Minneapolis, Minnesota audio tour: In the Footsteps of Prince: Downtown Minneapolis Walking Tour

In the Footsteps of Prince: Downtown Minneapolis Walking Tour

Walking Tour

|
75 mins
|
1.5mi

About the Tour

Welcome to Minneapolis, home of The Purple One, His Royal Badness, Prince Rogers Nelson. Minneapolis helped define the young musician who went on to change the world of music. On this downtown walking tour, we’ll explore the city where he was born, where he rose to fame and where, when he died, the purple lights shone across the sky.

On this 90-minute tour, I’ll take you into the heart of Princedom to show you the Guitar Shop where the artist first jammed in the 70’s, the Orpheum Theatre where Prince was one of the first black musicians to play, and The Dakota club, which he visited just a few days before he died. As you stroll down Nicollet Avenue, I’ll point out the Crystal Court balcony featured in Purple Rain and the Schmitt Music Wall mural where Prince had his iconic first photo shoot.

Along the way, I’ll tell you about:

• The spiral blue notebook where Prince wrote Purple Rain
• How he was the first artist in history to have a number one film, album and song at the same time
• Glam Slam, the club he opened and named after the song on his Lovesexy album
• His North Minneapolis roots
• The city of Minneapolis’ “Prince Permit”
• The club where Prince performed a surprise concert
• The weird world of Paisley Park
• How Prince saved the Minnesota Dance Theatre, a local dance company
• The night 10,000 people came to the First Avenue club to mourn

So put on your four-inch heels and join me on this stroll through Minneapolis where I’ll paint a picture of what the city was like when Prince reigned as the High Priest of Pop.

PHOTO CREDITS:
Cover photo of First Avenue by Jordan Abhold, courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society, all rights reserved. Photos accompanying The Minneapolis Sound, Purple Rain, Paisley Park (exterior and atrium) are courtesy of Paisley Park, NPGRecords and MeetMinneapolis. Photos accompanying The Death of Prince and Purple Rain Poem are courtesy of Meet Minneapolis. All other photos are copyright Frank Bures.

Tour Producer

avatar

Frank Bures

Frank Bures is an award-winning writer and essayist. He is the editor of Under Purple Skies: The Minneapolis Anthology, which collects some of the best writing about Minneapolis. He is also the author of The Geography of Madness, which Newsweek called one of the best travel books of the decade. Apart from giving tours of his home town, Bures has also tracked down genital thieves in Nigeria, gone on Sasquatch expeditions in the north woods and competed in the World Rock Skipping Championships on the Great Lakes. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two daughters. More at frankbures.com.

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Major Landmarks

  • Nicollet Avenue

  • Crystal Court

  • Schmitt Music Wall

  • Peavy Plaza

  • Dakota

  • Orpheum Theatre

  • Prince Mural

  • First Avenue

  • Glam Slam

  • The Guitar Shop

Directions to Starting Point

The tour begins at the corner of 7th Street and Nicollet Avenue in downtown Minneapolis, near the bronze statue of Mary Tyler Moore.

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Tips

Places to stop along the way

There are plenty of restaurants along Nicollet Avenue, some with outdoor dining during summer months. If you venture into the skyway system via the Crystal Court, there are plenty of restaurants and food courts. Another worthwhile stop is the Foshay Tower, Minneapolis’s original skyscraper, a block north of the Music Wall on Marquette Avenue. It was built in 1929 and has a great, small museum at the top and an outdoor overlook.

Best time of day

Anytime during the day, into early evening. Probably best to avoid late nights especially on weekends.

Precautions

Downtown is generally safe, though late night, especially on weekends, can get a little sketchy. As in any large city, be aware of your surroundings.

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In the Footsteps of Prince: Downtown Minneapolis Walking Tour