We've Got Hollywood Covered

Watch Preteen Prince Support Striking Teachers in Resurfaced Vintage News Clip (Video)

Images and video of the musical icon as a youth are virtually nonexistent

Before he was Prince, and he was funky, Prince Rogers Nelson was just another kid from the Northside of Minneapolis. That was the 1970s, and video (especially with sound) was extremely rare — unless a TV crew was around.

It just so happens that one such camera crew, covering a teachers’ strike at Minneapolis schools in 1970, interviewed an 11-year old kid who would go on to international super-fame as perhaps the greatest musician of his generation. But that footage lay undiscovered in archives for more than 50 years.

It also just so happens that Matt Liddy, a production manager at CBS affiliate WCCO in Minneapolis, was recently going through restored, 52-year old footage of the strike, looking for context to add to stories about recent labor struggles in the same district.

Then he saw the kid.

“I immediately just went out to the newsroom and started showing people and saying, ‘I’m not gonna tell you who I think this is, but who do you think this is?’ And every single person [said] ‘Prince,’” Liddy said.

Anyone who knows Prince’s speech patterns and mannerisms would know instantly that the video was authentic — but being journalists, Liddy and the WCCO team set about corroborating what everyone instinctively knew. They tracked down other people seen in the video, as well as folks who would have known Prince during that time, when he was known around the neighborhood as “Skipper.” By then, they say, he was already a musical prodigy.

Each said something along these lines: OMG, that’s Prince!

The young Prince Rogers Nelson only had a short moment of screentime, but he used it to support the picketing teachers’ effort to get more money. Asked whether he supported the strike, the young Prince said, “I think they should get some more money ’cause they work … they be working extra hours for us and all that stuff.”

Whether 2022 or 1970, the ongoing battles of teachers unions will forever be a Sign o’ The Times.

Please fill out this field.