Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-viii

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Introduction

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pp. ix-xiv

PRINCE AND I BOTH LOVE MUSIC AND BASKETBALL, So it’s only fitting that I found out that the little love god had passed away as my son Henry and I were on our way to our twice-weekly basketball game, Thursday, April 21, 2016, 11:50 A.M.
Jade Tittle, somber and far away, broke the news to us via The Current (89.3), Minnesota Public Radio’s influential alternative music station that in the last decade of his life became the go-to source for all things Prince. I say “far away” because the volume was down on the car radio, but even from a distance I could hear the gravity in the deejay’s voice. The disbelief....

1994

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pp. 1-2

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Prince’s Magic Lures the Stars

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pp. 3-5

MAGIC JOHNSON STOOD WITH HIS WIFE, COOkIE, IN the back of the soundstage room at Paisley Park Studios, rocking to the bass-heavy mix being pumped out by the house deejay. It was 2 A.M. Sunday, but Johnson’s eyes were as big as any Prince fan’s eyes can get. “I don’t care how late it gets. I’m not leaving until he leaves the stage,” the former NBA great said over the deafening sound of the booming speakers. “He’s the best. A genius. I love everything he does, but my wife and I especially like his ballads.”...

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He’s Not Just Another Pretty Symbol

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pp. 5-8

AROUND THE TIME PURPLE RAIN CAME OUT IN 1984, there was a story going around the Twin Cities that Prince was showing up at the Southtown movie theater, sitting in the back row night after night taking in multiple viewings of Amadeus. Even if it’s not true, it’s a great story: I love the image of Prince alone in the back row of a dark movie house, his album and movie No. 1 in the country, gleaning solace and inspiration from another composer who turned the world on its ear two centuries prior....

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Prince Treats Lucky Fans to After-hours Rehearsal

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pp. 8-9

AS PART OF GLAM SLAM’S ONGOING EROTIC CITY after-hours party, Prince and his band showed up at 2 A.M. Wednesday to turn in a laid-back, five-song, forty-minute jam in front of 150 fans. As far as polished performances go, the set was fairly unremarkable—save for a couple of spell-binding solos by electric violinist Denis Boder of the Los Angeles band Floor 13 and some typically great guitar fireworks from Prince—but the show provided late-night club crawlers a sneak peak at a band rehearsal, complete with Prince counting off parts, making up arrangements on the spot, and running the soundboard...

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Prince’s “Big Noise” for Fans at His House Doesn’t Disappoint

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pp. 9-11

“COME BACK TOMORROW, ANd WE’LL MARKE A BIG NOISE,” Prince told a crowd of 150 nightcrawlers at the end of an unannounced forty-minute jam at Glam Slam’s after-hours Erotic City club Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. Come back they did, and Prince kept his promise.
After the clubs closed Wednesday, some 350 arrivees to Glam Slam paid $10 to get into Erotic City and were met by an exotic dancer/bingo caller who led them through the paces of a Prince-styled scavenger hunt. Participants were instructed...

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Best of May

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p. 12

IT WAS MAY, MAY, THAT LUSTY MONTH OF MAY, AND FROM the virgin voyage of REV 105 to Prince’s late-night jams at Glam Slam’s new after-hours club, Erotic City, there were more than a few affairs to remember.
Prince, Erotic City (various late nights/early mornings, Glam Slam’s second level). One night, he assembles a full-blown horn section and ringleads an old-style jam that evokes a postmodern Cotton Club. One night, the jazz vibe is so cool you’d swear the joint was the Village Vanguard. The next, he...

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Best of July

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pp. 13-15

CIRCLE THE DRAIN (UPTOWN BAR, JULY 25). A RECENT New York Times article on America’s hottest music scenes included a dispatch from Chicago, which griped about the backbiting that exists in the Windy City and claimed that there is little cooperation or cross-pollination within cliques/bands/camps. Well, for my money, spontaneous hootenannies like this one—the absolute antithesis of all that one-upman-ship nonsense—epitomize the long-held ethic that players...

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Songs in the Key of Life

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pp. 16-18

IN PREDICTABLY CRYPTIC FASHION, THE ARTWORK ON Prince’s new album Come features a funeral motif, complete with the deceased’s time on earth: “1958–1993.” Obviously, this tombstone-worthy testimonial refers to Prince’s metamorphosis into...

