A local news outlet in Minneapolis uncovered rare archival footage showing a young Prince joining the picket line of a teacher’s strike, and social media can’t get enough.
On Monday (April 4), CBS 4 News in Minnesota shared the fruits of its investigation online –– a clip from 1970 showing the then 11-year-old Prince Rogers Nelson giving an interview in front of his junior high school. According to Rolling Stone, the clip surfaced as part of the news outlet’s search to give historical context to the teacher’s strike that began last month. Teachers in the same district went on strike some 52 years ago, demanding better pay –– and a young Prince clearly agreed.
“I think they should get some more money because they are working extra hours for us,” the pre-teen says in the video.
Station production manager and local historian Matt Liddy first caught the soon-to-be-famous child in the clip after the footage was restored while looking for key landmarks to connect the educators’ strikes together.
After asking around and getting confirmation from colleagues, Liddy turned to Minneapolis-St. Paul historian Kristen Zschomler was also confident that the little boy in the footage was Prince. Zschomler then linked local reporters to Terrance Jackson, one of Prince’s childhood friends and former bandmate who confirmed it was him.
“That is Prince! Standing right there with the hat on, right? That’s Skipper! Oh my God!” Jackson said, calling the musician by his childhood nickname.
“He was already playing guitar and keys by then, phenomenally,” Jackson added. “Music became our sport. Because he was athletic, I was athletic, but we wanted to compete musically.” Jackson was a part of Prince’s first band, Grand Central.
The clip itself further cements Prince’s connection to his city and what he believed in, Zschomler told Rolling Stone.
“It really helps ground him to that Minneapolis connection,” she 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 symbolic connection he had to his hometown.
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