I always enjoy these old stories about Prince.
A member of Prince’s band, Morris Hayes, recalls one instance in which the singer, clad in a turtleneck sweater and fuzzy boots, walked in to a hardware store to the shock of locals in Minnesota.
‘People are looking like, “Oh my God, Prince is in the hardware store!”,’ Hayes said.
Hayes then recalled how Prince had walked into the Ace store even though the car they drove was still in the parking lot with the keys in the ignition.
‘I’m [saying to him], “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”.’
A couple of observations. First, notice that no one at the hardware store spoke to him, they just looked. No one ever pestered Prince in Minnesota, you just don’t bother someone because he happens to be famous, which was one thing he really liked about living there. If Prince wanted to talk to you, he’d send someone over to let you know.
Second, based on the way Hayes describes things, it was probably winter. Winter is REALLY REALLY cold there. So, it’s pretty common to leave the car running if you’re not going to be in the store for that long. It’s kind of weird when it’s really cold, because the smoke actually drops to the ground when it comes out of the tailpipe.
And third, he was right, at least back in the day. No one was ever going to steal your car when you left it running. People did it all the time back then. It would be nice to think that they still do.