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Prince Is Going for “The Gold”

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pp. 18-20

THE BLACK ALBUM IS BACK. COME WENT. THE GOLD EXPERIENCE and The Undertaker are in the can, waiting for emancipation. Can’t tell what’s coming out of the purple vault without a program? We offer the following tip sheet.
It looks like a grudging truce is being struck between Prince and his record company of sixteen years, Warner Bros. Records. Negotiations between Prince’s lawyers and Warner Bros. got...

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Blast from the Past: Seven Years after Its Recording—and Much to the Chagrin of Prince—Warner Bros. Issues His Much Mythologized The Black Album

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pp. 20-23

TODAY’S OFFICIAL RELEASE OF PRINCE’S THE BLACK ALBUM ends the story of one of the most controversial albums in pop music history and begins another chapter in the ongoing—and increasingly volatile—relationship between Prince and his label of sixteen years, Warner Bros. Records.
Recorded in 1987, The Black Album was never released because Prince felt its tone was too dark. He pulled it from distribution at the last minute, but not before Warner Bros. had manufactured copies. Since its cancellation, the ten-song work has become one of the most widely bootlegged albums ever,...

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Prince’s Label President and Publicist Resign

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p. 24

IN A MAJOR SHAKE-UP AT PRINCE’S PAISLEY PARK STUDIOS, Levi Seacer Jr., the artist’s longtime business and music collaborator and president of Prince’s Chanhassen-based NPG Records, has resigned. Prince’s publicist for the past two years, Karen Lee, also resigned, effective Thursday. Seacer was unavailable for comment, but Lee, reached at home Tuesday where she was packing to move to Los Angeles, said only, “It’s time for a change, time to move on.” Prince’s Los Angeles–based publicist Mitch Schneider of Levine–Schneider Public Relations said, “They left of their own accord, and beyond that there’s no other information to report.”...

1995

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pp. 25-26

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Prince, Minnesota Politicos Make for Creative Yet Self-Conscious Set

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pp. 27-28

“I WANT TO THANK EVERYBODY WHO HELPED ORGANIZE THIS superbad event,” Minneapolis Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton said to the six hundred supporters who paid $100 to attend a mayoral fund-raiser at Paisley Park Studios Saturday night. “We’re here tonight to enjoy a rehearsal by the greatest musician in the world, a man who put Minnesota on the map.” Then, in what was perhaps one of the oddest snapshots in the history of state politics-slash-entertainment, the mayor held up a gold cardboard symbol—the same prop David Letterman used to refer to Prince on the December 13, 1994,...

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Evening Was Uneven at

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pp. 29-30

IN RESPONSE TO A CRITIC’S ASSESSMENT OF A VISUAL ART work as being “uneven,” a letter writer to the New York Times some years ago argued that the analysis was bogus, because all true art is uneven. She was correct, too, because I can’t think of anything less compelling than an “even” work of art. In public-image terms, the Artist Formerly Known as Prince is as uneven as they come these days. And while the gossip-column fodder is too extensive to detail here, over the years he has maintained one constant: the music....

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People

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pp. 30-31

“THIS AIN’T CLEVELAND!” THE ARTIST FORMERLY KNOWN as Prince told a crowd of several hundred Saturday night at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen. While the Concert for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was going on in Ohio, the former Prince was turning out his own tribute that included covers of the Rolling Stones’ “Honky Tonk Women,” Elvis Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock,” Sly & the Family Stone’s “Babies Makin’ Babies,” and James Brown’s “Sex Machine.”...

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From Chanhassen:

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pp. 31-32

...anymore—the former Prince and the New Power Generation have performed at Paisley Park’s Love 4 One Another dance club close to a dozen times in the past two months. But Tuesday night’s jam was newsworthy for a few reasons. First, a cameo appearance was made by keyboardist/superproducer Dallas Austin, the songwriter responsible for several of the ’90s ....

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Liner Notes for The Gold Experience

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pp. 32-37

EARLY ONE MORNING IN FEBRUARY 1993, I WALKED OUT of Minneapolis Glam Slam, where Prince, as he was then known, and the New Power Generation had performed an impromptu concert. It was a three-set marathon, a greatest hits revue that included a version of “Purple Rain” that had the patrons on the floor waving their arms back and forth religiously. Just like in the movie. Just like in the past. When it was over, I made my way across Fifth Street, and as the Minnesota air...

