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All Along the Watchtower

Prince goes door to door for Jehovah's Witnesses. The famously shy musician takes his beliefs on the road

Prince, who said in a 2001 interview that he's become a Jehovah's Witness, takes his new faith seriously. So discovered a woman named Rochelle, who told the Minneapolis-St.Paul Star Tribune that her husband answered a knock on the door to their Eden Prairie, Minn., home last Sunday to find the purple pop star proselytizing. He introduced himself by his full name, Prince Nelson, and came inside, accompanied by his bassist, former Sly and the Family Stone member Larry Graham, Rochelle told the paper.

''My first thought is 'Cool, cool, cool. He wants to use my house for a set. I'm glad! Demolish the whole thing! Start over!' Then they start in on this Jehovah's Witnesses stuff,'' Rochelle recalled. ''I said, 'You know what? You've walked into a Jewish household, and this is not something I'm interested in.' He says, Can I just finish? Then the other guy, Larry Graham, gets out his little Bible and starts reading scriptures about being Jewish and the land of Israel.''

Rochelle said Prince and Graham stayed for 25 minutes. ''Left us a pamphlet,'' Rochelle said. ''He was very kind,'' she said of Prince, who left with Graham in a ''big black truck with a woman, long dark hair in the front seat.'' (Presumably, Prince's wife, Manuela Testolini.) Curiously, they did not visit any other homes on the block. ''It was so bizarre, you would have just laughed,'' Rochelle said. After all, maybe Prince didn't know better than to try to convert a Jewish family hours before the start of Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. Still, as a Minnesota native, he should have known better than to visit people's houses and try to distract them from their TVs during a Vikings game.

Originally posted Oct 15, 2003
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