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Thread started 11/12/21 10:09pm

DonRants

What is your favorite book(s) on Prince and Why?

Title says it all. There are so many out, would love to hear your thoughts

To All the Haters on the Internet
No more Candy 4 U
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Reply #1 posted 11/13/21 12:22am

TrivialPursuit

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Most are trash. Honestly. Everyone wants to write from their fan perspective, but few offer anything interesting or engaging. I never felt the need to buy every single one of them for the sake of fandom. Same with magazines. I could write 400 pages on Prince, his music, and what I think he was trying to do, but does everyone want to read it? Probably not. Some may, but in general I'm just another fan.

For me, the best books are:

The two photography books, by Parke and the other guy whose name escapes me.

Mayte's book (she married the guy, so that's the story I want to hear)

Prince's book (autobio and anything else he put out as a book)

DMSR by Per Nilsen

The Rise and Fall of Prince - Alex Hahn

A Pop Life by Dave Hill (older but an interesting take back then)

Also, the Studio Sessions books by Duane Tudahl. He's really done his research with people who were there, and laid out the things some fans really enjoy; the technical shit and the anecdotes around it. That seems to negate my claim later, but it's obvious Tudahl took way more time to write his books than others.


I assume Owen Husney's book is interesting.

I would definitely skip Purple Reign by Liz Jones, which I think was renamed. Half the book lifts from the Oprah interview, with zero credit to Harpo Productions. It almost feels like a transcript with added commentary. Not worth it, at all.

Everyone else is telling stories from a fan perspective (except the few like Sheila, or Brownmark). My rule is, if they weren't there, it doesn't matter. I don't need to hear someone's analysis of his lyrics, or how he was a loner, married his music, blah blah blah. Picture books are great (like Jason Draper's) but they're still not the thing we really need from a Prince book.

I know it's a short list, but to each his own.

My wish is that the Revolution would write a book like Motley Crue did with The Dirt or the original MTV VJs did with I Want My MTV where everyone offers their points of view about particular stories or whatever. I think it'd be a great way for all five of them to contribute and get all the perspectives right next to each other.

[Edited 11/14/21 1:26am]

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #2 posted 11/13/21 2:32am

garneren

Of the ones I've read DMSR by Per Nilsen is by far the best. It's an extremely thorough, no bullshit account of everything Prince recorded up until Sign o' the Times. It's a shame he didn't follow it up.

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Reply #3 posted 11/13/21 4:33am

eyewishuheaven

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The Studio Sessions, DMSR, and Sign o the Times by Michaelangelo Matos. That last one not because it offers any new information, but because it feels like talking about music with a good friend.

PRINCE: the only man who could wear high heels and makeup and STILL steal your woman!
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Reply #4 posted 11/13/21 8:42am

laytonian

I have essentials, best read in sequence. Although I own many others, those by people who actually knew him OR had access to his documents, have filled in his story for me. We have major gaps between 1986 and 1990, then again between 2000 and 2016.

1 - Famous People Who've Known Me (Owen Husney)
2 -Prince Pre Fame (Robert Whitman)
3 - White Slave (Big Chick Huntsberry)
4 - Prince: Before the Rain (Allen Beaulieu)
5 - Wally, Where'd You Get Those Glasses? (Wally Safford)
6 - Let's Go Crazy (Alan Light)
7 - Prince and the Purple Rain Studio Sessions (Duane Tudahl)
8 - Prince and the Sign O'The Times Studio Sessions (Duane Tudahl)
9 - The Most Beautiful (Mayte Garcia)
10 - Picturing Prince (Steve Parke)
11 - Prince - A Private View (Afshin Shahidi)
12 - My Name Is Prince (Randee St icholas)
13 - The Beautiful Ones (Prince w/Dan Piepenbring)

Who do we need books from?
Alan Leeds (on the way, I understand)
Tyka Nelson (for family relationships and history)
Manuela Testolini (but I doubt she will)
Morris Hayes

.

.


