Hail Prince


Top Shelf feels a huge loss in the death of one of our all time favorite musicians. For two or three years he even had a retail Prince store right next door to us in our old Uptown location. We would see his ex-wife Mayte dancing in the front window. His red Corvette was inside the store. There were televisions set into the floor, and lots of purple beads, CD’s and Prince paraphenalia. Tour buses from around the country would park in front and his fans would stand in line outside.

We were fortunate to have seen him perform at many different venues in the Twin Cities, partied in his nightclubs in Minneapolis and South Beach, at Paisley Park, Northrup Auditorium, Excel Center, and sometimes at Bunkers where many of his Minneapolis posse still perform weekly. At the last Lyn Lake Street Festival I felt compelled to shout out a Happy Birthday to him above the stage because it gave me pleasure to remind the crowd what day it was.


Others can write the history of all the ways that he broke the rules.  I used to describe him as James Brown, Elton John and Liberace all rolled into one, probably the most electrifying performer I ever saw, in a 5’4″ frame that was bigger than life. I would never have imagined how much I would feel the loss of him as a force of nature and musical personality.

40 Years Ago

Back in 1976, John Meegan and Suzanne Murphy started Top Shelf with $500 each, fresh out of tailoring school and voted least likely to succeed by our instructors. I guess we showed them! Sadly, Suzanne left after 33 years to move to Ohio for love.

Humble Beginnings in 1976
Humble Beginnings in 1976

A Tailor’s Weekend in Manhattan Part One

I spent the past weekend in Manhattan attending a convention of the Custom Tailors and Designers Association, and ran into a little foul weather, 28 inches of snow in Central Park. Lucky for me I brought one of the best friends any person could ask for- My orange Swims. I was able to get around almost everywhere, while others just ruined their shoes walking through the salt and slop. When I had to get out of a cab to walk a mile on the highway to get to Laguardia airport at the end of my trip, I was damn glad I had them, and that they were highly visible. I made the flight!

Best friends