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prince.org Site FAQ
General information about this site

General Prince FAQ
General questions and answers about the man and his music

Minneapolis FAQ
Info about what to do and see when visiting MPLS

Record Stores FAQ
"Wrecka stows" around the world, and shopping tips

alt.music.prince FAQ
Helpful hints for the usenet discussion group

PPML FAQ
Etiquette etc. for the prince.org-run mailing list

General Prince FAQ

1. Statistical Information

1.1What is Prince's real name and date of birth?

Prince Rogers Nelson was born on June 7, 1958.

1.2How tall is Prince?

It is believed that he is 5'2" (157cm) tall, but it's kind of hard to know for sure since he's always wearing those heels!

1.3What's with the name changes?

On June 7th, 1993 (his 35th birthday), Prince announced that he would change his name to an unpronounceable symbol. The glyph incorporates the male and female signs along with the alchemy symbol for soapstone.

The usual ASCII representation of the symbol is:

O ( + >

That's a capital "o," open parenthesis, plus sign, and greater-than sign.

However, on May 16th, 2000 Prince announced that he would resume using his former name, because his final contract with Time Warner (i.e., his publishing contract with Warner-Chappel) had expired. It seems that he will continue to use the symbol as a logo, however.

2. Personal Life

2.1Is Prince married?

On February 14th, 1996, Prince married Mayte Garcia. It was a small ceremony in Minneapolis, attended by family and friends.

He subsequently announced in December 1998 that he intended to annul his present marriage and become reunited with Mayte on February 14, 1999 in a manner more compatible with their current beliefs. As of June 2000, it was believed that their marriage has been legally annulled, and that the two are no longer a couple.

At some time after June 2000, the couple was legally divorced. Currently, Mayte is either engaged or has just remarried, to Tommy Lee of Motley Crue fame.

As of December 31st, 2001, the rumors are that Prince remarried, to a Paisley Park Employee, Manuela Testolini; she is believed to be about 18 years younger than Prince.

2.2Is Prince gay/bisexual?

Whenever this question comes up, a common answer is "Who cares?" Most Prince fans are entranced by the music, not the sexual orientation.

If one gives the matter some serious thought, though, the vast majority of his work is unmistakably about heterosexual relationships (except where he plays with double meaning), and there have been no sightings of him with another man. His women, on the other hand, are known to be world-class beauties.

The man obviously doesn't mind in general if people think he's bisexual, and it's possible he is or was, but he's very much in the closet about it if so. Even if he's perfectly straight, his lyrics indicate that he would welcome any sexual orientation into the utopian "Uptown." Most fans tend to believe he's simply androgynous: displaying characteristics of both genders.

The following vaguely relevant passage exists in a Rolling Stone article dated Feb 19, 1981: "Appearances to the contrary, though, he says he's not gay, and he has a standard rebuff for overenthusiastic male fans: ''I'm not about that; we can be friends, but that's as far as it goes. My sexual preferences really aren't any of their business.'' A Penthouse "Pet of the Month" centerfold laid out on a nearby table silently underscores his point." Make whatever you will, of this comment from early in his career.

3. Miscellaneous

3.1I want to write/send a demo tape/send a gift to Prince. What's his address?

Contact Prince via Paisley Park. The address is:

Paisley Park Studios
7801 Audubon Road
Chanhassen, MN USA
55317-8201

3.2What about e-mail?

He almost certainly has an email address; however, he apparently prefers to keep it private. (We don't know it either!)

3.3Does Prince have an official Website?

Yes, http://www.npgmusicclub.com/ is his official site.

3.4Where can I buy Prince-related merchandise?

Check out his official site, above. Also, you can try eBay for out-of-print items, etc.

3.5Is there a Prince fan club?

Currently, there is no offical "fan club", although membership in the npgmusicclub is pretty close to the same thing. There are lots of UNofficial fan clubs around the world. Check out the "clubs" section of prince.org for more information, and to find one near you.

(Of historical interest:)
Paisley Park officially recognized the UK-based "Controversy" fan club and fanzine, founded in 1986. Members received benefits such as bimonthly magazine issues, priority concert seating and the opportunity to attend fan conventions in Minneapolis (1991 and 1992). Additionally, a system of area "organizers" allowed fans to contact a nearby representative for information and assistance in hooking up with other enthusiasts.
(thanks to Tim Andrassy, Dennis Roszkowski)

3.6Was Prince in the movie Fargo?

Short answer: no.

A modified version of the symbol does appear in the credits, though. Here is an excerpt from an interview with the Coen brothers in Premiere magazine, explaining it:

Premiere: A question for all the Coenheads on the Internet: What is that Prince-like symbol, the smiley face on its side, in the end credits?

Ethan Coen: That was our storyboard artist, who played the guy who drives by in the car with the red parka. He asked us if he could have that credit. We also use a lot of names of people we grew up with, scattered throughout the movie, being paged on telephones. But that's mostly because we couldn't think of names that would be appropriate.

3.7Why can't I operate the safe in the Interactive CD-ROM game?

For whatever reason, the safe doesn't work unless you set your display resolution to 640 x 480.

4. Music and video

4.1Why is track four on Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic silent?

The track is a moment of silence in honor of the late jazz trumpeter Miles Davis. Prince worked with Miles on multiple occasions before his death.

4.2What is the hidden message in the "Alphabet St" video?

After the first verse ("...from my head to my feet"), and before the first chorus, the following message, printed vertically in small purple letters, appears on the screen for a split second:

"Don't buy the Black Album. I'm sorry."

4.3So what's the deal with the Black Album?

In late 1987, Prince planned to release an album popularly known as the Black Album. The actual album had an all-black cover with only a catalog number, and no artist information or title. The Black Album contains eight tracks, most of which are "funk" songs.

The album was canceled mere days before its scheduled release, after hundreds of thousands of copies were pressed. A few escaped destruction, and rank among the most coveted Prince collectables. In addition, the Black Album became the most bootlegged record of all time.

At the time, a rumor circulated that Warner Bros. canceled the album due to concerns about explicit lyrics. Prince, on the other hand, has said that he canceled the project after having a religious experience involving a vision. What really happened? Per Nilsen, respected author of several books on Prince, claims that Prince decided to scrap the album after an experiment with the drug MDMA (aka ecstasy) that resulted in a bad trip. Former Prince associates have confirmed the ecstasy story.

The Black Album was replaced with Lovesexy, an album that contained one track ("When 2 R in Love") from the Black Album. In 1994, Warner Bros. officially released the Black Album as a limited edition.

4.4Can my band rent one of the studios at Paisley Park?

Paisley Park ceased renting the studios in 1996, when the complex was renovated. The studios are slated to reopen for outside bookings in August 2000.

An archived version of Paisley Park Studios' pre-1996 Website, with detailed information on the facilities, is available at:

http://www.bitstream.net/gods/tgg/paisleypark/
for more info, see http://www.paisleyparkstudios.com.