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Prince Pullout from SNL Tests Patience of Faithful

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pp. 37-38

IT SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME: A MERE FIVE days after the release of his long-delayed album The Gold Experience, the Artist Formerly Known as Prince would get a much-needed image boost, not to mention valuable publicity for his new record, by appearing as the musical guest on the season premiere of Saturday Night Live, which airs Saturday. The Chanhassen-based musician agreed to the terms of the appearance and even confirmed as much during a recent performance at Paisley Park’s short-lived dance club, claiming that he and his band, the New Power Generation, were going...

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People

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p. 39

FIVE HUNDRED FUNK FANS GATHERED AT PAISLEY PARK Studios Saturday night/Sunday morning to participate in a video shoot by...

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Former Prince Presents Fans with Early Christmas Gift

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pp. 40-42

FIVE HUNDRED FANS OF THE ARTIST FORMERLY KNOWN AS Prince received an early Christmas present Saturday night in the form of a two-hour concert at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen. The show, which included several old Prince songs and a recorded cover version of Joan Osborne’s “One of Us,” was a dress rehearsal for the former Prince and the New Power Generation’s tour that kicks off in Japan next month....

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Free at Last?

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p. 42

ACCORDING TO A PRESS RELEASE ISSUED BY PAISLEY PARK Enterprises Friday, the Artist Formerly Known as Prince has officially notified his label, Warner Bros. Records, of his desire to terminate his recording agreement with the company. The release states:...

1996

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pp. 43-44

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Prince’s Uptown Store Closes

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p. 45

SINCE IT OPENED ON AUGUST 4, 1993, the DISPLAY WINDOW at the New Power Generation store at 1408 West Lake Street in Minneapolis has displayed dozens of Prince-related items—posters, gold and platinum records, perfume, satin drapes, and the chain-link mask the singer wore in the “My Name Is Prince” video. But one week into 1996, a sign went up: “Closed for remodeling.” Then last week, the mementos were taken out of the window, and two new hastily scribbled signs o’ the times popped up: “Closed” and “For merchandise call 474-1751 or 1-800-New-Funk.”...

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Mayte Aphrodite: So, What’s the Story behind This Woman Who Managed to Get the Former Prince to Say “I Do”? Well, She’s...

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pp. 46-49

“ALL OF MY PURPLE LIFE, I’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR A DATE that would want to be my wife..,” sang Prince on the opening of “Erotic City,” the B-side to his 1984 single “Let’s Go Crazy.” Well, what a difference twelve years makes. Prince is no longer Prince but...

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Purple Hearts: Prince’s Marriage Gives Lift to Inner City Neighborhood

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pp. 50-52

PARK AVENUE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, LOCATED AT Thirty-fourth Street and Park Avenue in South Minneapolis, is the kind of brick and mortar structure they don’t make anymore. Next to the church is a Sunday school and a small health clinic. On Wednesday, the marquee in front of the church advertised the topic for Sunday’s sermon—“The Road to Reconciliation”—and encouraged worshipers to “Celebrate Black History Month.”...

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Couple Hadn’t Appeared by 11, but

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pp. 52-53

BY 11 P.M. WEDNESDAY, THE HAPPY COUPLE HAD NOT showed at an open-to-the-public party at Prince’s Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen. The event was a benefit for the singer’s Love for One Another Building Fund. About three hundred guests—family, friends, and fans, no celebrities—paid $25 apiece to get in. Among the highlights from the celebration: the wedding feast included a fabulous-tasting cake (lemony vanilla) and sandwiches, cheeses, and white chocolate dolphin candies. No alcohol was served....

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Alone Again Eventually

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pp. 53-55

THE WALL OF STUDIO B At PAISLEY PARK STUDIOS IN Chanhassen is adorned with a huge painted mural that immortalizes such quasi-fictional Prince-created locales as Alphabet Street and Graffiti Bridge. One day last October, Paul Westerberg was standing in front of the wall, putting the finishing touches on “Love Untold.” It is one tune from his new...

