Tim­ber­lake bash out­rages Prince fans

SINGER HOLD­ING PARTY BE­FORE SU­PER BOWL AT PAIS­LEY PARK

Lethbridge Herald - - PEOPLE | ENTERTAINMENT -

At least one Prince su­per­fan hopes the late su­per­star’s Pais­ley Park jacked up the price to rent out his for­mer home and stu­dio out­side Min­neapo­lis for a Justin Tim­ber­lake party ahead of the Su­per Bowl.

“That’s prob­a­bly what Prince would have done with Justin be­ing there,” laughed Jeremiah Freed, known as Dr. Funken­berry in the Prince fan­dom.

The idea of Tim­ber­lake be­ing al­lowed at the Chan­has­sen mecca has up­set fans some still mourn­ing the Pur­ple One, as has the idea of Prince’s 65,000-square­foot spread be­ing granted a tem­po­rary liquor li­cence for the du­ra­tion of Su­per Bowl ma­nia.

But Freed, who hosts a Prince pod­cast out of Los Angeles, isn’t ter­ri­bly both­ered. Pais­ley was turned into a mu­seum after Prince died of an ac­ci­den­tal drug over­dose in April 2016 and his urn is dis­played in the front room atrium, far from the Tim­ber­lake lis­ten­ing ses­sion’s pre­sumed location.

“I think the fans are just wor­ried that they’re go­ing to be walk­ing around Pais­ley and they’re go­ing to get wine on the car­pet or wine on one of the dis­plays. I imag­ine it would be just how it was in the past, in the sound­stage area only for drinks,” Freed told The As­so­ci­ated Press in a re­cent in­ter­view.

De­spite Prince’s no-al­co­hol rep­u­ta­tion, there have been liquor li­cences is­sued for Pais­ley in the past, in­clud­ing one for an event planned by Prince him­self for the month after he died, Freed said.

Den­nis Roszkowski, at 61 a top Prince mem­o­ra­bilia col­lec­tor out­side Detroit and a for­mer cor­re­spon­dent for a Bri­tish­based fan mag­a­zine called “Con­tro­versy,” said that among some fans, “emo­tions are still play­ing out.”

“It’s like our home. We don’t want any­thing to hap­pen to it,” he said of the un­ease over the Su­per Bowl event.

Sherry Stacy, 47, grew up in Detroit and has loved Prince since she was eight.

“I think it’s very rude (to al­low al­co­hol) and it goes against ev­ery­thing Prince was about,” Stacy said. “Prince did his thing with­out drink­ing and peo­ple had fun with­out it when he would play there. It seems like it’s all for the wrong rea­sons, not to hon­our the man.”

Amer­i­can Ex­press, spon­sors of Tim­ber­lake’s lis­ten­ing tour, Pais­ley over­seers and a Tim­ber­lake rep­re­sen­ta­tive did not re­spond to re­quests for com­ment, but Freed fig­ures the party for AmEx card­hold­ers in cel­e­bra­tion of Tim­ber­lake’s “Man of the Woods” al­bum will not in­clude a free run of the place.

The Pais­ley sound­stage holds about 1,800. Amer­i­can Ex­press in­formed ticket buy­ers all ticket sales from Tim­ber­lake’s event will be do­nated to the Na­tional Park Foun­da­tion, the char­i­ta­ble arm of the U.S. Na­tional Park Ser­vice. He had no idea what Amer­i­can Ex­press was charged to use Pais­ley. Tim­ber­lake will be in town to per­form at half­time dur­ing the game.

“They’re prob­a­bly mak­ing a lot of money off of this and it helps keep Pais­ley Park alive,” Freed said by tele­phone.

The sold-out Thurs­day Tim­ber­lake party comes with a diss his­tory be­tween the two, ini­ti­ated by Prince back in 2006 when he said of the “Sexy­back” singer: “Sexy never left.” Tim­ber­lake, re­sponded, in part by mak­ing fun of Prince’s short stature at an awards show but has de­clared him­self a fan. He posted a mov­ing In­sta­gram trib­ute soon after Prince’s death and at­tended his Hol­ly­wood par­ties. The two never per­formed or recorded to­gether.

“This whole JT thing, it’s a very sad sit­u­a­tion to me. Justin was kind of snide about the whole thing with Prince,” Stacy said.

“I think this is just a money grab. True Prince fams (what he called his fans) are all about real mu­sic played by real mu­si­cians, not a JT. I would rather see lo­cal mu­si­cians from the area. They would sell out, too.”

But Freed says he thinks it was just a friendly ri­valry.

“With some­one like Prince, he felt like there was no com­pe­ti­tion so he would make up com­pe­ti­tion in his head. He would con­stantly, with artists that were rel­e­vant, try to make lit­tle ri­val­ries be­cause it mo­ti­vated him. “You know, I’m bet­ter than Justin. The only com­pe­ti­tion was him and the past.” Freed’s fi­nal word on how Prince would feel? “Only Prince knows,” he con­cluded.

As­so­ci­ated Press photo

This file photo shows the in­te­rior at Pais­ley Park, the home and record­ing stu­dio of the late singer Prince in Chan­has­sen, Minn.

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