[Edited 11/13/21 8:47am]

Welcome to "the org", laytonian… come bathe with me.
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Reply #5 posted 11/13/21 8:52am

lurker316

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TrivialPursuit said:

Most are trash. Honestly. Everyone wants to write from their fan perspective, but few offer anything interesting or engaging. I never felt the need to buy every single one of them for the sake of fandom. Same with magazines. I could write 400 pages on Prince, his music, and what I think he was trying to do, but does everyone want to read it? Probably not. Some may, but in general I'm just another fan.

For me, the best books are:

The two photography books, by Parke and the other guy whose name escapes me.

Mayte's book (she married the guy, so that's the story I want to hear)

Prince's book (autobio and anything else he put out as a book)

DMSR by Per Nilsen

A Pop Life by Dave Hill (older but an interesting take back then)

Also, the Studio Sessions books by Duane Tudahl. He's really done his research with people who were there, and laid out the things some fans really enjoy; the technical shit and the anecdotes around it. That seems to negate my claim later, but it's obvious Tudahl took way more time to write his books than others.


I assume Owen Husney's book is interesting.

I would definitely skip Purple Reign by Liz Jones, which I think was renamed. Half the book lifts from the Oprah interview, with zero credit to Harpo Productions. It almost feels like a transcript with added commentary. Not worth it, at all.

Everyone else is telling stories from a fan perspective (except the few like Sheila, or Brownmark). My rule is, if they weren't there, it doesn't matter. I don't need to hear someone's analysis of his lyrics, or how he was a loner, married his music, blah blah blah. Picture books are great (like Jason Draper's) but they're still not the thing we really need from a Prince book.



Well said.

Most books don't interest me for the reasons you articulate. In addition, a lot of books include content about his personal life, his romances, his socio-political and religous beliefs, his fashion style, his cultural impact, and gossipy stuff. None of that interests me in the least, other than perhaps how it affected his music. I'm far more interested in reading about his actual process for creating music, which is why DMSR and Tudhal's two books were must reads for me.

If I were to read a book on his personal life, it would be Mayte's for the reason you give: she was married to him.

If someone is interested in reading a (mostly) full biography that doesn't dwell on the gossipy stuff, I'd recommend "Prince: The Man and His Music" by Matt Thorne. It is written from a fan's perspective and doesn't necesarily have much new, but if you want a good overview, this does the job.

I also read Alan Light's "Let's Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain". Again, not much new, but if you want to feel nostalgic it's a decent read.

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Reply #6 posted 11/13/21 11:17am

Hamad

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garneren said:

Of the ones I've read DMSR by Per Nilsen is by far the best. It's an extremely thorough, no bullshit account of everything Prince recorded up until Sign o' the Times. It's a shame he didn't follow it up.



It was the first book I purchased (I even bought the limited reissue). Agreed, it was a thorough read at the time, but I probably would have a different take on some of the stuff that’s been said, especially how certain perspectives were corrected after his passing. I’m glad for the conversations taking place right now, especially De Angela Duff’s PRN Alumni symposiums.

That being said, my fave books are the Duane Tudahl‘s series smile
Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future...

Twitter: https://twitter.com/QLH82
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Reply #7 posted 11/13/21 3:54pm

TrivialPursuit

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lurker316 said:


Well said.

Most books don't interest me for the reasons you articulate. In addition, a lot of books include content about his personal life, his romances, his socio-political and religous beliefs, his fashion style, his cultural impact, and gossipy stuff. None of that interests me in the least, other than perhaps how it affected his music. I'm far more interested in reading about his actual process for creating music, which is why DMSR and Tudhal's two books were must reads for me.

If I were to read a book on his personal life, it would be Mayte's for the reason you give: she was married to him.

If someone is interested in reading a (mostly) full biography that doesn't dwell on the gossipy stuff, I'd recommend "Prince: The Man and His Music" by Matt Thorne. It is written from a fan's perspective and doesn't necesarily have much new, but if you want a good overview, this does the job.

I also read Alan Light's "Let's Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain". Again, not much new, but if you want to feel nostalgic it's a decent read.


Thanks for the kind words. You reminded me that although I haven't read it, I would trust Alan Light's book is good. I always liked his articles for Vibe and other publications. (I remember the one where Prince was being cheeky saying, "Nell's son. Who is Nell?"

