This Prince tribute graffiti on a Lake Minnetonka bridge is perfect

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"Purify yourself" graffiti, a nod to Prince, was spotted on Lake Minnetonka's Arcola Bridge. Ellen Gustafson Photography

Last weekend Ellen Gustafson was out on a boat cruise around Lake Minnetonka.

The local photographer and her boyfriend scored big when his sister and brother-in-law bought a boat this spring. Almost every weekend the couples hit the lake in the name of fun, sun, and relaxation.

It's not uncommon for them to catch an eyeful of graffiti on the Arcola Bridge coming or going from Crystal Bay. Usually the tags are the uninspired scribblings of a neighborhood vandal. But last weekend Gustafson spotted something different, something photo-worthy.

Scrawled across the industrial-looking bridge was a simple message and nod to fallen music icon Prince: “Purify yourself.”

For those who haven't seen the pop god's glorious 1984 film Purple Rain, consider your Minnesotan card revoked and allow us to explain. The line is plucked from the famous shoreline scene where Prince, appropriately wrapped in an elaborate scarf, instructs a leather-clad Apollonia to “purify yourself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka.”

Of course she succumbs to his skinny-dipping dare, because he's Prince. But as Apollonia climbs back onto the shore, he informs her that isn't Lake Minnetonka and peels out on his motorcycle leaving her shivering half naked on the beach (harsh, bro).

Presumably our vandal/artiste had a thing for the Purple One and his marvelous '80s flick. Or perhaps more likely, given the youthful medium of defacing public property, he or she may know the line from the famous and apparently super accurate Chappelle's Show skit.

Either way, it's a cool nod to a Minnesota legend. 


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