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A Minneapolis-area Prince pilgrimage a year after his death

Associated Press logo Associated Press 4/5/2017 By LEANNE ITALIE, Associated Press
FILE - In this Aug 28, 2016, file photo, a mural honoring the late Prince adorns a building in the Uptown area of Minneapolis. The one-year anniversary of the rock star, who died of an overdose at the age of 57, is April 21. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Aug 28, 2016, file photo, a mural honoring the late Prince adorns a building in the Uptown area of Minneapolis. The one-year anniversary of the rock star, who died of an overdose at the age of 57, is April 21. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Prince's hometown of Minneapolis offers many places where fans can pay homage on the anniversary of his death, from his favorite record store to the humble house used in his Oscar-winning "Purple Rain" film.

In this April 4, 2017 photo, two women walk past graffiti memorials to the late Prince that mark the Riley Creek underpass which has become the new graffiti bridge in Chanhassen, Minn. Fans have been marking it since the rock star's death from an accidental overdose on April 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Jim Mone) © The Associated Press In this April 4, 2017 photo, two women walk past graffiti memorials to the late Prince that mark the Riley Creek underpass which has become the new graffiti bridge in Chanhassen, Minn. Fans have been marking it since the rock star's death from an accidental overdose on April 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Paisley Park, his massive, gleaming white studio and performance complex, was turned into a museum soon after his death on April 21, 2016. A "celebration" planned there for April 20-23 with panel discussions, concerts and tours is mostly sold out. But don't worry, there's plenty more to see.

FILE - In this April 22, 2016, file photo, a fan takes a selfie by the Prince star and memorial at First Avenue in Minneapolis where he often performed. The one-year anniversary of the pop super star's death from an overdose will be marked April 21. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this April 22, 2016, file photo, a fan takes a selfie by the Prince star and memorial at First Avenue in Minneapolis where he often performed. The one-year anniversary of the pop super star's death from an overdose will be marked April 21. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)

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FILE - In this April 22, 2016, file photo, Scott Ewing and his wife Gina Easley, view Prince's Purple Rain outfit that is on display at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul, Minn. The one-year anniversary of Prince's death from an overdose will be marked April 21. (Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP) © The Associated Press FILE - In this April 22, 2016, file photo, Scott Ewing and his wife Gina Easley, view Prince's Purple Rain outfit that is on display at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul, Minn. The one-year anniversary of Prince's death from an overdose will be marked April 21. (Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP)

PAISLEY PARK

FILE - In this Nov. 2, 2016, file photo, a replica of the Memorial Fence is shown at Prince's Paisley Park in Chanhassen, Minn. which is open for public tours. The one-year anniversary of the rock star's death from an overdose will be marked April 21. (AP Photo/Jeff Baenen, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Nov. 2, 2016, file photo, a replica of the Memorial Fence is shown at Prince's Paisley Park in Chanhassen, Minn. which is open for public tours. The one-year anniversary of the rock star's death from an overdose will be marked April 21. (AP Photo/Jeff Baenen, File)

This is a must, even if it's just a drive-by to see the sprawling place rise up from the flatlands in Chanhassen, an easy 20-mile drive from downtown Minneapolis. Guided tours average 70 minutes and include rooms where Prince created some of his biggest hits. The museum is a work in progress, with a recently added room displaying costumes and other artifacts from his "Lovesexy" album and tour.

In this April 1, 2017 photo, this house pictured in Minneapolis was used for exteriors of "The Kid" house in Prince's film "Purple Rain." The one-year anniversary of Prince's death from an overdose will be marked April 21. (AP Photo/Jim Mone) © The Associated Press In this April 1, 2017 photo, this house pictured in Minneapolis was used for exteriors of "The Kid" house in Prince's film "Purple Rain." The one-year anniversary of Prince's death from an overdose will be marked April 21. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Optional add-ons include a VIP tour of extra rooms, a photo opportunity, Friday night dance party and Sunday brunch featuring some of his favorite foods.

FILE - In this April 22, 2016, file photo, a woman places flowers at a memorial at First Avenue in Minneapolis where pop super star Prince often performed. The one-year anniversary of Prince's death from an overdose will be marked April 21. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this April 22, 2016, file photo, a woman places flowers at a memorial at First Avenue in Minneapolis where pop super star Prince often performed. The one-year anniversary of Prince's death from an overdose will be marked April 21. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)

Much has been made of Prince's Paisley Park-shaped urn. It was moved from the main atrium at the family's request to a frosted high-walled fixture above a little kitchen where he sometimes watched TV.

