I was blessed to share many Prince experiences, beginning in 1980 when I bought Dirty Mind at Know Name Records in Minneapolis. Lucky me got to see him at the Minnesota Dance Theatre benefit show at First Avenue in August of 1983 - where he debuted the Purple Rain songs - as well as some surprise shows there over the next couple of years, including the Triple Threat Tour. I even took my soon-to-be husband to the Lovesexy show at Met Stadium in 1987.
The Park was a playground like no other - all the colorful people of all ages and walks of life, elated smiles on their faces. All our cares disappeared when we were there - dancing, hanging out, hearing new and old Prince songs. Dancing on stage with him, gathering round him and doing soul train line dances while he DJ’d right in front of us. One time I couldn’t help myself as he left the DJ booth and squeezed his way out and I rubbed him on the shoulders and thanked him. The man was fresh as a daisy - he remained cool while he made us work-up a multicolored sweat.
He walked among us freely, sometimes visiting with us, no one chased him - though I did cry out with an excited high-pitched “Hi!” the time we came face to face while moving between the Soundstage and the NPG room. He responded with a low, sexy “hey.” Another time, he appeared out of nowhere - he did that often - and started dancing with me.
Heidi Vader is an Endorphinmachine Rider, Purple Playground founder and co-creator of the “Academy of Prince” aka "Academy Formerly Known as Prince Academy”. Purple Playground is a 501(c)3 nonprofit fan group and charity organization formed to carry on Prince’s legacy of giving. Its mission is to unite worldwide Prince fans and raise charitable donations to invest in music education programs for kids and the musicians of the future.