Prince’s post­hu­mous book re­leased

The Korea Times - - PEOPLE -

NEW YORK (AP) — Panic, joy, shock: Dan Piepen­bring felt them all when Prince plucked him to col­lab­o­rate on his first memoir, fol­lowed by more shock and pro­found sad­ness at news of the su­per­star’s death while the book was in its early stages.

Though the project was thrown into chaos when Prince died on April 21, 2016, of an accidental drug over­dose, his es­tate ul­ti­mately de­cided to press on, al­low­ing Piepen­bring and his pub­lish­ing team free ac­cess to the pieces of his life left be­hind at his beloved Pais­ley Park, in­clud­ing the con­tents of his vault.

Now, the highly an­tic­i­pated col­lab­o­ra­tion, “The Beau­ti­ful Ones,” is out in the world with its re­lease Tues­day as many fans con­tinue to mourn, pro­pel­ling the 33-year-old jour­nal­ist into the spot­light to ex­plain how he sorted it all out.

“There was a sense even from the start that it couldn’t re­ally be hap­pen­ing,” Piepen­bring told The Associated Press of his in­volve­ment. “It felt very sur­real. There was also just a sense of joy, I think, at the pos­si­bil­ity of meet­ing some­one that I held in such high re­gard, some­one whose mu­sic had been the sound­track to the bet­ter part of my youth.”

The book, from Spiegel & Grau, in­cludes no bomb­shells, though Prince very much wanted to pro­vide some, and a mere 28 memoir pages writ­ten in his el­e­gant script and quirky style, re­plac­ing the word “I” with a draw­ing of a hu­man orb, for in­stance. All told, Piepen­bring spent 12 to 15 hours face-to-face with Prince in Min­neapo­lis, New York and on tour in Mel­bourne.

Their last con­ver­sa­tion was just four days be­fore Prince died. It was fo­cused on his par­ents and their con­flict­ing in­flu­ences in his life. His fa­ther, John L. Nel­son, was a dis­ci­plined, God-fear­ing jazz pi­anist with an ex­plo­sive tem­per. His mother, Mat­tie Della Shaw, was a beau­ti­ful, fun-lov­ing party girl with a stub­born, ir­ra­tional streak — and a sneaky flair, as Prince wrote:

“She would spend up what lit­tle $ the fam­ily had 4 sur­vival on par­ty­ing with her friends, then tres­pass in2 my bed­room, ‘bor­row’ my per­sonal $ that eye’d got­ten from babysit­ting lo­cal kids, & then chas­tise me 4 even ques­tion­ing her re­gard­ing the bro­ken prom­ises she made 2 pay me back.”

The tu­mul­tuous na­ture of his par­ents’ re­la­tion­ship had a last­ing im­pact.“The wound of Ur par­ents fight­ing is chill­ing when U’re a child,” Prince wrote. “If it hap­pens 2 be­come phys­i­cal, it can be soul-crush­ing.”

AP-Yon­hap

This cover im­age shows “Prince: The Beau­ti­ful Ones,” the memoir Prince started but didn’t fin­ish be­fore his 2016 death.

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