In this April 4, 2017 photo, a memorial fence at Prince's Paisley Park provides fans an opportunity to leave memorials in Chanhassen, Minn. The one-year anniversary of the rock star's death from an overdose will be marked April 21. (AP Photo/Jim Mone) © The Associated Press In this April 4, 2017 photo, a memorial fence at Prince's Paisley Park provides fans an opportunity to leave memorials in Chanhassen, Minn. The one-year anniversary of the rock star's death from an overdose will be marked April 21. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Photos and video are strictly prohibited on all tours.

In this April 4, 2017 photo, graffiti memorials to the late Prince mark the Riley Creek underpass which has become the new graffiti bridge in Chanhassen, Minn. Fans have been marking it since the rock star's death from an accidental overdose on April 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Jim Mone) © The Associated Press In this April 4, 2017 photo, graffiti memorials to the late Prince mark the Riley Creek underpass which has become the new graffiti bridge in Chanhassen, Minn. Fans have been marking it since the rock star's death from an accidental overdose on April 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

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FIRST AVENUE & 7TH ST. ENTRY

This downtown club in a former Greyhound bus depot remains a mecca for Prince fans and an indie rock hot spot. There are guided tours, though most were sold out ahead of the April 21st anniversary. A separate entrance and fee gets you inside the club where Prince played several times, including his first time in 1981 when it was called Sam's and in 1983 when he unveiled a longer version of his ballad "Purple Rain." That gig was recorded, including the mega-hit that became his signature and other songs used in the film.

Brick walls outside are adorned with painted, white stars for other artists who played there. Prince's star stands out in gold.

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ELECTRIC FETUS

Prince frequented the Electric Fetus record store. He visited just days before he died, on Record Store Day, April 16, tweeting: "FETUS, THANX 4 THE TUNES! ROCKED STEVIE'S TALKING BOOK ALL THE WAY HOME! #RecordStoreDay," to which Electric Fetus replied: "Thanks 4 coming in today and for supporting indie record stores year-round!"

His final tweet, April 18, was another nod to Electric Fetus, promoting the written program for his "Piano & Microphone" tour. The tweet displayed the program's cover and said, simply: "electricfetus.com."

When the store opened in 1968, National Lampoon magazine singled it out for the worst name of a business. But it remains an indie mecca for audiophiles — including vinyl-lovers — and drew grieving fans when Prince died.

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PRINCE MURALS

There are some beauties.

Downtown near 10th Street and Marquette Avenue, a five-story, white-painted wall of musical notes is where Prince shot some of his first publicity photos at age 18. At the time, it was home to Schmitt Music Company, which sold sheet music, pianos and organs. The musical notes are from a piece for piano by French composer Maurice Ravel.

Not far from Paisley Park, at Chanhassen Cinema, 570 Market St., is a huge purple portrait of Prince by muralist Graham Hoete. He told WCCO-TV he did it at the request of Minnesotans who saw photos of a Prince mural he painted in Sydney, Australia, where he lived.

Another purple portrait, complete with a white dove like the ones Prince kept at Paisley, was created by Bloomington, Minnesota, graffiti artist Rock "Cyfi" Martinez. It's in an alley on one wall of the Sencha Tea Bar, 2601 Hennepin Ave. S., in the funky Uptown district Prince shouted out in song.

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PURPLE RAIN HOUSE

Prince's famous Purple House residence in the woods of Lake Riley in Chanhassen was bulldozed more than a decade ago, but the simple "Purple Rain" home used in the movie stands, empty and a bit worse for wear. Head to 3420 Snelling Ave. in Minneapolis' Longfellow neighborhood for a look at the outside. Prince never lived here but his character "The Kid" came of age within its walls in the 1984 film. Some purple flowers were tucked into the mailbox on a recent visit.

Other Prince-related houses are around, as are some of his old schools, studios where he recorded and other hangouts. The Minnesota History Center will display one of Prince's purple outfits from "Purple Rain" and handwritten lyrics to an unreleased song during the anniversary week. The city's visitor's bureau has compiled a map.

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GRAFFITI BRIDGE

The famous marked-up railroad crossing from "Graffiti Bridge," his 1990 sequel to "Purple Rain," was replaced in 1991 by a popular bicycle and running path in suburban Eden Prairie. The bridge — covered with messages dating to the 1960s — had a heady, counterculture feel. The movie led Prince fans to add their own graffiti. But the replacement bike path is pristine.

After Prince's death, devastated fans left farewell messages in black marker and purple spray paint on a highway underpass near Paisley Park, using the "love" symbol he created for himself. Getting there is tricky. Cross the busy highway leading to Paisley Park at the exit side of the parking lot, look for a West 78th Street sign and turn toward a walking path. The tunnel is marked Riley Creek.

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