Prince’s Closest Friends Share Their Best Prince Stories
By: Chris Heath (GQ Magazine)
Date: December 8, 2016
Corey Tollefson (Minneapolis-based entrepreneur and fan; attended events at Paisley Park for over 20 years): The thing that was funny was you never saw Prince [ﬁrst], you smelled him. He always smelled like lavender. And you knew when he was there because you’d turn around and go, “Holy shit, I smell Prince.” And then, ten seconds later, you’d see him.
Kandace Springs (singer; befriended by Prince via Twitter after he discovered her cover of a Sam Smith song online in 2014): He smelled like lavender. Dude, I’m not even kidding you. Overtime. My sister burns lavender in my house and I’m, “Oh God, it smells like Paisley Park.” That’s Prince.
Maya Washington (photographer; befriended by Prince after he discovered her online in 2014): Before you meet him, you have the idea of him being this thing: He’s untouchable, he’s a unicorn, he’s a meta-planet. So the ﬁrst thing I was taken aback by, and a lot of people are taken aback by, is his size. Because I’m short, I’m ﬁve three…and he’s shorter than me. But, that aside, he is a unicorn. He’s somehow ﬂoating when he’s talking.
Morris Hayes (keyboard player; Prince’s longest-serving band member, 1992–2012): I remember taking him to the hardware store in my camping van. He wanted to go buy a lock. And we go to Ace Hardware—it’s snowing and freezing—and I say, “Okay, Prince, you stay in the car.” So I’m picking stuff up in the aisles, I look over, he just cruises by in a turtleneck sweater and his fuzzy boots, and people are looking like, “Oh my God, Prince is in the hardware store!” He comes and ﬁnds me and he’s got a handful of crap—like, “Can we buy this?” I’m, “What did you do with the car?” He says, “It’s out there—it’s just running.” I said, “Prince, you can’t leave the car running—somebody could just steal the car.” He said, “This is Chanhassen—nobody’s gonna steal the car.” So we get out to the car and sure enough it’s out there, just running, smoke coming out of the tailpipe. And he’s like, “I told you.”
Carmen Electra (dancer and singer; discovered by Prince in 1991): He never slept—he couldn’t sleep. I would wake up alone: Where’d he go? And his housekeeper said, “He’s in the studio.” Or he would leave the sweetest little notes on the stairs that would say: “Had to work! Couldn’t sleep. Come see me.”
Springs: I saw his room and all that. His room was so small compared with everything I saw. You’d never expect him to live there. It was kinda homey—he had this little queen-size bed, and a huge-ass TV, like a 52-inch ﬂatscreen. He had a little private bathroom right there, a big-ass bathtub in there, and fake palm trees and a tan-colored ﬂoor—doing a little beach look. I saw his bathroom because I left my hair dryer at the hotel and I needed to do my Afro for the show, and he let me use his hair dryer.