Last week, on the one-year anniversary of Prince’s death, the New York Times ran a pretty fascinating interview with the archivist charged with cataloging the thousands of times left behind in his Paisley Park estate.
Angie Marchese and her team have spent the last year going room by room. So far, they’ve cataloged more than 7,000 items, and they still have a ways to go. As Marchese told the Times, that number amounts to less than 5% percent of the compound’s holdings.
Still, they’ve already found plenty of amazing things. “We’ve got the sketches for the wardrobe, handwritten notes, lyrics on backs of envelopes or notepads, things like that,” Marchese explained. They’ve also come across 20 spiral-bound notebooks from across his career, including one containing lyrics from his first album, For You, and another full of notes for his 1984 album/movie, Purple Rain. Even more awesome, they found a Walkmen with cassette tapes dated from 1977. “From what we’re told, he was never far from his Walkman,” Marschese noted. “He was constantly recording himself.”
Not surprisingly, Prince also owned a lot of clothes. He had an entire garage full of stage outfits and costumes. Even more clothes were found stored in closets, containers, boxes, and suitcases. He also possessed upwards of 2,000 pairs of shoes to match each outfit. “You’d think it would have been a coat closet, but we opened it up, and it was full of shoes,” Marschese recounted.
Every one of Prince’s shoes included a three-inch heel, Marschese added. “Even his flip-flops were wedges. Even his tennis shoes are wedges.”
There were other suitcases full of makeup, Marchese said. And of course, every room in Paisley Park was illuminated by candles. They “came in all sizes, shapes, colors and scents (including a few of Prince’s own aromatic blends),” the Times notes.
And in his basement? Marschese and her team found 120 guitars, including many that weren’t even operable, such as the Fender Stratocaster played at the Super Bowl. Upon inspection, they learned that the guitar had sustained significant water damage. “It was, like, of course,” Marschese said. “He played it in the middle of a basic hurricane during the Super Bowl.”
And all that’s without mentioning the underground bank vault of music he left behind.
One thing Prince didn’t own, however: leisure wear. “Prince didn’t seem to have any at-home wear,” Marchese told the Times. “Prince was always Prince.” Then again, would you have expected any different?
You can read the full article here, and a video featuring many of the aforementioned items can be streamed below.