Minnesota news station uncovers rare footage of 11-year-old Prince

While viewing archival footage shot in Minneapolis in April 1970, WCCO production manager Matt Liddy only wanted to see what the city’s landmarks looked like at the time, that is, say until he noticed a very familiar face, belonging to a little boy who was about to grow up. to be a musical icon known around the world.

The footage was taken during a strike by Minneapolis public school educators. Last month, when teachers in the same district went on strike, there was a resurgence of interest in the subject, and WCCO retrieved the film from its archives. In the footage, several children are interviewed by a reporter, including one who looked exactly like Prince, who grew up in Minneapolis and was then known as Prince Nelson or by his nickname, “Skipper”.

Liddy said he walked around the newsroom and asked people who they thought the child looked like, and everyone said Prince. In the interview, the boy is asked what he thinks of the strike, and he says he thinks teachers should “have a better education too” and “have more money because they work, they working overtime for us and all that.” Liddy hoped the reporter would ask the boy his name, but he never did.

The WCOO team wanted confirmation of the boy’s identity and tried to locate another student who was interviewed and gave his name as Ronnie Kitchen. They couldn’t find it and asked local historian and Prince fan Kristen Zschomler for help. Films showing the musician as a young boy are rare, she said, and when WCCO showed her the footage, Zschomler was stunned. “Oh my God, yeah, I think it’s definitely Prince,” she said. Prince’s high school was in the background, she told WCCO, and the boy’s hairstyle matched Prince’s appearance in a photo taken when he was in sixth grade.

Zschomler then introduced the team to one of Prince’s childhood friends, Terrance Jackson, who also played in his first band, Grand Central. He immediately recognized Kitchen and then exclaimed, “It’s Prince! Standing right there with the hat, right? It’s Skipper! Oh my God!” Once he heard the boy talking, Jackson said “Wow” and started crying.

Even though Prince was only 11 at the time, “he was already playing guitar and keyboards phenomenally,” Jackson said. There was no denying it, he told WCCO: The boy in the movie was “Prince, aka Skipper to the Northside.”