Photo by Bill Phelps
Tom and Angie Wicka with Robert Whitman Prince Print
Memories of that night are still vivid: sneaking out of her ranch house in Golden Valley on a cold January evening with her aunt, then taking the bus to north Minneapolis to go to her first concert—Prince at the Capri Theater. “I had no idea who I am seeing or who he was,” recalls Angie Wicka, then 15. “But then he comes out, wearing this trench coat, and there’s all this smoke. He was fucking on!”
She didn’t know it then, but Wicka was witnessing one of Prince’s first live performances. Recounting those events recently, Wicka breathlessly enthuses as if she just got home from the show, where she was within 20 feet of the stage. “It was unbelievable. I don’t think I moved for the entire show. I was just in awe.”
It could be hard to top an experience like that, but Wicka, a philanthropist and former model, would later be cast in Prince’s “Gett Off” video. She donned a bikini for the casting call, and when Prince saw her, he tipped down his glasses, looked her over, and said, “Oh, that’ll work.”
Prince remains a strong presence in Wicka’s life. In January, she and her entrepreneur husband, Tom, took their 16-year-old son, Nash, to see his first concert—Prince’s Piano and a Microphone show at Paisley Park. For Nash, the night had the same memorable effect as that first concert did for Angie. So when MCAD announced it would have a one-of-a-kind, 40-by-60-inch photo of Prince at its annual benefit auction in May, Nash told his mom, “We have to get this. We have to have this photo!” The family scored the iconic shot, taken in 1977 by Robert Whitman in downtown Minneapolis, for $32,000.
Funny thing about that photo, which hangs in an office at the Wickas’ Edina home: “No matter where you stand, it looks as if he’s looking at you,” Angie says.