I WAS PRINCE’S LANDLORD Part 2

Tattle Tales Two of Five

For you delightful readers, this is a continuation of the first blog about Prince and my experience renting him my Beverly Hills home. I looked up the definition of Purple after that first meeting with Prince. Purple is most associated with royalty, magic, mystery, and piety. Synonyms: Elaborate, Exaggerated, Ornate, Excessive, Overheated. It sure fits, right? Prince did not pick that color accidentally. I’m guessing he named his song and film Purple Rain for the color he’d previously selected to symbolize his career rather than his logo color resulting from the song’s success. I’ll share Purple stories with you, but now, let me pick up where we last left off.

Beverly Hills, CASo Christopher and I were packing for Australia when we received the offer from agents for Prince to rent the property for two months. On one hand, the timing was terrific. We’d be in Australia while Prince wanted the house. In addition, the rental rate he offered was generous. The other side of the equation was that we knew little about His Purpleness and neither of us was a fan (then). What seemed to be more unsettling was he had changed his name to the unpronounceable symbol that would later become his sign and signature. Before we agreed for a stranger to live in our home, sleep in our bed and eat in our kitchen we wanted to meet Prince before giving him the keys.

Prince and his entourage of six people arrived on time. I made the mistake of referring to him as Mr. Nelson and was corrected in a friendly way that he preferred just Prince. As we chatted, the entourage stayed in the great room while Prince, Christopher and I sat in the family room. Two of those in the Prince People Parade were his personal assistants. Read bodyguards. These guys must have had Secret Service training as they never relaxed when other people were close to Prince.

We didn’t visit long because Prince had another engagement, but both of us found him to be imagespersonable and engaging, even if shy. Prince said that he was doing business in Los Angeles and our house fit his requirements well. He mentioned doing business with Warner Brothers Records which is in Burbank. I assumed that was what he meant. It wasn’t.

Much later the taller bodyguard, Duane, a great guy and Prince’s half-brother, said that the security aspects of the house were important attractions. The house sat high above a cul-de-sac street with an eighty-foot mountain behind it.

So Prince and the entourage took the what’s this and how does that work tour. He was natural and funny as we walked and talked. It turned out that Prince was also a fan of Christopher’s work. He told me he watched Trapper John, MD every Sunday night he was home in Minneapolis. I really got to like the guy.

 

* PRINCE WAS A LANDLORDS DREAM *

I was Prince’s landlord when he lived in Beverly Hills. We had an interesting relationship. I will be posting on my blog some Prince Rogers Neslonstories about things that we experienced together that I call Tattle Tales. If you are a fan of His Purpleness or if you remember when he changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol and was then referred to as the artist formerly known as Prince, or you are just involved in following all of the media coverage that has followed Prince Rogers Nelson to the grave, then you might find the Tattle Tales of interest.

There will be five of them in total. I will write them from memory, my journal I kept at that time and the real estate documents the transaction required.

Why don’t you come on over and take a peek? Leave your thoughts and comments for other fans to read. I will look forward to seeing you there

* I WAS PRINCE’S LANDLORD *

I was Prince’s landlord when he lived in Beverly HIlls. We had an interesting relationship. I will be posting on my blog some Prince Rogers Neslonstories about things that we experienced together that I call Tattle Tales. If you are a fan of His Purpleness or if you remember when he changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol and was then referred to as the artist formerly known as Prince, or you are just involved in following all of the media coverage that has followed Prince Rogers Nelson to the grave, then you might find the Tattle Tales of interest.There will be five of them in total. I will write them from memory, my journal I kept at that time and the real estate documents the transaction required.

Why don’t you come on over and take a peek. Leave your thoughts and comments for other fans to read. I will look forward to seeing  you there.

I WAS PRINCE’S LANDLORD

Walter’s blog is about the joys and frustrations experienced in becoming a full-time fiction writer, and some observations of people and life along the way.

Tattle Tales One of Five

Prince Rogers NeslonI’m surprised by the outpouring of emotions on losing Prince. I was not aware how significant Prince was to the music biz. Since Prince and I had an interesting relationship for a time, I want to add that experience to the lexicon of the Rock Legend, Prince Rogers Nelson.

Background will place my comments into context. My relationship with His Purpleness came about because of Via de la Quilla, the home my then wife and I designed and built. That is the house we rented to Prince. The significance of the name comes a little later.

Our involvement with the property started about a year after I was introduced to a young actress named Christopher Wynden Norris. Having seen her play Miriam in the film Summer of ’42 I was already in love. I asked her to be my wife on our 2nd date and she said she’d think about it. I’m happy to tell you she did said “Yes”—five years later. While she was considering my proposal we purchased a vacant lot high up the canyon overlooking Beverly Hills.

What this has to do with Prince I’ll explain. It is important you understand that this house was built with love. From buying the lot to moving in day spanned fourteen years. Love was poured into the concrete foundations. Love inspired the choice of an antique plaster technique used inside and a unique paint process on the outside. Every piece of wood, metal, glass and paint that went into that structure was imbued with the love that Christopher and I had for each other and for that project.

We loved living there and enjoyed sharing our home with pals and family.  But it was a very large house for two people. It was 8,500 square feet of living space. After a few years we downsized and list for sale the home we spent all of our courtship years and a good part of married life planning and building. Had we not put the house on the market, we’d have never met Prince.Christopher Norris

The decision to sell the house occurred around the middle of Christopher’s seven years as the female lead in the CBS dramatic series, Trapper John, MD. The series was sold into syndication to Australia Broadcast Company who invited us to tour that fantastic country. Before we left for Australia our real estate broker called to say that a “prominent entertainer” was interested in a short-term rental. After some third-party negotiations over the many terms for a high-priced rental, I told his manager and attorney that approval was conditioned on us meeting the man who would live in the house. And so they set a meeting for us to conduct Prince on a personal tour of the property.