Cover image for Prince : the last interview and other conversations / with an introduction by Hanif Abdurraqib.
Title:
Prince : the last interview and other conversations / with an introduction by Hanif Abdurraqib.
Author:
ISBN:
9781612197456
Publication Information:
Brooklyn : Melville House, [2019]

©2019
Physical Description:
xiv, 113 pages ; 21 cm.
Contents:
Introduction / by Hanif Abdurraqib -- Nelson finds it "hard to become known" / interview with Lisa Crawford, Central High Pioneer, April 1976 -- Prince / interview with Lisa Hendricksson, Minnesota Daily, April 1977 -- A dirty mind comes clean / interview with Andy Schwartz, New York Rocker, June 1981 -- Prince's first ever interview for television / interview with Steve Fargnoli, MTV, November 15, 1985 -- Pleased to meet you... / interview with Adrian Deevoy, Q Magazine, July 1994 -- A Prince of a guy / interview with Catherine Censor Shemo, Vegetarian Times, October 1997 -- Sites o' the times / interview with Ben Greenman, Yahoo! Internet Life, October 1997 -- Soup with Prince / interview with Claire Hoffman, The New Yorker, November 2008 -- A final visit with Prince : Rolling Stone's lost cover story / interview with Brian Hiatt, Rolling Stone, January 2014 -- The last interview : "Transcendence. That's what you want. When that happens oh, boy" / interview with Alexis Petridis, The Guardian, November 2015.
Abstract:
There is perhaps no musician who has had as much influence on the sound of contemporary American music than Prince. His pioneering compositions brought a variety of musical genres into a singular funky and virtuosic sound. In this remarkable collection, and with his signature mix of seduction and demur, the late visionary reflects on his artistry, identity, and the sacrifices and soul-searching it took to stay true to himself. An Introduction by Hanif Abdurraqib offers astute, contemporary perspective and brilliantly contextualizes the collected interviews.
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Summary

Summary

There is perhaps no musician who has had as much influence on the sound of contemporary American music than Prince. His pioneering compositions brought a variety of musical genres into a singular funky and virtuosic sound. In this remarkable collection, and with his signature mix of seduction and demur, the late visionary reflects on his artistry, identity, and the sacrifices and soul-searching it took to stay true to himself.


Author Notes

Prince Rogers Nelson was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 7, 1958. He was a singer and songwriter. He produced, arranged, composed, and played all 27 instruments on his 1978 debut album For You. He released approximately 40 albums during his lifetime. Purple Rain, Around the World in a Day, Batman, and 3121 were all number one albums in the U.S. He won seven Grammy awards and an Academy Award for best original song score for the 1984 film Purple Rain. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. He died on April 21, 2016 at the age of 57.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Excerpts

Excerpts

Introduction by Hanif Abdurraqib, Prince: The Last Interview INTRODUCTION HANIF ABDURRAQIB When a musician dies, this thing happens where stories about them overflow and fill every corner of the internet. If there is a bright spot in the absence death leaves, it is this one--people recalling their encounters with figures who could seem entirely mythological. For a lascivious figure, he followed for much of his life (and up to a point) the strict orthodoxy of the Jehovah's Witnesses. No alcohol or drugs; he didn't even swear. On Twitter, Talib Kweli recounted the story about DJing gangsta rap at a party that Prince had attended. He approached Kweli to tell him: "I ain't get dressed up to come out and hear curses." But he loved to be active and athletic. There was the story Questlove told about Prince on a singular and bright pair of roller skates, outdoing everyone else at the roller rink. He was rumored to be a talented basketball player as well, something which lent Dave Chappelle's famous skit of Prince challenging Charlie Murphy to a game of hoops a bit more gravitas. And then there were those facts that simply defied logic. Old friends of Prince like Corey Tollefson and Kandace Springs insisted that you could tell Prince was about to enter a room because the smell of lavender would arise. Also mysterious was how, in one performance of "My Guitar Gently Weeps" with Tom Petty for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, he finished an astounding solo by throwing his guitar up into the rafters. It never came back down. The moment that best captured his magic for me occurred during his 2007 Super Bowl halftime show. He played amid a torrential downpour, bouncing on a slick stage shaped in the symbol that once stood in for his name. He ripped through a cover of "Proud Mary" and reinvented "Best Of You" by the Foo Fighters, a song that, by then, was less than two years old. But it was his performance of "Purple Rain," his finale that night, which still gets me. During the guitar solo Prince tears into to close out his signature track, I noticed specks of rainwater marching slowly down Prince's face and kissing his bright blue suit and the orange shirt beneath it. I had watched that performance live with friends and remember joking with them that the water did not appear to be touching him, a confirmation that he was not of this world. But when I rewatched this performance soon after his death, it was only then, so many years later, that I confirmed the water had always been there. Prince was getting rained on just like everyone else packed into that football stadium. For a lifetime spent first trying to figure Prince out, only to end up attributing an over-imagined lore to him, it was easy for me to detach from the idea that Prince--as mystifying as he managed to be--was also very human. It was there in his music, his visuals, his passions, and his curiosities--his humanity. And toward the end of his life, it seemed that being human was his biggest shift yet. During a 2014 interview for Rolling Stone , Prince tells Brian Hiatt that he is entirely uninterested in talking about the past, despite his past containing, by that point, so many gems worth unearthing and unraveling. "[T]here is no place else I'd rather be than right now," Prince tells Hiatt. "I want to be talking to you, and I want you to get it." This is the joy of Prince--all of him. Not only what is contained within this collection of beautiful, challenging, and brilliant conversations, but the entirety of the life this book is honoring. Prince was spectacular, unfathomable in some ways, yet at his core he came to conversations asking to not be made into some kind of god, demanding any asker of questions to understand him beyond his superhuman capabilities. Before anyone else could, it was Prince who recognized his mortality, could sense it creeping up on him, and accepted it. That's what brought Prince down to earth for me. Even if the adoring public missed it the first time, even if it were easy to deify him--Prince, the man, was always there, pointing to the raindrops on his jacket. Excerpted from Prince: the Last Interview by Prince All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Hanif AbdurraqibLisa Crawford Central High Pioneer April 1976Lisa Hendricksson Minnesota Daily April 1977Andy Schwartz New York Rocker June 1981Steve Fargnoli MTV November 15, 1985Adrian Deevoy Q Magazine July 1994Catherine Censor Shemo Vegetarian Times October 1997Ban Greenman Yahoo! Internet Life October 1997Claire Hoffman The New Yorker November 2008Brian Hiatt Rolling Stone January 2014Alexis Petridis The Guardian November 2015
Introductionp. vii
Nelson Finds It "Hard to Become Known"p. 3
Princep. 7
A Dirty Mind Comes Cleanp. 15
Prince's First Ever Interview for Televisionp. 29
Pleased to Meet You ...p. 41
A Prince of a Guyp. 63
Sites O' the Timesp. 73
Soup with Princep. 83
A Final Visit with Prince: Rolling Stone's Lost Cover Storyp. 89
The Last Interview: "Transcendence, That's What You Want, When That Happens-OH, Boy"p. 103