Chicago Review of Books: My Life in the Purple Kingdom

From the young Black teenager who built a bass guitar in woodshop to the musician building a solo career with Motown Records—Prince’s bassist BrownMark on growing up in Minneapolis, joining Prince and The Revolution, and his life in the purple kingdom

Imagine you’re a teenager waiting around in the parking lot of the 7-11 where you work for a stranger to pick you up and drive you to a job interview–with Prince. That’s a key moment in My Life in the Purple Kingdomthe enlightening new memoir from Brownmark, who played bass with Prince and the Revolution at the dawn of the Purple Reign.

Originally known as “Mark Brown” before you-know-who flipped it, Brownmark and the Revolution toured the world and made key contributions to beloved Prince singles and album tracks from 1981 to 1986. An architect of what has become known as the Minneapolis Sound, Brownmark also masterminded the funk collective Mazarati, enjoyed a solo career at Motown records, and currently tours with a reconstituted Revolution. His latest album, House Party, updates the Minneapolis Sound for the age of hip hop.


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