Prince is one of the most iconic musicians of all time. A genre-defying and fluid artist, he pushed pop music to its boundaries, challenging our position as consumers. Prince contested the longstanding and bigoted social mores and inspired three different generations in the process.
Even though he passed away in 2016, the marvellous stories about Prince’s extraordinary life continue to abound, and the most recent one that has been unearthed is truly remarkable.
Television station WCCO, based in Prince’s hometown of Minneapolis, have found rare footage of a young Prince in their archives. Per their story, the station’s production manager, Matt Liddy, stumbled upon a clip of an 11-year-old Prince being interviewed about the Minneapolis teacher’s strike of 1970. Liddy was trawling through the archives to contextualise this year’s Minneapolis teacher’s strike.
After finding the footage, Liddy “immediately just went out to the newsroom and started showing people and saying, ‘I’m not gonna tell you who I think this is, but who do you think this is?'”.
The station then brought in a specialist to restore the audio to the footage and then enlisted the help of a local historian and a childhood friend of Prince’s to confirm that the 11-year-old in the footage was genuine.
The young Prince tells the interviewer: “I think they should get a better education too cause, um, and I think they should get some more money cause they work, they be working extra hours for us and all that stuff.”
Shot in April 1970 as he attended Lincoln Junior High School, I don’t think anyone at the time, including the interviewer, could have imagined that this little boy would go on to become one of the most important musicians of all time.
Watch the footage below.