First Paisley Park tours draw Prince fans from around the globe

Atrium at Paisley Park
Photo of the Atrium at Paisley Park.
Photo courtesy of Paisley Park NPG Records

Prince fans streamed into Paisley Park Thursday as tours started of the late pop star's compound.

Fans from Denver and Philadelphia were among the first to arrive. Others hailed from as far away as Tokyo and Stockholm. All were eager to get a glimpse of the private life Prince left behind at his studio and home in Chanhassen.

Tour participants were treated to displays of his work, and even some unreleased music, according to Deja Ghess, a fan from Plymouth.

"Two snippets, they had a jazzy funk feel to 'em and they sounded fantastic," Ghess said.

Few had ever seen inside the secretive artist's compound, although some had attended recent concerts there.

Fans said they were happy to find some of the spaces exactly the way Prince left them, and even an urn that contains his remains, designed as a model of Paisley Park.

P Park Management, the tour operator that's running Paisley Park, said it spent months preparing the site for fans.

"Each and every exhibition, if it wasn't there already, was actually laid out in great detail by Prince," said managing partner Joel Weinshanker. "Rooms that you will see that we put together really were taken from emails and texts and messages that Prince had given people who work there.

Fan Rhonda Watson was among the first to tour Paisley Park this morning. She had traveled from Tennessee to see Prince's home and studios and planned to attend a VIP tour later in the day.

The following is an interview with Watson:

Hundreds of people are expected to go through Paisley Park over the three days the city of Chanhassen permitted temporarily, even after the City Council rejected an initial zoning change for what will be a Prince museum.

"Prince was really an amazing artist, and when you see everything in here, there's no other place in the world like Paisley Park," said Weinshanker. "If we lived 700 years ago, this is da Vinci 's workshop."

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