I should've put Toure's book on the Don't Bother list. The first part is good, but he really drifts into blathering in the later third. He does make interesting notes about Prince being a baby boomer (like Madonna and MJ) and that being part of their work ethic, but having such a firm hold in the world of Gen Xers, who considered those artists part of their own. As a Gen Xer, I agreed with that.

I've written some essays on Prince's lyrics and ideology, but I'm not sure I could expand those into a book that would be much different from anyone else's fan-based book.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #8 posted 11/13/21 10:02pm

WhisperingDand
elions

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Alex Hahn's The Rise and Fall of Prince was a serious page-turner, one of the most compelling and enveloping pieces on Prince or any public figure or subject.

The book is not necessarily a flattering portrait of Prince, though.... Org'ers seem to come in two varieties, those maybe a little too critical and those maybe a little too sycophantic. If critical posts or analysis about Prince make you want to hide under the covers, skip it. If you can handle a realistic portrayal of a human being with flaws, shortcoming and nuance despite all the success in the world (like all human beings), please give it a shot. If you crave idolatry, avoid this book.


Maybe it's more on the "gossipy" spectrum of books as mentioned earlier in the thread, but certainly there were significant connections drawn between how he interacted with others in his personal life and how that further fueled his possessiveness over his own music and its construction (often solely produced, written, arranged and performed by Prince, or attributed to that tag or label, for a reason).

After 2009 Hahn did an edit where he changed the title and made it a little less critical, meh, sounds unnecessary, track down the OG.

[Edited 11/13/21 22:06pm]

[Edited 11/13/21 22:06pm]

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Reply #9 posted 11/14/21 10:58am

Phase3

Mayte's book because it is very personal
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Reply #10 posted 11/14/21 11:44am

Hamad

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Phase3 said:

Mayte's book because it is very personal


I still can’t bring myself to read it because of that very same reason. All the best to Mayte, I hope she’s having a fabulous day wherever she is.
Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future...

Twitter: https://twitter.com/QLH82
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Reply #11 posted 11/14/21 12:49pm

FrankieCoco1

laytonian said:

I have essentials, best read in sequence. Although I own many others, those by people who actually knew him OR had access to his documents, have filled in his story for me. We have major gaps between 1986 and 1990, then again between 2000 and 2016.

1 - Famous People Who've Known Me (Owen Husney)
2 -Prince Pre Fame (Robert Whitman)
3 - White Slave (Big Chick Huntsberry)
4 - Prince: Before the Rain (Allen Beaulieu)
5 - Wally, Where'd You Get Those Glasses? (Wally Safford)
6 - Let's Go Crazy (Alan Light)
7 - Prince and the Purple Rain Studio Sessions (Duane Tudahl)
8 - Prince and the Sign O'The Times Studio Sessions (Duane Tudahl)
9 - The Most Beautiful (Mayte Garcia)
10 - Picturing Prince (Steve Parke)
11 - Prince - A Private View (Afshin Shahidi)
12 - My Name Is Prince (Randee St icholas)
13 - The Beautiful Ones (Prince w/Dan Piepenbring)

Who do we need books from?
Alan Leeds (on the way, I understand)
Tyka Nelson (for family relationships and history)
Manuela Testolini (but I doubt she will)
Morris Hayes


.


.



[Edited 11/13/21 8:47am]



I like your thinking about who we need books from. I think Bobby and David Rivkin could put together a fascinating story, e.g. if they worked together to join the dots. Andre Cymone’s story could be good but might need a helpful writer to work with to draw out what we’d like to hear.

The 3rdeyegirl (Donna, Ida, Hannah/Joshua) band story might shed some light on the period between 2012 and 2014/15.

And what about Kirk Johnson, he’s been around Prince for a long time.

Any of these books, I’d like to hear interesting anecdotes, technical information on the recording process and any unknown songs.
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Reply #12 posted 11/14/21 2:36pm

TrivialPursuit

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Hamad said:

Phase3 said:
Mayte's book because it is very personal
I still can’t bring myself to read it because of that very same reason. All the best to Mayte, I hope she’s having a fabulous day wherever she is.


