Del’s Tire Mart
1409 2nd Street South
This now-demolished building—an actual tire store—proved crucial in the development of Prince’s music. In the summer and fall of 1978, he rented a room in the back of the building to serve as an audition and rehearsal space. Then he placed an ad in the local alternative weekly—“Warner Bros. recording artist seeks guitarist and keyboard player…"
Prince had already tapped André Cymone to play bass and Bobby Z for drums, and recruited local keyboardists Gayle Chapman and Matt Fink. Dez Dickerson auditioned for Prince at Del's. Prince was impressed with the guitarist's ability to nail an excellent solo without being a showboater. Dickerson was critical to Prince’s development of the “Minneapolis Sound," exposing him to new wave and punk rock.
The band stopped rehearsing in the space after their equipment was stolen.
A high rise hotel now sits on this site. More than half of the Twin Cities’ properties associated with Prince have been demolished. The research underpinning this digital tour was done to identify historically significant locations related to Prince so that they can be preserved for future generations to see the cultural and physical environments that nurtured the artist.