In death, Prince’s life becomes an open book

You have to admire the pluck of City Pages. Who would have thought to get the dirt on Prince by talking to the people who cooked for him?

Now that the Associated Press — a more conservative approach to news gathering you won’t find — has found the leaky law enforcement people who’ve propped up the TMZ report — anonymously — that Prince likely overdosed on an opioid of some sort on his flight back from Atlanta, it’s becoming obvious that Prince was suffering in his final days.

Ray Roberts, Prince’s chef, told City Pages that Prince didn’t seem like himself the night he delivered a dinner he never ate.

“He’d been like that for months,” he said.

Roberts and his wife had been cooking dinners for Prince for about three years, and never told even their closest friends, owing to the performer’s insistence on privacy and confidentiality.

That’s disappeared in a hurry in the aftermath of his death.

Once, there was a smudge on the outside of a package in which he had left an overnight meal. When he arrived to work the next day, Prince was in the kitchen waiting. He pointed at the smudge, and simply gave Ray the two-fingers-to-the-eyes “I’m watching you” gesture.

It was one of only three times Ray got in trouble for anything. The other was for lateness, and once, for leaving a cake out of place.

“His personal refrigerator was organized like it was staged for a photo shoot.”

Whatever was wrong with Prince in the last few months, it was noticeable by those around him.

“The last few months he had the flu or a cold, always. There was always something going on. He was off his game and needed to rest. I had to be careful about what I was serving him.” Prince was more frequently requesting foods that would help him to feel better, or something easy for his throat, or foods that made him feel like he was being nourished.

And on the Monday before he died, he made an unusual request: a crudite plate with edamame hummus. “He ordered it like he was ordering something from a restaurant,” which seemed odd to Ray — it was something Prince almost never did.

But they couldn’t have ever guessed that a few months of being under the weather or unusual requests would end this way.

TMZ reports today that Prince’s remaining family had a stormy meeting yesterday to discuss how to divvy up what Prince left behind.

With the tabloids at DEFCON 1, it’s going to get ugly around Paisley Park.

Related: Prince paid off medical bills for Madison’s ‘Funky Drummer,’ Clyde Stubblefield (Wisconsin State Journal)

Letters from Prince: A Minneapolis writer remembers his relationship with a lost star (Star Tribune)

  • MrE85

    MPR: More Prince Rehash.

  • Gary F

    What Prince left behind? A massive current portfolio of published music that will generate millions for years, vaults full of completed audio and video works not yet published, and vaults full of unrecorded music not yet published. We hear probably not a will to be found. The government drooling over the tax take on all of this. Then you wonder if he wasn’t so “Happy to pay for a better Minnesota”, and did he have huge tax liabilities already?

    As much as I tire of this too Mr E85, it aint going away.

  • PaulJ

    If the story was in an open book, it wouldn’t be so dramatic. But; as it is, with details coming out piecemeal; I can hardly wait to read the next item.

  • Mike Worcester

    //TMZ reports today that Prince’s remaining family had a stormy meeting yesterday to discuss how to divvy up what Prince left behind.

    What’s sad to ponder now is how his family will hold their competing press conferences and interviews, each one claiming to know what he wanted for his estate. Ugly might not even be enough of a word to describe it all. It will tarnish what should be a celebration of the music and other positives that Prince brought to the music scene.

    Then again, it could all work out and everyone will be happy….though on that one I won’t place any wagers.

  • Al

    Is it dirt if it’s not purposefully inflammatory? The City Pages article comes across as a pretty glowing tribute to the guy, consistent with the other “dirt” we’ve heard about his charitable giving and commitment to perfection in performance.

  • ChrisF

    The story I’m interested in hearing, when the time is right, is from the Current and what it was like to be the center of the world’s attention for several days.

    • lindblomeagles

      Folks, I know we all love Prince, and he seemed like a wonderful young man, BUT, we must acknowledge one very important detail about him — Prince was an insanely private individual. He was not an open book, not to the public. He rarely gave interviews to the media, and did not have camera people following him around to exotic places. We don’t REALLY KNOW WHO PRINCE ROGERS NELSON WAS. What we know is he was one H – E – DOUBLE HOCKEY STICK of a musician, composer, performer, and singer; that he wore a lot of makeup ALL THE TIME and never got questioned about it. High heeled boots were his repertoire. During the 1980s, some beautiful women hung around him, but we don’t know the nature of those relationships. His bandmates often seemed like terrific people as well. I’m not saying we should suspect something hideous or obscene now that Prince is dead. What I am saying is Prince was human, and as we’ve learned from the legacies of other dead humans (see Andrew Jackson), the man was not perfect. Bob said it best . . . celebrate Prince’s life by remembering where you were when he happened, support music education for youth, and, if he had other health related problems, like an addiction or a disease, get on board groups interested in finding a cure for that disease.

      • crystals

        Fair points but…not at all relevant to the comment you’re replying to?

        Ditto the interest in hearing from The Current how they did what they did so quickly, and what it was like to be in the middle of it.

        • lindblomeagles

          Crystals, you probably should read my points again, because it is ENTIRELY relevant. There probably isn’t going to be a RIGHT time as the commenter alluded to in his post because Prince was very well adored AND as I said, he was an INTENSELY PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL. Just like when Elvis died in 1977, a lot of fans didn’t want most of what Elvis did or had done privately to come to the surface, and there are still things Elvis did that we don’t know about. Prince won’t be much different. It’s impossible for us to know what it is like to be at the center of the world’s attention. Some experiences just can’t be illuminated in print. Meanwhile, the Current, as well as other news sources, are going to be fed lots of tips, some true, some false, some unprovable, as was the case with Tiger Woods extramarital affairs. It’s easy to sit back, pound a table, DEMAND an answer, and then troll someone like me who says, “Hey, some of this stuff is not going to be pretty, and we’re not going to know everything about it.” But, we all CAN hold onto the memory of his stardom while simultaneously becoming proactive in the things that Prince himself liked or was at risk from while his life, the good, bad, and ugly, is ponged around the media cycle.

          • crystals

            The story we’re talking about actually isn’t about Prince as an individual. It’s about a radio station thrust into the spotlight.

            But you obviously have a lot of STRONG feelings about this, so let’s just end this here. Be well.

          • I’m told some French TV and radio people — separately — have done features on The Current, though I have not seen them nor searched for them online.