Yeah, I get that. But it's a good journey to take. Yeah, it's rough, but it's also very loving, insightful and honest. It's not all "He was terrible after we lost the baby." Quite the opposite. If anything, it shows some of the most vulnerable and flawed parts of the man who spent his life building his mystique.

The book paints him as a human being. And that, really, is all we should ever want in a book about Prince.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #13 posted 11/14/21 3:50pm

Phase3

FrankieCoco1 said:

laytonian said:

I have essentials, best read in sequence. Although I own many others, those by people who actually knew him OR had access to his documents, have filled in his story for me. We have major gaps between 1986 and 1990, then again between 2000 and 2016.

1 - Famous People Who've Known Me (Owen Husney)
2 -Prince Pre Fame (Robert Whitman)
3 - White Slave (Big Chick Huntsberry)
4 - Prince: Before the Rain (Allen Beaulieu)
5 - Wally, Where'd You Get Those Glasses? (Wally Safford)
6 - Let's Go Crazy (Alan Light)
7 - Prince and the Purple Rain Studio Sessions (Duane Tudahl)
8 - Prince and the Sign O'The Times Studio Sessions (Duane Tudahl)
9 - The Most Beautiful (Mayte Garcia)
10 - Picturing Prince (Steve Parke)
11 - Prince - A Private View (Afshin Shahidi)
12 - My Name Is Prince (Randee St icholas)
13 - The Beautiful Ones (Prince w/Dan Piepenbring)

Who do we need books from?
Alan Leeds (on the way, I understand)
Tyka Nelson (for family relationships and history)
Manuela Testolini (but I doubt she will)
Morris Hayes


.


.



[Edited 11/13/21 8:47am]



I like your thinking about who we need books from. I think Bobby and David Rivkin could put together a fascinating story, e.g. if they worked together to join the dots. Andre Cymone’s story could be good but might need a helpful writer to work with to draw out what we’d like to hear.

The 3rdeyegirl (Donna, Ida, Hannah/Joshua) band story might shed some light on the period between 2012 and 2014/15.

And what about Kirk Johnson, he’s been around Prince for a long time.

Any of these books, I’d like to hear interesting anecdotes, technical information on the recording process and any unknown songs.

Wasn't aware Big Chick wrote a book about his time with Prince.I thought he just talked to tabloids
If that's good I must check this book out
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Reply #14 posted 11/14/21 3:57pm

Hamad

avatar

TrivialPursuit said:



Hamad said:


Phase3 said:
Mayte's book because it is very personal

I still can’t bring myself to read it because of that very same reason. All the best to Mayte, I hope she’s having a fabulous day wherever she is.


Yeah, I get that. But it's a good journey to take. Yeah, it's rough, but it's also very loving, insightful and honest. It's not all "He was terrible after we lost the baby." Quite the opposite. If anything, it shows some of the most vulnerable and flawed parts of the man who spent his life building his mystique.

The book paints him as a human being. And that, really, is all we should ever want in a book about Prince.



Oh I’m not worried about all of that, it’s the losing the baby bit that gets to me. It cuts too close to home. I imagine it would be a humbling read, but a hard nonetheless. I know I’ll get to it eventually & I’m sure I’ll enjoy reading it, but right now I’m not ready to flip those pages yet.
Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future...

Twitter: https://twitter.com/QLH82
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Reply #15 posted 11/14/21 4:34pm

coldcoffeeandc
ocacola

avatar

TrivialPursuit said:[quote]

Most are trash. Honestly. Everyone wants to write from their fan perspective, but few offer anything interesting or engaging. I never felt the need to buy every single one of them for the sake of fandom. Same with magazines. I could write 400 pages on Prince, his music, and what I think he was trying to do, but does everyone want to read it? Probably not. Some may, but in general I'm just another fan.

For me, the best books are:


The two photography books, by Parke and the other guy whose name escapes me.


Mayte's book (she married the guy, so that's the story I want to hear)


Prince's book (autobio and anything else he put out as a book)


DMSR by Per Nilsen


The Rise and Fall of Prince - Alex Hahn


A Pop Life by Dave Hill (older but an interesting take back then)


Also, the Studio Sessions books by Duane Tudahl. He's really done his research with people who were there, and laid out the things some fans really enjoy; the technical shit and the anecdotes around it. That seems to negate my claim later, but it's obvious Tudahl took way more time to write his books than others.



