independent and unofficial
Prince fan community
Forum jump
Forums > Prince: Music and More > My book on Prince was featured in the local newspaper!
« Previous topic  Next topic »
Reply   New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
Author

Tweet     Share

Message
Thread started 01/20/21 7:41am

PacketMan

My book on Prince was featured in the local newspaper!

My book "Purple Bananas: How Prince Saved Me and Other Selections from the Soundtrack 2 My Life" was profiled in the Toledo Blade this past weekend. Check it out!
Notes on a life: Self-published memoir discusses Prince, Finkbeiner and Insane Clown Posse
Music inspires, but it also soothes.
Just ask Toledoan Jason Webber, author of a new self-published book called Purple Bananas: How Prince Saved Me and Other Selections from the Soundtrack 2 My Life.
It’s been getting a lot of buzz.
Part rant, part rock manifesto, and part memoir, Webber doesn’t hold back as he explains how his challenging, dysfunctional, and unconventional childhood included periods of abuse, bullying, and stuttering.
In the 1980s, he found a way to smooth out a number of rough edges with the music of Prince – a tiny, androgynous black man whom he felt stood tall with him in spirit and helped build his self-confidence.
“Many of the scenes in the book were inspired by trauma,” Webber said.
In both a recent discussion at a local coffee shop and in his book, Webber talked about being raised on the West Coast by evangelical parents so strict and conservative he considered some of their actions abusive, yet he has learned to embrace them for the love they gave him after his birth mother gave him up for adoption.
One of the book’s more heartbreaking moments came when he found his birth mother as an adult, and she curtly dismissed him. She refused to meet with him, saying she had no interest in reconnecting.
His cross-country odyssey included a number of girlfriends and would-be girlfriends, each with varying degrees of interest in Prince. One even seemed more obsessed than him.
Webber also counts David Bowie among his musical idols.
Both he and Prince died in 2016.
“Two of my favorite singers within a couple of months of each other,” Webber said. “That just devastated me.”
In recent years, Webber has toggled between Toledo, Detroit, and Dayton, where he’s worked for anyone from former Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner to the Faygo-sprayin’, Motown-mayhem lovin’, spare-no-makeup hip hop group known as Insane Clown Posse.
He also worked almost three years as a legislative aide for former Dayton Mayor Gary D. Leitzell, leaving at the end of 2012.
He describes Mayor Finkbeiner, whom he worked with for eight months, as a volatile character known to act like someone’s best friend one minute, then unmercifully shred him or her to pieces the next with over-the-top, humiliating insults and red-faced anger.
Webber grew up with anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, and blamed Finkbeiner for a heavier reliance on Xanax to help calm his nerves. He worked for him in public relations and marketing from September, 2008 to May, 2009.
“If I could do it again, I would still work for Carty,” Webber said.
The experience, he said, was like a boot camp for other jobs, and he said he holds no grudges.
For his part, Finkbeiner told The Blade that Webber’s employment with him was so short-lived he forgot about him until contacted by the newspaper for comment.
“I felt he was well-meaning, but was in a bit over his head,” Finkbeiner said.
The former mayor said Webber seemed to be “very emotional and quite disturbed” at times.
“If you're working for a demanding chief executive officer, it is going to be a stressful job,” Finkbeiner said. “He was a good young man, he tried hard. We decided we needed someone with more experience.”
Webber had a much better experience with the outlandish Insane Clown Posse.
The group’s Psychopathic Records label employed him as a publicist for nearly five years.
Inevitably, he was a victim of budget cuts in 2017.
Now 45 and the father of a 5-year-old girl, Webber said he feels more settled down and settled in as a West Toledo resident.
He said he is enjoying life while doing a combination of other public relations and marketing gigs while also making plans for his next book, which he said will also hit upon the influences of rock and other forms of music on his life.
Purple Bananas took a lot out of him emotionally, he said.
Webber’s writing is raw and honest, with deep and uncompromising insights into his relationships.
The writing process was cathartic, he said.
Yet he confessed it wasn’t entirely fun dredging up some of his more painful memories and how they ran parallel to the timing of Prince’s album releases.
“This took me a couple of years to write because it was such a vast emotional undertaking,” Webber said.
His writing style, though, is loose and breezy. The book is at times more comical than it is serious or contemplative.
It reads almost like a fanzine, with a steady stream of consciousness.
As a self-published book, there are a few typos and structural issues – but not enough to take away from the fun.
Webber said he stopped shopping the book around with conventional firms after he was rejected by nearly 100 publishers and would-be agents he courted.
“I didn’t have the time or patience to labor over every word,” he said.
A native of Oak View, Calif., Webber also worked locally as editor of Toledo City Paper many years ago, and has been a freelance writer for nearly two decades. His work has appeared in such publications as Paste, Spin, Bitch, Metro Times, VICE, Ghettoblaster, Real Detroit Weekly, Dayton City Paper, and others.
Jason Webber’s book, Purple Bananas: How Prince Saved Me and Other Selections from the Soundtrack 2 My Life, can be purchased online via amazon.com, or locally at Gathering Volumes in Perrysburg.
First Published January 17, 2021, 8:30am
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #1 posted 01/21/21 3:06pm

PRNinPrint

avatar

Congrats Jason! bananadance Yours will be read next. Glad to add yours to my collection of now 366 Prince books!

 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #2 posted 01/21/21 3:59pm

alphastreet

Congrats that’s awesome! I have friends who are authors as well, nice to know one is amongst us on the board!
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #3 posted 01/22/21 6:28am

PacketMan

PRNinPrint said:

Congrats Jason! bananadance Yours will be read next. Glad to add yours to my collection of now 366 Prince books!

Thank you so much! I'll be honored to be in such good company. smile

 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #4 posted 01/22/21 6:28am

PacketMan

alphastreet said:

Congrats that’s awesome! I have friends who are authors as well, nice to know one is amongst us on the board!

Thank you so much!

 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #5 posted 01/22/21 12:38pm

PRNinPrint

avatar

PacketMan said:

PRNinPrint said:

Congrats Jason! bananadance Yours will be read next. Glad to add yours to my collection of now 366 Prince books!

Thank you so much! I'll be honored to be in such good company. smile

Yeah! Right in-between Ben Greenman and Steven Ivory!

 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply   New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
« Previous topic  Next topic »
Forums > Prince: Music and More > My book on Prince was featured in the local newspaper!