For most, getting straight with God is a nonevent. When Prince does it, it’s a national news story.
In 2001, Prince became a Jehovah’s Witness. According to a popular story, he converted in accordance with his mother’s dying wish. The religion is an odd fit for Prince for a variety of reasons—it’s characterized by strict austerity and humility—but particularly for its emphasis on evangelizing. Prince actually goes door to door in Minnesota, preaching the word of Jehovah. My friend and former Woof.com colleague Gary Susman wrote about one such witnessing for Entertainment Weekly in 2003.
He introduced himself by his full name, Prince Nelson, and came inside, accompanied by his bassist, former Sly and the Family Stone member Larry Graham…
”My first thought is ‘Cool, cool, cool. He wants to use my house for a set. I’m glad! Demolish the whole thing! Start over!’ Then they start in on this Jehovah’s Witnesses stuff,” homeowner Rochelle recalled…
Rochelle said Prince and Graham stayed for 25 minutes. ”Left us a pamphlet,” Rochelle said. ”He was very kind,” she said of Prince, who left with Graham in a ”big black truck with a woman, long dark hair in the front seat.” (Presumably, Prince’s wife, Manuela Testolini.) Curiously, they did not visit any other homes on the block. ”It was so bizarre, you would have just laughed,” Rochelle said.
Be a Fan of a Football Team
Prince is a big fan of the Minnesota Vikings, which is in and of itself surprising behavior for a pansexual electro funk god. But his fandom goes beyond having Morris Day and Doctor Fink over on Sundays to watch the Vikes on his custom made purple widescreen TV.
Prince loves the Vikings so much he wrote a fight song, “Purple and Gold” for them. It’s odd and old fashioned, the sort of song you could imagine sung in the 1940s by jaunty collegians in fur coats and straw hats whilst hosting pennants. Also, it’s not exactly what you’d call “good.” But there it is.
Cover Chuck Berry
Everybody covers Chuck Berry. But leave it to Prince to do so in the snottiest way possible. When he was playing the Super Bowl halftime show in 2007, he called a press conference. In lieu of actually answering any questions, he ripped into “Johnny B. Goode” while writhing with his back-up dancers.
The guitar-work, as always, is stellar, but once the vocals kick in it’s hard to escape the impression that he sounds bored. That’s probably the weirdest part: nobody’s forcing him to play that song. He could have played any song he wanted. Or just answered a question.