It was near where we lived out at "The Old Place", and the Boehne residence. They were filming after school and the security staff escorted my little sis Tracey and bro Skeddy through the set and on their way home. I had football practice after school and was late to the party. While barreling down the Buckhorn Trail in the '74 LeMans, I came around the corner to witness the largest humanoid I ever saw (besides Axe) blocking my way. "Security" was his name, and he wore it on his shirt in case he forgot it. I stopped and he told me I can't go through because they were filming. I said "dude...I live right down the road....and I play football for the Tigers" (proud Barney Fife sniffle). He sensed my awesomeness and let me drive through. I didn't see Prince, but saw the motorcycle(s) and film crew vehicles. I didn't know what the hell was going on (heard rumors is all) until I read about it in the Indy. Pretty sure we would've traded autographs though.
I might not have said "dude" as I don't think it was invented yet.
When I was mayor, the Curt Carlson family business built a fancy hotel in Chanhassen and each one of the rooms was named after a historic Minnesota city. For the grand opening, they invited the mayors and their wives to stay for an evening in the room named after their respective cities. One of the activities they planned for us was a tour of Prince's Paisley Park. At that time it was fairly new and not many people had the opportunity to see it. It was very impressive, especially the recording studio, and all of the technology that today would probably be outdated. Somewhere I have some souvenirs they gave us but I don't remember what they were. All I can remember about the filming of Purple Rain was all of the trucks and vans parked out along the road by the old Peavey elevator.
Haha excellent story brother Bnag. I wonder if it was that huge white haired bodyguard that resembled Hulk Hogan?
Anyways yes I remember Tracey and I getting picked up by the two security guys in trench coats just before the old Raduntz place. We got in their car and one of them gets on a cb radio and says, "alright we got the kids." Pretty sure Tracey and I pissed our pants about then but once we neared the filming sight we had our faces pressed to the windows trying to get a glimpse of the man himself. Not to mention Apollonia. Didn't see them but the rental trucks lined the ol' Buckhorn Trail what seemed like forever.
After filming was over and everyone moved on we'd go down to the trestle and picture the scene where Apollonia "purified" herself in "Lake Minnetonka". I think Tracey took home a jar of sand pretending it was Prince's footprint. Bwahahahaha told on ya Tracey!
"Purple Rain was filmed by our farm-literally on the road we used everyday. My kids and I ( they were 5 and almost 2) and we watched the filming up close and personal. We had seen helicoptors flying around for a few weeks before the filiming. Then we read in the Henderson Independent that a film called "The Purple People Eaters" (working title) was going to be filmed nearby. One autumn morning we had gone across the road to Don and Jan Reinhardt's for coffee ( a daily ritual). We notice lots of vehicles, so we all hopped in Don's big blue car. Josh was in morning Kindergarten so we only had little baby Tiffany with us. Don, Jan, Paul, Tiffany and me. We got to the end of our driveway and a vehicle with two big burly guys stopped us and wouldn't let us drive on the road down the hill to Henderson. One of them told us they were filming a movie. Don asked who was in it and the guy said, "Prince." Don said, "Prince who?" Honestly, it was the first time I had ever heard of Prince. So we drove towards Hwy. 169, went down the hill on Hwy. 19, and parked at Tim and Kathy Zeiher's house. They were filming right across the gravel road from Zeiher's, in the pasture of Arnold and Gloria Bethke's property. The site is now occupied by a machine shed of Shawn Hilgers and Andrea Hilgers. There were two purple motorcycles, two guys dressed in purple - Prince and his stunt double and Appalonia and her stunt double. Prince and Appalonia got on the motorcycle and slowly drove from the pasture down to the Depot Creek (not very far!). Their motorcycle hit a fresh cow pie and tipped over. There were calves grazing nearby. This scene was cut from the movie. Josh came home from Kindergarten before we left so he was with us. I was in bib overalls because I was stripping paint from the main entry door at the farm. I took my camera along and took a photo of the filming. Someone came and took my camera away. No photos allowed. Then they invited us to help ourselves at the Hollywood catering trailer. I believe I only had a cup of coffee but was welcome to have anything. I saved my Hollywood Catering styrofoam cup for a long time. I remeber they had very healthy food there. I believe I counted 12 semi trailers parked along the road from Zeihers' to the bottom of the pumpkin hill road. Prince and Appalonia were filming riding up and down the hill to our farm many times, turning around in our driveway. The scene in which they are driving along in the country is that short stretch of road spliced together several times. After this scene was filmed, they moved across Hwy. 19 down the gravel road towards Blakeley. This is where they filmed the scene of Appalonia skinnydipping in the Minnesota River (in Novermber!). They had an ambulance and a medical team standing by on site. In the movie she was supposedly skinny dipping in Lake Minnetonka,
Gopher had just got the Camaro from Braun during that time and picked us hoodlums up from the Drug Store corner for a spin. After hitting 100 mph on the way to the overhead he went down towards the old Peavy Elevator. And that's when we see all the trailers. (I could have swore they were going to name the movie 'Purple Haze' according to the Indy.)
Gopher rolls up and yells at a guy across the barbed wire fence what's going on. This guy tries to step over the barbed wire fence and it snags his pants where one wouldn't want to get poked by barbed wire, very awkward. Tells Gopher that they are filming a movie with Prince and do you know how to move cows. Gopher says - you might want to try and move the half bale of hay they are eating. The whole time I'm in the back thinking - he ain't from around here, is he. And whoever Prince is. Now let's do 100 again!
Ever been to Hill City, SD where there's a sign that says - "Sight of Gunsmoke Snow Train episode"? Thinking a sign should go up on the Buck Horn Trail that says - "Sight of Purple Rain movie - back road scenes."
Wow, never knew this scene was just outside Henderson. Will have to visit someday and stop in to Henderson. Thanks for sharing all your experiences of this event. As a child of the 80's I spent my entire adolescence during Prince's earlier years and listening to his music.