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Gold Experience

Following Prince in the ’90s

2017
Author:

Jim Walsh

Gold Experience

Rare interviews, live reviews, little known stories, and close encounters: Prince in a time of crazy brilliant music and life

Jim Walsh covered Prince for the St. Paul Pioneer Press in the 1990s, writing about him passionately, thoughtfully, exhaustively. Here, in real time, is that coverage: a clip-by-clip look back at Prince as few have seen him, reported as only Walsh can: a portrait of the artist from a dizzying array of angles, captured in living color for all time.

Jim Walsh was front and center for one of the most prolific and controversial eras in Prince’s career, and Gold Experience offers an intimate, real-time account of this critical chapter in the evolution of a generation's greatest musician.

Alan Light, music journalist and author of Let’s Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain

Throughout the 1990s, Prince feuded with his record label, Warner Bros., over his rights as an independent recording artist—and made some of the most brilliant music of his career. During that time, Jim Walsh covered Prince for the St. Paul Pioneer Press and wrote about him passionately, thoughtfully, exhaustively. Here, in real time, is that coverage: a clip-by-clip look back at Prince in the ‘90s. Walsh’s newly unearthed interviews, essays, columns, and reviews make Gold Experience an essential slice of history for fans, scholars, and latecomers to the Minneapolis-born musical genius Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958–April 21, 2016).

Join Walsh at the 1994 NBA All-Star game after party and release bash for the single “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World.” Accompany him to the after-hours clubs Erotic City, Glam Slam, and, of course, Paisley Park. Meet Prince’s wife and bandmate Mayte (and while you’re at it, take in the wedding and reception). Enjoy a two-hour sit-down interview with Prince. Explore Prince’s veganism, talk to fans in line for a Target Center show, preview the “Jam of the Year” concert and check in at the after party. The passions and influences, from Mozart to funk godfather Larry Graham; the gigs and the Paisley Park garage sale; Walsh’s open letter to the artist and his reflections on religion and spirituality. This is Prince as few have seen him, reported as only Jim Walsh can: a portrait of the artist from a dizzying array of angles, captured in living color for all time.

Gold Experience

Jim Walsh is a Minneapolis-based writer, journalist, columnist, and songwriter and the author of The Replacements: All Over but the Shouting: An Oral History and, with Dennis Pernu, The Replacements: Waxed-Up Hair and Painted Shoes: The Photographic History. His recent book Bar Yarns and Manic-Depressive Mixtapes: Jim Walsh on Music from Minneapolis to the Outer Limits is published by Minnesota. The former music editor at City Pages and pop music columnist at the St. Paul Pioneer Press, he has published in Rolling Stone, SPIN, Village Voice, LA Weekly, Melody Maker, Billboard, Utne Reader, and has been a recipient of the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University.

Gold Experience

Jim Walsh was front and center for one of the most prolific and controversial eras in Prince’s career, and Gold Experience offers an intimate, real-time account of this critical chapter in the evolution of a generation's greatest musician.

Alan Light, music journalist and author of Let’s Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain

A revealing look at Prince and his relentless quest for self-realization and truth during his most fascinating and misunderstood era.

Kevin Cole, Chief Content Officer, Host of the Afternoon Show KEXP

During a controversial era of Prince’s career that left most in the industry cynically scratching their heads and rolling their eyes, Jim Walsh kept a steady hand and a wide-open heart, covering the purple beat with passion, curiosity, and something sorely lacking in most newspaper reports: love. Walsh’s words don’t just sing and dance, they do the splits. It’s easy to envision Prince himself cracking a smile and leaping up to sing along.

Andrea Swensson, host at 89.3 The Current and author of Got to Be Something Here: The Origins of Minneapolis Sound

There was a time when Prince asked Jim, ‘Why are you my only friend in the media?’ You can feel his answer in this collection: Here is the most important artist in Minnesota's history, regularly playing in the middle of the night for 300 people or less, and here's the only reporter open hearted enough—everybody else was referring to TAFKAP as ‘Symbolina’ or worse—to serve as the Boswell of Paisley Park.

Steve Marsh, senior writer, Mpls.St.Paul Magazine

[Gold Experience] is wonderful reading for Prince fans and for those who like solid non-fiction writing and who appreciate the music scene.

Looking for a Good Book

Gold Experience

Contents
Introduction {~?~TN: book page ix}
1994 {~?~TN: book page 1}
Prince’s Magic Lures the Stars
He’s Not Just Another Pretty Symbol
Prince Treats Lucky Fans to After-hours Rehearsal
Prince’s “Big Noise” for Fans at His House Doesn’t Disappoint
Best of May
Blast from the Past
Best of July
Songs in the Key of Life
Prince Is Going for “The Gold”
Prince’s Label President and Publicist Resign; Organization Stays Mum on Motives behind Moves
1995
Prince, Minnesota Politicos Make for Creative Yet Self-conscious Set
Evening Was Uneven at Paisley Park
People
From Chanhassen: As the [Symbol] Turns
Liner Notes for The Gold Experience, Released
Prince Pullout from SNL Tests Patience of Faithful
People
Former Prince Presents Fans with Early Christmas Gift
Free at Last?
1996
Prince’s Uptown Store Closes
Mayte Aphrodite
Fifteen Symbols of Love
Purple Hearts
Couple Hadn’t Appeared by 11, but Party Guests Heard New Tune
Alone Again Eventually
Ex-Innovator Ex-Prince Serves Leftovers
Former Prince Crowned Minnesota’s Top Music Artist
Ex-Prince Extravaganza
Stars Help Former Prince Celebrate His Freedom
[Prince Symbol] Speaks
Fresh (Ex-)Prince
Ex-Prince Gives Royal Show at Paisley Park
1997
Prolific Ex-Prince Working on Next Album, The Truth
Singing Vegan Praises
The Artist Will Play Sayles Belton Benefit Show
For TAFKAP Fans, It Was All Simply in the Line of Duty
Jammin’
Sticking to the Fax
Pure Artist-ry
The Artist Wears ’Em Out at Post-concert Paisley Park Party
1998
TAFKAP Offers Up Sweet Jam at Free A.M. Funk-Fest
Grand Funk Express
Those Midnight Treks Are Worth a Princely Sum
It’s Party Time
Artist, Mayte Call It Quits . . . in a Way, for Now
1999
Santana, Two Hot Guests Make Some Music Magic
Symbolic Agreement Reached
Formerly Prince’s
Purple Pride
Artist-ic License
Artist’s “Rave” Less Than Fantastic, but It Ain’t All Bad
Ex-Recluse Ex-Prince Is on Publicity Binge for Y2K Show
2000–2002
Open Letter to Prince: Best Gift You Can Give Is a Great New Record
Spiritual, at Times Inspired, Prince Saves Best for Last
VH1’s Best Album Series Celebrates Prince’s Classic Purple Rain Tonight
For Prince, It’s All about Sex, God, and Rock ’n’ Roll
(Another) Open Letter to Prince