A glimpse at life in Purple. Musician Tommy Black tells Us Weekly about what the scene was like inside Prince’s Paisley Park compound, and how the late artist — a devout Jehovah’s Witness — had a “swear jar” and a “no meat” rule inside his home.
Black, the bass player for the late Scott Weiland, shared some anecdotes about Prince’s lifestyle from one memorable, throwback encounter at Paisley Park in Chanhassen, MN.
“Not only was Prince a very important part of my youth, we also share the same birthday [June 7],” Black tells Us. “I’ve encountered him multiple times over the years at the Viper Room, Opium Den and other Brent and Jen Bolthouse clubs back when they managed our band. But here’s my favorite story.”
Black then recalls the time when he and his other bandmates visited Paisley Park after playing a show in the state. Upon their arrival, there were several stipulations about their conduct inside the compound. “The guy at the desk said, ‘We will order you food but this is a meat-free building,” the musician tells Us. ” ‘If you want meat you have to eat it on the bus. Also, no curse words. If you do, it’s $20 each curse word.’
“We then entered a small club … where Prince was jamming with a drummer,” Black says. Inside the venue, there were bowls of cauliflower and Tootsie Pops. Then, Prince started yelling on stage about a tape and stormed out of the room. Moments later, the “Purple Rain” singer returned with a videotape held high above his head, which he popped into a VCR.
The tape’s footage rolled and showed, on an overhead projector, Prince performing at his show from earlier that evening. He then wanted to record something with one of his guests, singer Nikka Costa — who had also performed that evening — so the night’s other guests got the grand tour of Paisley Park. The sprawling estate included a section with a climate-controlled vault that housed “thousands” of reel tapes from Prince’s various shows.
“There were lyrics in the patterns on the carpet,” Black tells Us. “Gold cages with doves in them and male and female signs on the bathroom doors. Downstairs housed all his clothes, a tour bus, a purple BMW 840 and the freaking Purple Rain motorcycle!”
Black adds that no photos were allowed inside the compound. Later, he asked Costa about what it was like recording alongside the seven-time Grammy winner. “The best part, she told me, was she slipped and cursed again,” Black tells Us. “And Prince says, ‘Thats $40.’ So, she wrote him a note that said, ‘Here’s your f–king $40’ and [she] put $60 in the envelope!”
Black concludes: “That night was unforgettable and I was incredibly lucky and fortunate to have had that experience. It was his music that he gave us. He rewrote the rules and never second-guessed a thing.”
Prince died at age 57 at his Paisley Park compound last Thursday, April 21. The coroner completed his autopsy last Friday, and the results are still pending. On Monday, TMZ released chilling audio from when Prince’s plane had to land in Illinois due to a medical emergency. It was believed that the artist had supposedly overdosed on the painkiller Percocet at the time, and was administered a “save shot” once the plane hit the runway.
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