Skip to main content

Former Time guitarist says Prince 'hurt me to my soul' at Paisley Park event

The remarks came during an onstage interview at "Celebration 2019"

Jesse Johnson, a guitarist who, as a member of the Time, worked with Prince during the height of his fame, chose an interesting place and time to air some of his long-running beefs against the Purple One.

During an interview Thursday night at Celebration 2019, a four-day Prince tribute at Paisley Park featuring live music, Johnson let loose about the star's refusal to give him proper recognition during their time together.

According to the Pioneer Press, the guitarist told the interviewer — with a crowd looking on — that a "lot of things (Prince) did … hurt me to my soul,” hinting that Prince "never paid him what he deserved" and wouldn't let him play guitar "when they jammed together."

The paper says the comments "quickly turned into a long, rambling monologue," with Johnson remarking, "Would I have come here if (Prince) was alive? Probably not.”

This is not the first time the musician's grievances against Prince have gone public, and his addition to the Celebration 2019 lineup apparently caused some controversy. 

In fact, City Pages recently received a compromising audio recording of Johnson trash-talking Prince, with a note that the paper should "hold Paisley Park accountable" for its decision to include the guitarist in the festivities.

As the magazine notes, Johnson — apparently unaware he was being recorded — can be heard in the tape saying that Prince "f----- me over, took money out of my pocket, robbed my kids."

Additionally, he also says he doesn't "have that same kind of love and s--- that y’all do” for the late star.

Despite Johnson's unusual interview at Paisley Park, he's getting a lot of praise for not only his candidness, but also the live performance he gave afterwards:

Celebration 2019, which kicked off Thursday, runs through Sunday, April 28. 

Next Up


Minneapolis will waive pet adoption fees on Friday

Pet licensing fees still apply to adoptions at the event.


Family who endured car theft ordeal surprised with trip to Universal Orlando

A father rescued his four children after a thief jumped in his car while he was getting something from his trunk.


Charges: Teen speeding before crash that killed mother, injured her son

The teenager was driving at speeds between 72-89 mph at the time of the crash.

Northland Vapor in Moorhead, Minn.

Northland Vapor calls St. Paul regulators 'overzealous' in lawsuit over THC sales

The small Minnesota business said the lawsuit was "misleading" and "shameful."


Excelsior chocolate shop ransacked by thieves to reopen

Truffle Hill will reopen to the public on Friday.

Company agrees to changes after child workers found in MN meat plants

An investigation found children ages 13-17 working hazardous jobs at the plants.


Drinks can company to lay off almost 100 workers, close St. Paul plant

State authorities were informed of the impending closure.


Suspect in Minneapolis bar killing charged with weapons crime

The suspect has not been charged with murder in the case as of Wednesday.

snow, blowing snow

A monster storm is coming next week: What will happen?

What we know with high confidence at this point is that there will be a monster storm in the central U.S. by the early and middle part of next week.

police lights

Boy safe after kidnapping by non-custodial parent in Mankato

The search prompted the temporary shutdown of I-35 Tuesday night.


Prince's shoe collection.

Paisley Park unveils Prince's 'iconic footwear' collection

You can check out his shoes for a limited time.

Screen Shot 2019-09-14 at 8.57.06 AM

Prince's ashes to go on display, but it may be difficult to see them

Paisley Park will offer a viewing for the 5th anniversary of his death.