for this, I can't wait to experience the smells myself!!! biggrin

Admission is easy, just say you believe and come to this place in your heart... <3
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