Whoa this is EXACTLY my list and the order too except i put the Hahn book top !
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Reply #16 posted 11/14/21 5:09pm

TrivialPursuit

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Hamad said:


Oh I’m not worried about all of that, it’s the losing the baby bit that gets to me. It cuts too close to home. I imagine it would be a humbling read, but a hard nonetheless. I know I’ll get to it eventually & I’m sure I’ll enjoy reading it, but right now I’m not ready to flip those pages yet.


Understood. And please understand, no one here's wanting to push you to read anything, obviously. I get how some things are triggering (not using that as a belittling term, either).

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #17 posted 11/14/21 5:10pm

TrivialPursuit

avatar

coldcoffeeandcocacola said:

TrivialPursuit said:

Most are trash. Honestly. Everyone wants to write from their fan perspective, but few offer anything interesting or engaging. I never felt the need to buy every single one of them for the sake of fandom. Same with magazines. I could write 400 pages on Prince, his music, and what I think he was trying to do, but does everyone want to read it? Probably not. Some may, but in general I'm just another fan.

For me, the best books are:

The two photography books, by Parke and the other guy whose name escapes me.

Mayte's book (she married the guy, so that's the story I want to hear)

Prince's book (autobio and anything else he put out as a book)

DMSR by Per Nilsen

The Rise and Fall of Prince - Alex Hahn

A Pop Life by Dave Hill (older but an interesting take back then)

Also, the Studio Sessions books by Duane Tudahl. He's really done his research with people who were there, and laid out the things some fans really enjoy; the technical shit and the anecdotes around it. That seems to negate my claim later, but it's obvious Tudahl took way more time to write his books than others.

Whoa this is EXACTLY my list and the order too except i put the Hahn book top !


Mine was no particular order. Just as I thought of them.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #18 posted 11/14/21 5:38pm

lurker316

avatar

TrivialPursuit said:

coldcoffeeandcocacola said:

TrivialPursuit said: Whoa this is EXACTLY my list and the order too except i put the Hahn book top !


Mine was no particular order. Just as I thought of them.


I just remembered that I read Morris Day's book as well. It was interesting and as far as I know reasonably fair and accurate.


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Reply #19 posted 11/14/21 7:12pm

TrivialPursuit

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lurker316 said:


I just remembered that I read Morris Day's book as well. It was interesting and as far as I know reasonably fair and accurate.


That goddamn thing. Hard pass.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #20 posted 11/14/21 10:51pm

udo

avatar

Prince - De Biografie (Bos/Engelshoven)

Pills and thrills and daffodils will kill... If you don't believe me or don't get it, I don't have time to try to convince you, sorry.
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Reply #21 posted 11/14/21 11:13pm

rafael

udo said:

Prince - De Biografie (Bos/Engelshoven)

Ik weet nog dat we daar ontzettend blij mee waren wink.

For me Per Nilson's first book. with my favourite bootleg section

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Reply #22 posted 11/15/21 1:35am

Hamad

avatar

TrivialPursuit said:



Hamad said:



Oh I’m not worried about all of that, it’s the losing the baby bit that gets to me. It cuts too close to home. I imagine it would be a humbling read, but a hard nonetheless. I know I’ll get to it eventually & I’m sure I’ll enjoy reading it, but right now I’m not ready to flip those pages yet.


Understood. And please understand, no one here's wanting to push you to read anything, obviously. I get how some things are triggering (not using that as a belittling term, either).



Thanks smile
Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future...

Twitter: https://twitter.com/QLH82
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Reply #23 posted 11/15/21 2:23am

Vannormal

-

I would like any The Revolution member, or Susannah, Jill Jones, Jimmy Jam & TerryLewis, St.Paul Peterson, Eric Leeds (doubt he ever will), Atlanta Bliss,

even Susan Rogers, Peggy McCreary, or any other engineer.

Other musicians that played with him throughout the Lovesexy and Batman eras.

etc.

-

laytonian said:

I have essentials, best read in sequence. Although I own many others, those by people who actually knew him OR had access to his documents, have filled in his story for me. We have major gaps between 1986 and 1990, then again between 2000 and 2016.

