WCCO Minneapolis Unearths Rare Footage of Prince as an 11 Year Old Speaking Up at a Teacher’s Strike

While Matt Liddy, a production manager at WCCO in Minneapolis, was combing through vintage newsroom footage about a teacher’s strike in 1970 to give context regarding a current strike in the same district, he accidentally came across footage of a young Prince Rogers Nelson. The future artist, who later became known by either his first name or an ancient love symbol, was about 11 years old at the time and was happy to give his opinion on the matter.

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.

While Liddy was pretty sure of his discovery, he worked with a sound engineer to examine the interviewee’s voice, yet confirmation was not yet made because the boy never said his name. Reporters Jeff Wagner and Joe Berglove assisted with researching this amazing find.

The team then consulted with local Prince historian Kristen Zschomler who was able to compare the footage with information that she had on file.

I think that’s him, definitely. Oh my gosh. Yeah, I think that’s definitely Prince…This definitely looks like Lincoln Junior High School where he would have been attending school in April of 1970. There’s so much in his mannerisms and his eyes and everything that it looks like him.

Zshomler’s information was further validated after a conversation with Prince’s former classmate Terrance Jackson who recognized the Purple One right off the bat, although he knew him as “Skipper”.

That is Prince! Standing right there with the hat on, right? That’s Skipper! Oh my God! …That’s Prince, aka Skipper to the Northside….He was already playing guitar and keys by then, phenomenally…Music became our sport. Because he was athletic, I was athletic, but we wanted to compete musically.

Needless to say, many people are amazed by this discovery.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.