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Ex-Innovator Ex-Prince Serves Leftovers

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pp. 56-58

TRUMAN CAPOTE ONCE ISSUED ONE OF THE MOST MEMORABLE one-liners in book-reviewing history: “That’s not writing. It’s typing.”
A similar thing could be said about the Artist Formerly Known as Prince’s new album, Chaos & Disorder, which hits stores Tuesday. Unlike the bulk of the Prince/TAFKAP catalog, Chaos & Disorder appears to be an uninspired collection of warmed-over jams, sketches, snatches, and leftovers....

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Former Prince Crowned Minnesota’s Top Music Artist

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pp. 58-60

HERE’S A COMPLETE LIST OF THE WINNERS FROM the 1996 Minnesota Music Awards, which were presented Thursday night at First Avenue:

Artist of the Year: The Artist Formerly Known as Prince

Song of the Year: Paul Westerberg, “Good Day”

Male Songwriter of the Year: Paul Westerberg...

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Ex-Prince Extravaganza: Tonight’s Bash Celebrates the Release of the Three-disc Emancipation Set via Satellite TV and the Internet

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pp. 61-62

WHEN THE ARTIST FORMERLY KNOWN AS PRINCE TAKES the stage at Paisley Park tonight at 11, it will be the mysterious Minneapolis superstar’s highest-profile showcase since he threw The Beautiful Experience bash at Paisley in conjunction with the NBA All-Star Game in February 1994. But unlike that invitation-only party, which attracted such luminaries as Magic Johnson, David Robinson, Tony Robbins, Salt-N-Pepa, and Soul Asylum, tonight’s audience figures to be considerably larger. Like, the world....

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Stars Help Former Prince Celebrate His Freedom

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pp. 63-64

HE’S FREE AT LAST. FLASHING HIS TRADEMARK LURID grin and vamping across the stage in a purple tunic, the Artist Formerly Known as Prince lit up the night at Paisley Park in a star-studded gala performance Tuesday night. The half-hour show, broadcast live on cable channels, spotlighted TAFKAP’s new three-CD set, Emancipation, in his debut performance with EMI, his new distribution company. It celebrates his release from his troubled Warner Bros. contract....

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[Prince] Speaks

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pp. 65-76

OVER THE PAST THREE YEARS, WHENEVER I’VE REQUESTED an interview with the former Prince, he had said through his people—all of whom have since parted ways with him and his Chanhassen-based Paisley Park Studios—that he’d talk only when he was free from his contract with Warner Bros., his record label of the past seventeen years....

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Fresh (Ex-)Prince

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pp. 76-78

DEEP INTO THE THREE-CD, THREE-HOUR, THIRTY-SIX-song opus that is the Artist Formerly Known as Prince’s Emancipation, there is a slow-burn funk track titled “Face Down.” It lambastes a sucker gangsta rapper who embraced the glamorous thug life and now resides in a grave, “just like Elvis.”...

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Ex-Prince Gives Royal Show at: Power Guitarists Show Strengths in TAFKAP’s Band

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pp. 78-80

THE TREES OUTSIDE PAISLEY PARK WERE DECKED OUT IN lights Saturday night. Inside was a huge Christmas tree, and the soundstage walls were decorated with white sheets and blinking lights.
“Happy holy days,” the Artist Formerly Known as Prince told the gathering of approximately five hundred at the outset of a sixty-minute concert he gave with his band, the New Power Generation. Much of the audience comprised grade school and high school students (including several from the North Minneapolis–based visual arts school Juxtaposition Arts) who won trips to Paisley through radio stations from around the country....

1997

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pp. 81-82

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Prolific Ex-Prince Working on Next Album, The Truth

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pp. 83-85

DURING HIS INTERVIEW WITH THE ARTIST FORMERLY Known as Prince on VH1 last weekend, Chris Rock asked, “When you were at Warner Bros., you took a lot of flack for putting out too many albums. Do you ever feel that if you were an artist in another time period that you’d be more appreciated? I mean, Mozart or Beethoven probably put out the equivalent of an album every month.”...

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Singing Vegan Praises

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pp. 85-87

CALL HIM THE ARTIST FORMERLY KNOWN AS A CARNIVORE. On the ex-Prince’s last album, the Minneapolis superstar confessed to the world that his favorite breakfast cereal is “Cap’n Crunch—with soy milk, because cows are for calves.” His forthcoming album, The Truth, features the song “Animal Kingdom,” in which he admonishes a friend (Spike Lee?) for appearing in pro-milk advertisements; declares that he doesn’t “eat red meat, white fish, or that funky funky blue cheese”; and pledges to live in harmony with his “brothers and sisters in the sea.”...

