Apply to Become an Archivist Overseeing Prince’s Artifacts & Archival Materials: Applications Are Being Accepted Now

Image by Ann Althouse, via Flickr Commons

If all of Prince’s official releases somehow disappeared from history—no Controversy, 1999, Purple Rain, Sign o’ the Times, Lovesexy—you could still make a case for him as a singular, if unheard, musical genius based on his massive trove of unreleased material alone. At least that’s my theory, but the evidence is somewhat lacking since we’ve yet to hear much from the notorious Paisley Park vault. We do know, as Rolling Stone reported in 2016, that it’s full of “thousands of hours of unheard live and studio material—jams, random songs and entire albums”…enough material, it seems, to recreate Prince should his career somehow get erased from the timeline.

One former Paisley Park employee, Scott LeGere, witnessed the Purple One’s manic energy during many a long recording session, as he churned out music at a superhuman rate, then relegated much of it, for reasons known only to Prince, to the Vault—an actual basement bank vault “complete with a time lock and large spinning handle.” Only Prince knew the combination. “At one point,” LeGere remembered, “I was holding tapes and he would beckon me to come in. I said, ‘Actually, sir, I’d rather not. That is your space and your work.’” I don’t know about you, but I probably would have gone in. Then again, I’ve never actually been to Paisley Park and experienced what seems to have been a very humbling atmosphere.

As you must have heard by now, the Vault is open, and unreleased material has begun to trickle out, like the original studio recording of “Nothing Compares 2 U,” above with previously unreleased rehearsal footage of Prince and his band. He “recorded every part himself,” writes Jon Pareles, as was his custom, “except some backing vocals (by Paul Peterson and Susannah Melvoin) and a saxophone solo (by Eric Leeds).” It is, without a doubt, “a crescendo of heartache underscored by everyday details, a finished song.”

If you’re a Prince fan (and how could you not be?), you’ll have to wait until September for the first full album of songs from the Vault. But one lucky person with the relevant skills and experience in archival work and conservation will get the chance to work directly with the materials at Paisley Park, now a permanent museum, as the Archives Supervisor reporting to the Director of Archives. “Some knowledge of Prince is helpful,” the job announcement—posted on April 12th—specifies.

You’ll have to be prepared to work weekends, holidays, evenings, and overtime. Benefits are not guaranteed but “may be be offered after successful completion of a sixty (60) day introductory period.” You must have a car and “adhere to a pescatarian environment.” I can’t speak to how these conditions compare to similar kinds of employment, but hey, for the chance to “work in a confidential work area,” including, we might assume, the mysterious Vault itself, some sacrifices may be worth it. You’ll likely get to see and hear, before anyone else, the profusion of unreleased film and audio Prince left behind—a lifetime’s worth of work that puts most other musicians to shame, stashed away in the basement for future generations to find. You can apply here.

via Rolling Stone

Related Content:

Prince Gets an Official Purple Pantone Color

Hear Prince’s Personal Playlist of Party Music: 22 Tracks That Will Bring Any Party to Life

Watch Prince Play Jazz Piano & Coach His Band Through George Gershwin’s “Summertime” in a Candid, Behind-the-Scenes Moment (1990)

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

by | Permalink | Comments (9) |

Support Open Culture

We’re hoping to rely on our loyal readers rather than erratic ads. To support Open Culture’s educational mission, please consider making a donation. We accept PayPal, Venmo (@openculture), Patreon and Crypto! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (9)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
  • Maria Samayoa says:

    Where is the job located? Minneapolis?

  • Lillian Davis says:

    Artists works must be carefully recorded and archived. I am the first female rock and roll recording engineer. I am an artist and have worked in art conservation with the Getty Museum and other organizations.
    Saving history is the most important job for a conservator, historian.
    I would like to be considered for the privilege of compiling and organizing the best of care of archiving his music and all.

  • Elaine Rizzuto says:

    My studies were in art history, but I mostly work helping families sell or auction off antiques and collectables.

    I would certainly like to be considered for this privileged position. Assisting with this incredible collection would truly be a rewarding experience and knowledge.

  • Johnpetrou says:

    I would love this opportunity. Have been a fan for 40 years
    Would treat this job with the utmost respect

  • Rho says:

    …”‘ADHERE’ to a pescatarian environment”..??
    Hmmm..(?) I am annoyingly curious as to the actual specificity of this..”requirement”..?? Is this referring to menu preferences ?, aquarium maintenance..??, social sanctions..???, mandatory submersion..???.., or is this falling into a “need to know” grey area..?? …Is this a “risky”, and/or “dangerous” position..?? ..Will Sharks or other similarly aggressive aquatic species be included in the applicants purview..?? Will helmets, and other appropriate safety gear be provided.., or will these items be the applicants responsibility..? Please advise.

  • Irene Rodriguez says:

    I applied to Paisley Park previously however, I’m more interested in our Prince’s Wardrobe. I was one of Prince’s first Tailors in 1980 (and the Revolution). I’ve been a certified Tailor for 45 years. I design Couture Clothing. I am owner,designer of OMG Wardrobe in Minneapolis. Irene Rodriquez

  • Cappie R. Hall says:

    I have ABSOLUTELY no prior experience, but I have a keene ear for music and the ability to learn quickly. Just the type of person P would have hired.

  • Laura Whittaker says:

    I have been, and will forever be a Prince fan! He sang the soundtrack of my life! His music was/is/and will be relevant for all time! His legacy must be held true.
    Nothing is more important than the documentation and recording of things that have been. Mankind learns from its History and there will never be another Master musician such as Prince.
    I have an outstanding eye for detail and am a meticulous worker. It would be an honour and privilege to ensure every piece of Prince’s life, music, personal items, costumes, etc. are preserved for all time.
    I’m excited to receive your reply.

  • Rosa (Casarez) Griffith says:

    WOW 💜2U. ROSA from Detroit

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.