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Reporters at WCCO, a local CBS affiliate, were combing through the archives for footage of a local teachers’ strike 52 years ago to offer context to the recent educators’ strike when a familiar face on the screen quite literally jumped at them.
“I immediately went out to the newsroom and started showing people and saying, ‘I’m not going to tell you who I think this is, but who do you think this is?’ And every single person [said] ‘Prince,’” said Matt Liddy, the production manager for WCCO who was in charge of reviewing the footage.
The clip showed several kids being interviewed by news crews, and a young Prince jumping around with an impish grin on his face. When asked if most of the kids are in favour of their teachers going on strike, the young Prince replies with his trademark smirk, “Yup.”
He then adds, “I think they should get a better education too cause, um, and I think they should get some more money cause they work extra hours for us and all that stuff.”
To confirm the identity of the boy, the reporters at WCCO tracked down an old schoolmate and childhood friend of Prince’s, Terrance Jackson, who also performed with Prince in his first band, Grand Central. The footage brought him to tears.
“That is Prince! Standing right there with the hat on, right? That’s Skipper! Oh my God!” Jackson exclaimed, using Prince’s childhood nickname.
“He was already playing guitar and keys by then, phenomenally,” Jackson said. “As far as I could remember, music became our sport. Because he was athletic, I was athletic, but we wanted to compete musically.”