Those who know me well, know that I was the publisher/editor of Prince's short-lived magazine NPG (New Power Generation) back in the mid '90s. (Culture Catch's managing editor Steve Holtje was our managing editor, too.) I had just finished my stint as editor-in-chief at Creem magazine where I was the only journalist to interview him in 1992. I had to agree to his seemingly restrictive demands that I not record our interview on a cassette recorder or use pen/pencil and paper and that he'd have final approval on the article, something we'd never done with any artist ever. I agreed since I was meeting him in person on his home turf. I did interview everyone in his inner circle and then finally met him in his private room where he played me his new record The Love Symbol Album in its entirety and we chatted about all kinds of things. Then known as the "Symbol/Glyph," "The Artist Formerly Known As..." or "The Boss" as he was known in and around his creative compound Paisley Park, I was told he really liked my creative cover story (Feb, 1993) that was as much an homage to Alice in Wonderland meets the Wizard of Oz as a visit to the astral/mystical world of Paisley Park.
Remarkably, months later, I was hired by him to publish his new periodical NPG -- a combination of fanzine and music magazine with great photos of him and many stories on some of his favorite artists in music, film and TV. Very flattering and surreal to be handpicked by such a music icon. (I also had the magazine printed at Hiney Printing in my former home town of Akron, OH. We saved money using the overstock of paper from the Goodyear and Firestone annual reports.) Some of his fan mail was amazing. They'd send us boxes of them every month. As Steve noted, fans would send beautiful drawings, many more not so beautiful, though we still admired them. Women would send pictures of themselves. Our favorite was the woman who literally sent a key with detailed instructions!
As I reflect on his legacy today I can only offer you this brilliant song by this very talented artist. It seems so apropos.
Rest in peace, Prince Rogers Nelson.
Mr. Wright is a content creator and cultural curator. He was a contributor to the Huffington Post, former DJ at David Lynch's Transcendental Music Radio, the former editor of Creem and Prince's New Power Generation magazines as well as a writer of films, fiction, and television. He's also a singer/songwriter who has released five solo albums and one with folk-rock quartet GIANTfingers. And before all of this he was a William Morris agent.