1 - Famous People Who've Known Me (Owen Husney)
2 -Prince Pre Fame (Robert Whitman)
3 - White Slave (Big Chick Huntsberry)
4 - Prince: Before the Rain (Allen Beaulieu)
5 - Wally, Where'd You Get Those Glasses? (Wally Safford)
6 - Let's Go Crazy (Alan Light)
7 - Prince and the Purple Rain Studio Sessions (Duane Tudahl)
8 - Prince and the Sign O'The Times Studio Sessions (Duane Tudahl)
9 - The Most Beautiful (Mayte Garcia)
10 - Picturing Prince (Steve Parke)
11 - Prince - A Private View (Afshin Shahidi)
12 - My Name Is Prince (Randee St icholas)
13 - The Beautiful Ones (Prince w/Dan Piepenbring)

Who do we need books from?
Alan Leeds (on the way, I understand)
Tyka Nelson (for family relationships and history)
Manuela Testolini (but I doubt she will)
Morris Hayes

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves.
And wiser people so full of doubts"
(Bertrand Russsell 1872-1972)
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Reply #24 posted 11/15/21 3:12am

SantanaMaitrey
a

rafael said:



udo said:


Prince - De Biografie (Bos/Engelshoven)




Ik weet nog dat we daar ontzettend blij mee waren wink.


For me Per Nilson's first book. with my favourite bootleg section


Ik ook!
If you take any of this seriously, you're a bigger fool than I am.
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Reply #25 posted 11/15/21 3:27am

Hamad

avatar

Susan Rogers is coming with a book this year or early next year actually nod
Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future...

Twitter: https://twitter.com/QLH82
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Reply #26 posted 11/15/21 5:45am

Vannormal

rafael said:

udo said:

Prince - De Biografie (Bos/Engelshoven)

Ik weet nog dat we daar ontzettend blij mee waren wink.

For me Per Nilson's first book. with my favourite bootleg section

-

Per Nilsen's boek was dé openbaring voor mij.

Alleen was het niet makkelijk te verkfrijgen.

heb er twee jaar op moeten wachten, toen. wink

-

Also, the Uptown magazines are (still) quite interesting to read.

Cause they have so much information and side information.

I regularly stroll through them... randomly.

Always something nice to discover.

-

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves.
And wiser people so full of doubts"
(Bertrand Russsell 1872-1972)
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Reply #27 posted 11/15/21 9:55am

SantanaMaitrey
a

Vannormal said:



rafael said:




udo said:


Prince - De Biografie (Bos/Engelshoven)




Ik weet nog dat we daar ontzettend blij mee waren wink.


For me Per Nilson's first book. with my favourite bootleg section



-


Per Nilsen's boek was dé openbaring voor mij.


Alleen was het niet makkelijk te verkfrijgen.


heb er twee jaar op moeten wachten, toen. wink


-


Also, the Uptown magazines are (still) quite interesting to read.


Cause they have so much information and side information.


I regularly stroll through them... randomly.


Always something nice to discover.


-


Same here. I still have the old Uptowns up to the release of Rave, when I started to find Prince less interesting. And that, plus that there was already so much information in the magazines, was the reason I didn't bother buying the book.
If you take any of this seriously, you're a bigger fool than I am.
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Reply #28 posted 11/15/21 12:09pm

jasopig

Apart from the Tudahl books, which are different categories, the Prince book I most enjoyed was This Thing Called Life by Neal Karlen.

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Reply #29 posted 11/15/21 1:08pm

paisleypark4

avatar

I would read books from only very detailed persons who were there.

My fav books have been Duane Tudahls, Per Nilsen, Maytes and even Dez book was cool. Morris Day Book was good as well.
I have purchased Brownmarks and Dez ebook and have no idea where it is online. I need a real copy or audiable.

Still need to read Sheila E's.

If Lying Kirky J ever has one I would pick it up from the library but I doubt that will happen.

Straight Jacket Funk Affair
Album plays and love for vinyl records.
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Forums > Prince: Music and More > What is your favorite book(s) on Prince and Why?