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.
So 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 personable 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.