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The Artist Will Play Sayles Belton Benefit Show

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pp. 87-88

Tonight the Artist Formerly Known as Prince and his band, the New Power Generation, will play at a fund-raising concert for Minneapolis mayor Sharon Sayles Belton. The show, scheduled to begin after doors open at 8 P.M., will be at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen. Tickets are $100 per head—a rather higher cover charge than the free admission for the one-hour-and-forty-five-minute show last Friday night/Saturday morning....

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For TAFKAP Fans, It Was All Simply in the Line of Duty

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pp. 88-91

RICK OLSON ARRIVED AT TARGET CENTER LAST FRIDAY afternoon at 3 P.M. He set up camp outside the farthest door leading to the arena lobby with a sleeping bag, blanket, and headphones. Not long after, the twenty-seven-year-old Coon Rapids resident was joined by a couple of strangers—Heidi Butler, a twenty-seven-year-old student teacher from St. Paul, and her friend, Julie Spence. “We’re fanatics,” said Olson....

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Jammin’: For His First Local Area Gig in Years, the Artist Is Stripped Down and Bare-wired... and Reports from the Road Say He’s Back on Top of the Game

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pp. 91-93

THE ARTIST’S JAM OF THE YEAR TOUR STARTED IN JULY, and since then reports from the road have been ridiculously positive.
And why not? In the ’80s, Prince was one of the greatest concert draws of the decade, thanks to his outlandish, playful, and supremely funky stage shows. These days, all the frills are gone, and the focus is exclusively on the music. The set is decidedly bare-bones, and that’s how it should be: he comes...

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Sticking to the Fax: Ex-Prince speaks (sort of) in an interview on the eve of his two Target Center shows

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pp. 92-96

TO PROMOTE HIS JAM OF THE YEAR TOUR, WHICH VISITS Target Center this week, the Artist Formerly Known as Prince is granting interviews—via fax.
So I whipped up thirty-two questions—including a couple about the long-awaited, long-delayed, mail-order-only release of his massive new compilation, Crystal Ball, and its companion acoustic album The Truth—and faxed them off to his offices in Paisley Park in Chanhassen, where this week the Artist has been busy recording Chaka Khan and Larry Graham—two old-school funkateers who have served as opening act for many of the Jam tour dates....

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Pure Artist-ry: The Former Prince Puts Aside All Faux Stage Trickery and Delivers Just Pure, Organic, Funky, Fabulous Music

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pp. 97-99

“DID YOU MISS ME?” THE ARTIST FORMERLY KNOWN as Prince asked his hometown during a cover of James Brown’s “Talkin’ Loud and Saying Nothin’” at the outset of the first of his two Target Center concerts Wednesday night. “Well, I missed you, too. Let’s see if we can make up for it tonight.” That he did, with a mind-blowing, two-hour-plus revue of greatest hits, new jams, hard funk, and scintillating, sexy, searing showmanship that will stand as one of the most—if not the most—memorable live music shows ever hosted at the big basketball arena....

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The Artist Wears ’Em Out at Post-concert Paisley Park Party

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pp. 100-102

THE BASKETBALL PRESS BOX AT THE TARGET CENTER IS high above the arena’s nosebleed seats. I arrived there around 7:30 P.M. Wednesday and proceeded to set up my portable computer and do a bit of preparation for my review of the first of Prince’s two homecoming shows. There was nobody else in the house, save for a few security people and what I assumed was the warm-up act onstage, running through a late sound check. But in fact what I saw was a scene that would convince even the staunchest Prince detractor that he is by no...

1998

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pp. 103-104

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Grand Funk Express: Larry Graham, the Man Who Invented Funk, Pulls His Graham Central Station into a New Chanhassen Terminal

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pp. 105-109

WHEN CHANHASSEN’S FOUNDING FATHERS ESTABLISHED the Minneapolis suburb in 1852, they christened their little hamlet on the prairie with a name derived from Chanhassan, the Dakota Indian word for “the tree with sweet sap.” Chanhassen’s first settlers were farmers and railroad workers. Little did they know that some 150 years later, their great-grandchildren’s neighbors would be two pioneers of funk....

