May. 14th, 2017

Sadness

May. 14th, 2017 04:55 pm
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I finished Mayte's book. It's very sad, though it has its humourous moments, particularly when addressing the whole Jehovah's Witnesses thing (I thought "DAMN GUUUUURL" several times at some of her more sharp remarks). I can't say I learned much that I didn't know: Manuela was an opportunist, Larry Graham a zealot, Carmen Electra a useful idiot; but I have to say I was amused that Diamond and Pearl turned out to be complete bitches. Imagine that, Jenny Calendar From Buffy was a high school Mean Girl! Mayte implies that the opioid dependency began much earlier than previously suspected but that Prince was very good at hiding it from everyone including herself, and it's only with hindsight she can put two and two together. I'll tell you what though: someone knew about it, and since it doesn't seem like Larry Graham's gig, that would suggest Kirk Johnson or Morris Hayes. I don't want to think bad things about either of them, and neither apparently does Mayte, but you can almost feel the big question mark hovering over them towards the end.

Confused things are cleared up: the timing of the whole baby birth / death / Emancipation release / Oprah interview is laid out cleanly and comprehensibly. Just how early Mani arrived on the scene is also clear (and Mayte relishes laying out the choreography of that period - she has a storyteller's gift for rhythm). The big bang moment of meeting Larry Graham and how things began to spiral from that point is presented unsentimentally. The biggest previous cloud - the whole annulment / divorce / settlement / whatever thing is also very cleanly put forward in a way that rings true. The whole book plays out like a classical tragedy: the seeds of future misery are present at the start and just as crucial to the formation of early joy as to later heartbreak. As in a classical tragedy, fate is an imperious, implacable force for good or ill.

The best bit:

I looked out at the sea from my house in Spain with the same heart full of longing. And at some point in my waiting and longing and wondering, it occurred to me that I'd forgotten a lesson I learned my very first year at Paisley Park: the girl in Minneapolis is the girl on her way in. The girl who leaves Minneapolis is the girl on her way out.

I guess I shouldn't have taken it so hard. Carmen Electra was replaced by a sixteen-year-old belly dancer. It took God Almighty to get me out of Minnesota.


So yes, this comes highly recommended, not just to Prince fans who are obviously the most natural audience, but anyone who would like to read a really well-crafted memoir.

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