Prince is writing a Memoir

From an article behind the NYTimes’ paywall:

Prince is famously brilliant, private, purposefully cryptic, and at the center of a lot of music happening over the past 40 years. So, this could:

  • Be fun and stylish, but not reveal much
  • Be thoughtful and revealing - about how he creates music, about his personal life and insights, etc.
  • Be a weird Prince excursion that confounds expectations for what people were looking for in a memoir.
  • Stink.

I have it on good authority that in private Prince exists (even more so) in a bizarre fantasy world where all things are possible, so if it were Prince writing the entire thing by himself, I would fully expect “a weird Prince excursion that confounds expectations for what people were looking for in a memoir,” at the very least, but if he has a co-writer who knows what they’re doing, it will probably be somewhere in between “fun and stylish, but not reveal much,” and “thoughtful and revealing - about how he creates music, about his personal life and insights, etc.”

Despite the fact that I play electric guitar, listen to and play pop music, and am part of the same generation as Prince, I know almost nothing about him or his music. A couple of hits, his Super Bowl appearance, a Youtube video or two, that’s all I know. Based on years of reading way too many memoirs by musicians, I’m gonna go with choice D.

But if you read it and give it a rave review, I’ll probably read it too.

No pressure! :wink:

Yeah, it stinks that he doesn’t allow his music on the Internet, even if I can understand why. I would love to post a link to I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man off of Sign o’ The Times. Kind of a classic rock song - solid rock riff and verse/chorus, but also with a fun, open/“mid-concert drop-down” middle section with a bunch of simmering fills before kicking back into the main riff. The song’s guitar lead, which happens before that open section, is interesting for what he does: Prince sets up a delay, hits a quick guitar phrase, which gets repeated. He continues this, phrase/repeat, phrase/repeat - and it totally works as a gimmick and as a lead over the chords. Once you heard it you would get it immediately - but I haven’t heard many leads like it and it totally works. So that song is a decent guitar example to hear for rhythm work, cool little fills and his innovative lead. And he did everything on the song from writing through performing and producing.

But you can’t easily access unless you buy the mp3 I guess or get the album - now, since that is one of my Top 5 albums of all time, I don’t see having to get the CD much of a burden :wink:

I think it will be C and D

Prince is the type of person that will kickstart an album and expect money and accolades to flow in because it’s “Prince”

That said, I really love some of his stuff, especially the earlier funkdafied stuff.

I’ll definitely buy this, but I don’t hold out high expectations. I imagine it will be cryptic and quasi-mystical - but I sincerely hope not. Why bother writing a memoir if you aren’t going to open up? I guess I’m pre-judging here but his almost total silence for years would imply the likelihood of a searing self examination is slight.
Off topic, I have great hopes for the new XTC book as it’s an examination of AP’s writing process - despatched yesterday! And further off topic - I’m still slogging my way through Costello’s turgid book. I’m a big fan of his songwriting - but he cannot write prose. Should have got a ghost write as he has loads of stories but can’t tell them for shit.


I’m guessing it will be the first and third.

  • Be a long form religious tract? A sexy, sexy, religious tract.

He has some sense of humor (see Breakfast Can Wait), but if his weirdness is intentional, it’s a long con.

Wierd, rambling and ALL about ME (Prince) is my guess. :smiley:

If he has any sense, he’ll do this.

Much as I dislike his behavior toward the internet’s guerrilla distribution of his work, he does seem to know how to maintain a mystique. When I hear, say a live track from the Dirty Minds tour on the radio, it’s a day I remember for a long time.

If anyone is interested this interview with Kevin Smith ( it’s actually a single question followed by 30 minutes of Smith holding forth ) is worth a listen. Prince commissioned him to do a quasi-documentary in house about an album release. It’s an enlightening glimpse into the weirdness that is Prince even behind the scenes.