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Those Midnight Treks Are Worth a Princely Sum

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pp. 110-113

TONIGHT, SOMETIME BETWEEN MIDNIGHT AND 2, WHILE the rest of the Twin Cities is tucked away in bed and the denizens of clubland are winding down, P. D. Larson will kiss his wife good night. He’ll grab a Coke from the refrigerator and some cassette tapes from his music collection, perch himself by a window in his Northeast Minneapolis home, and wait for his friend Kevin Schwartz to pick him up....

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TAFKAP Offers Up Sweet Jam at Free A.M. Funk-Fest

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pp. 113-116

A WEEK AGO FRIDAY NIGHT/SATURDAY MORNING, New York City got a taste of a ritual that has become familiar to anyone who has ventured out to Paisley Park over the past two months. This past Friday night/Saturday morning, it was back to the home turf for the Artist Formerly Known as Prince as he and his band, the New Power Generation, delivered a two-hour concert that was equal parts experimental jam and greatest hits revue. On April 11, the Artist took the Irving Plaza stage in Manhattan at 3 A.M. with two of his childhood heroes, ex-Rufus singer Chaka Khan and ex–Sly & the Family Stone and Graham Central Station bassist Larry Graham....

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It’s Party Time: “1999” Is More Than Just a Date. The Former Prince’s Millennial Anthem Is Heading Back to Herald the Dawn of a New Age

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pp. 115-121

FEEL IT? HERE IT COMES. RUMBLING THROUGH THE POP culture zeitgeist like a supernova, a storm cloud of sound gathering as much momentum as it is dust. Those new-wave synthesizers. Those drums that sound like Pong. That automaon voice, promising, “Don’t worry. I. Won’t. Hurt you. I. Only. Want you. To have some fun.” It’s...

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Artist, Mayte Call It Quits... in a Way, for Now: Symbolic Remarriage May Follow Annulment

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pp. 122-124

THE ARTIST FORMERLY KNOWN AS PRINCE AND HIS WIFE of almost three years, Mayte Garcia-Nelson, are getting divorced. Sort of.
And remarried. Sort of.
The Chanhassen-based musical maverick held a press conference Friday in Madrid, Spain, to announce that he and Mayte will annul their marriage and be rejoined in a “symbolic” ceremony on Valentine’s Day 1999. “My wife and I want to end our marriage, to proceed without any sort of contract held by social conventions, and to strengthen our union with...

1999

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pp. 125-126

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Santana, Two Hot Guests Make Some Music Magic

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pp. 127-128

THE NORTHROP AUDITORIUM STAGE HAS PLAYED HOST TO numerous dignitaries, college graduations, and other historic happenings over the years. But Sunday at exactly 10:10 p.m, the sold-out hall bore witness to one of its all-time most memorable musical moments. At the halfway point of Santana’s two-hour-and-fifteen-minute performance, guitar icon Carlos Santana invited two Twin Cities residents up onstage: Larry Graham and the Artist Formerly Known as Prince. The two musicians strapped on their bass and guitar, respectively,...

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Symbolic Agreement Reached: Prince Drops Uptown Suit. Fan Magazine Will Not Use Symbol, List Bootlegs

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p. 129

THE ARTIST FORMERLY KNOWN AS PRINCE HAS DROPPED HIS lawsuit against Uptown magazine, a nonprofit fan-written and -produced publication, which he sued in February. Among other things, the Artist was hoping to slap Uptown with a cease-and-desist order similar to the ones he issued to various fan-generated websites earlier this year. According to a statement issued by Uptown’s lawyers Thursday, the Artist has entered into an agreement with Uptown that says, among other...

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Formerly Prince’s: His Stuff Brings in the Fans. The Artist Has Garage Sale at Studio

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pp. 130-131

THERE WAS A GARAGE SALE IN CHANHASSEN ON SATURDAY. But instead of balloon-festooned cardboard signs trumpeting the address, customers were greeted with placards that read “CASH ONLY. No bags allowed inside. No photos allowed. No cameras allowed.”
Clearly, this was not your Auntie Molly’s garage sale.
When the Artist Formerly Known as Prince’s website (www.love4oneanother.com) announced earlier this week that he was holding a garage sale at Paisley Park Studios this weekend, an image of Minnesota’s funkiest son bartering over old...

