A TV interview with pop icon Prince, who at 11-years-old was commenting on a teacher strike in his Minneapolis hometown, has been uncovered.
CBS Minneapolis affiliate WCCO discovered the footage while sifting through a reel about coverage for the strike. Speaking outside of Lincoln Junior High School, the then-unidentified youngster said that most of the children supported the strike.
"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," he said during the interview.
WCCO Production Manager Matt Liddy and his colleagues suspected that the boy on film was Prince Rogers Nelson and subsequently called in an expert — Twin Cities-area historian/archeologist and Prince expert Kristen Zschomler. Upon viewing the clip, she confirmed that, to her knowledge, the boy in the footage was Prince.
"I think that's him, definitely. Oh, my gosh. Yeah, I think that's definitely Prince," she told the outlet, noting that the youngster's mannerisms and eyes suggested the boy was indeed Prince. She then produced what is believed to be a sixth-grade photo of Prince taken the year of the strike and the resemblance was undeniable.
Zschomler connected WCCO with Terrance Jackson, who was a childhood friend, neighbor, and member of Prince's first band. He confirmed that the boy being interviewed was the music legend.
"I am like blown away. I'm totally blown away," he said. "He was already playing guitar and keys by then, phenomenally. Music became our sport. Because he was athletic, I was athletic, but we wanted to compete musically," Jackson added.
Commenting on the discovery, Zschomler said the footage provided insight into the connection Prince had with his hometown.
"I think just seeing Prince as a young child in his neighborhood school, you know, it helps really ground him to that Minneapolis connection," Zschomler said. "Even if they're momentary glimpses into what Minneapolis meant to him, what he stood up for when he lived in Minneapolis, just helps understand that symbiotic connection he had to his hometown."
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