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“Live, that’s an entirely different level of my love and appreciation for what he does. He is music. You can feel that,” said Rudolph, daughter of the late R&B singer Minnie Riperton and producer Dick Rudolph. “Gretchen and I went to see the last tour together [in 2011] and I was pregnanter than pregnant, and he was unbelievable. His music is part of my history. ”
She met Prince in 2005 when he performed on “SNL.” At the end of the night, she went up to shake his hand. “I thought: ‘God, he has no idea of who I am. I’m so embarrassed.’ I was trying with every fiber in my body to savor the moment and not geek out and say something stupid. Then at the end of the conversation, he said, ‘I really loved your mom.’ I was really surprised that he knew the connection. And really moved.”
The next day they found themselves on the same airplane to L.A. “I got to talk to him on the flight and introduce him to my daughter, who was only 4½ months old then. It was pretty magical,” said Rudolph. “He’s very lovely.”
She and Lieberum, who are known to break into “Purple Rain” dialogue at any moment, are overjoyed about their Purple Pilgrimage — though purifying themselves in Lake Minnetonka seems out of the question in March.
“That’s OK, I’m not good with cold water,” said Rudolph.
Countered Lieberum: “I’m going to go do it anyway.”
First Avenue is the main attraction. Rudolph didn’t make it to the club when she was in the Twin Cities filming “A Prairie Home Companion” in 2005.
Lieberum was disappointed to learn that the backstage scenes in Prince’s movie were actually filmed elsewhere.
“After we performed ‘Purple Rain,’ we were going to run angrily through the halls,” Lieberum said.
“She was,” Rudolph clarified. “One of us had to stand in the hallway and cry like Jill Jones. And I’m not blond.”
Twitter: @JonBream • 612-673-1719