Prince released the iconic “Purple Rain” soundtrack as his sixth studio album on June 25, 1984 on Warner Bros. Records. The album cover features Prince sitting on his customized 1981 Hondamatic Honda CM400A motorcycle with movie co-star and love interest Apollonia above him in a doorway of a back alley.
I wrote a whole article in 2011 about the motorcycle used in the photo but now here is the actual location of the photo taken by photographer Ron Slenzak for art director Ed Thrasher. The photo was taken on New York Street on the Warner Bros. Movie Studio Lot in Burbank, California. Here’s a photo of the exact location during the day.
Here’s a great night time photo taken by my buddy Danny Boy O’Connor of the group House of Pain.
Now check out this amazing “test shot” of photographer assistant Mike Kubeisy taken before the actual Prince photoshoot that shows a lot more detail of the set.
“Here is a photo of me when I was an assistant for photographer Ron Slenzak. He was shooting the cover for Prince’s “Purple Rain,” and we needed a stand-in motorcycle before the real bike was to arrive. I volunteered my bike, and here’s the image. I like to call it “Red Thunder.” I was half the size and had twice the hair. Notice the very cool Levi cords.” – Mike Kubeisy from Scottkelby.com
This wasn’t the only iconic album cover taken on the Warner Bros. Studio Lot. The legendary Pink Floyd “Wish You Were Here” cover photo was also taken on the lot. For more on that one click the photo or link below…