Before he was a mononymous pop star who could rock out with the best of them, Prince was apparently a talented, precocious, and extremely civic-minded little boy in Minneaopolis. Long-rumored footage of Prince at a 1970s teachers union strike for local news has resurfaced today, courtesy of Minneapolis television station WCCO.
Station production manager Matt Liddy came across the clip while doing research on a similar strike this year. Looking through the footage for historical context, he noticed an 11-year-old boy being interviewed about the strike and asked his colleagues for confirmation that the boy was a pre-teen Prince Nelson Rogers. After having the footage expertly restored, Liddy needed to find another boy from the footage, Ronnie Kitchen, as Prince never actually identifies himself in the footage.
When Liddy and crew were unable to get in contact with Kitchen, they turned to historian and archeologist Kristen Zschomler. Zschomler identified the school in the background as Lincoln Junior High School, which Prince attended in 1970, and compared the footage to his yearbook picture from that year. She put WCCO in contact with Terrance Jackson, who went to school with Prince, and finally confirmed that the boy in the video would indeed go on to write “Purple Rain” and “Batdance.” “That is Prince!” he said when shown the video. “Standing right there with the hat on, right? That’s Skipper! Oh my God!”
In the video, Prince says, “I think they should get a better education too cause, um, and I think they should get some more money cause they work, they be working extra hours for us and all that stuff.” Sounds like even then, Prince knew what was up. Previously, a clip of Prince playing basketball also sent the internet into a frenzy, proving that fans may never get enough of seeing what he was up to before the fame.