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Purple Pride: The Artist’s Ten Best Local Gigs

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pp. 132-134

DOWNTOWN MINNEAPOLIS . NINETEEN-NINETY-NINE. “1999.” Labor Day. The hardest-working man in show business. If that’s not a recipe for history, I don’t know what is.
And if you still have doubts that the little guy won’t deliver a write-it-down-for-the-ages performance at Monday’s Mill City Music Festival finale, consider that the Artist Formerly Known as Prince—as competitive a player onstage as Michael Jordan was on the court—is not about to be upstaged by his...

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Artist-ic License: With the Release of a New Album and a Major-Label Alliance, the Former Prince Hopes to Get the Bandwagon Rolling Again

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pp. 135-138

DEPENDING ON WHOM YOU ASK, THE ARTIST FORMERLY Known as Prince is (1) a musical genius, (2) a canny craftsman mining past glories, or (3) that kook with a glyph for a name. But one thing no one has called the forty-one-year-old Minneapolis native for much of this decade is (4) a hit-maker. For a variety of reasons, the former Prince hasn’t had a Top 10 single since 1994’s “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World.” That lack of commercial success could come to an end Tuesday, with the release of the Artist’s new album, Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic....

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Artist’s “Rave” Less Than Fantastic, but It Ain’t All Bad

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pp. 138-139

EVERYTHING WE’VE COME TO KNOW AND LOVE ABOUT THE Artist Formerly Known as Prince is all over his latest record—for better and worse.
No, this is not the groundbreaking stuff of his ’80s masterpieces, nor does it contain much of his best experimental work of the ’90s. But it does brim with the same scintillating screams, melodies, and production expertise that have marked his twenty-plus-year career. The best of the fifteen tracks are...

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Ex-Recluse Ex-Prince Is on Publicity Binge for Y2K Show

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pp. 139-140

FOR THE ARTIST FORMERLY KNOWN AS PRINCE, WHO UNTIL recently has been known as the artist known as reclusive, the past couple of weeks have been something of a media blitz. Last Wednesday, the Chanhassen-based musician appeared on the Today Show. Friday, he was on MTV, introducing the world premiere of the video for his new single, “The Greatest Romance Ever Sold.” Later Friday night, the Artist appeared on Larry King Live on CNN....

2000–2002

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pp. 141-142

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Open Letter to Prince: Best Gift You Can Give Is a Great New Record

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pp. 143-147

DEAR PRINCE,
Have I got that right? I hear that’s what they’re calling you these days, because that’s what you’ve told them to call you. Great news; people who haven’t been interested in you in years are suddenly interested again. Prince is back, and all that....

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Spiritual, at Times Inspired, Prince Saves Best for Last

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pp. 148-150

AFTER SEVEN DAYS OF CELEBRATING HIMSELF, PRINCE saved his best for the last forty-five minutes. The time was 12:05 A.M. Wednesday when Prince called three of his five former bandmates in the Revolution—keyboardist Matt Fink, bassist Brown Mark, and drummer Bobby Z—onto the Northrop Auditorium stage. The band roared into “America,” and for a moment there it reminded a fellow how great Prince was, and is....

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VH1’s Best Album Series Celebrates Prince’s Classic Purple Rain Tonight

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pp. 150-154

ON THE NIGHT OF AUGUST 3, 1983, PRINCE AND HIS NEW band, the Revolution, took the stage at a jam-packed First Avenue nightclub in downtown Minneapolis. It was guitarist Wendy Melvoin’s first gig with the band, which was performing a benefit for the Minnesota Dance Theater at the behest of its founder, Loyce Houlton....

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For Prince, It’s All about Sex, God, and Rock ’n’ Roll

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pp. 154-157

WHY HAS THE NEWS THAT PRINCE HAS EMBRACED THE faith of the Jehovah’s Witnesses been met with so much suspicion? Why should such a revelation surprise anyone, coming as it does from a man who has spent most of his forty-three years, and his entire recording career, celebrating God?
Maybe because it is the Big Unspeakable in the media and in polite society in general, because—thanks to right wingers and other God cops—to reveal such a personal relationship is to be in cahoots with nutcases, extremists, and zealots. But...

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(Another) Open Letter to Prince

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pp. 157-161

DEAR PRINCE,
I owe you a letter. Been a while. Two years, almost exactly, since I wrote you on the eve of the first Prince: A Celebration and challenged you to make another great record. I asked, “What are we celebrating?” Remember? I do....

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p. 162