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My Life in the Purple Kingdom  By  cover art

My Life in the Purple Kingdom

By: BrownMark,Cynthia M. Uhrich,Questlove
Narrated by: BrownMark
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Publisher's Summary

In the summer of 1981, Mark Brown was a teenager working at a 7-11 store when he wasn't rehearsing with his high school band, Phantasy. Come fall, Brown, now called BrownMark, was onstage with Prince at the Los Angeles Coliseum, opening for the Rolling Stones in front of 90,000 people. Raw, wry, real, this book takes us from his musical awakening as a boy in Minneapolis to the cold call from Prince at 19, from touring the world with The Revolution and performing in Purple Rain to inking his own contract with Motown.

BrownMark's story is that of a hometown kid, living for sunny days when his transistor would pick up KUXL, a solar-powered, shut-down-at-sundown station that was the only one that played R&B music in Minneapolis in 1968. But once he took up the bass guitar - and never looked back - he entered a whole new realm, and, literally at the right hand of Twin Cities musical royalty, he joined the funk revolution that integrated the Minneapolis music scene and catapulted him onto the international stage. He takes us behind the scenes as few can, into the confusing emotional and professional life among the denizens of Paisley Park, and offers a rare, intimate look into music at the heady heights that his childhood self could never have imagined.

©2020 BrownMark (P)2021 Tantor

What listeners say about My Life in the Purple Kingdom

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Amazing story

I initially thought this book was going to be a tell all book about PRINCE. How refreshing it was to hear your story about growing up in Minneapolis and learning the music game. Bravo to you BROWNMark look forward to your next book.

2 people found this helpful

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Unexpected....

Firstly, I didn't know that Brown Mark had written a book but I am glad that he did. I definitely enjoyed hearing his journey and how he got started in the industry. I was also disappointed to hear how he had been treated by my favorite artist Prince, but it definitely made him "HUMAN" to me and confirmed some of the things I'd already heard about his ego, and other things. I enjoyed the fact that this book was NOT another book about Prince but included him as part of the story. I like that Brown Mark narrated the book himself and his inflections and different voices made me laugh. Most of all, I enjoyed the fact that although he had some terrible experiences with racism and business, those experiences did not make him bitter.

1 person found this helpful

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Interesting story

The more books I read by people who worked with Prince, the more I realize he just wasn’t a nice person. It will never change how I feel about him as an artist but multiple people having the same interactions…
Thank you Brown Mark, I was one of those crushing on you back in the day.

1 person found this helpful

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The pursuit of equality - how real today?

Have been wanting to read this for a while. Mr. Brown is a talented speaker with an engaging voice as well as a talented musician. The book is a bit like Chris Frantz’s recent book and even Mick Karn’s book in that it’s a warts-and-all glimpse into the life of a hardworking talent who deserves more credit. Prince and Davids Byrne and Sylvian are interestingly similar. These bands were made up magician musicians. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be left in shock, awe and hope reading ‘My Life in the Purple Kingdom.’

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Wow!

As a Prince fan, I never knew a lot about Mark other than the fact that he was a monster bass player. This book gave me new appreciation for what he gave to help The Purple Kingdom grow.

Congratulations Mark on a great memoir. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Now how do we get that Mazarati album back in print? Smiles!

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Loved it!

Wonderful story of a successful musical journey with interesting insights of life on the road and the highs and lows of life on the road.

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I loved this story.

I loved this story. BrownMark is one of my favorite artists in the prince camp.

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Awesome!!!

Great story and great delivery. Very impressed by the all around talent and tenacity of Mark Brown Mark 👍🏼

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Fantastic!

Absolutely loved the the book just wished it was longer, Brown Mark should right another one.

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Excellent Honest and Captivating

Brown Mark’s Life in the Purple Kingdom was refreshingly very good. Detailing the various eras of his life portrays himself quite differently than one would assume. His life was filled with incidents and stories that shaped his life. He was definitely another awesome musician destined for greatness. He was determined to fulfill his musical destiny. He openly described the racism and his experiences with white supremacy in Minnesota. Lastly, he spoke of the not so great dealings with Prince as well as his once in a life time rock star life as Brown Mark; bass player of for the phenomenal super star Prince and the Revolution. What a life. His brutal honesty was much appreciated.

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  • L. BETTLES
  • 03-11-21

This is not your average Prince book!!

I'll say right away that I am a massive Prince fan I saw him many times in many different places around the world and like all fans around the world I was saddened by his passing. As a result of his death flurry of books have come out with varying degrees of accuracy and points of view. This book is from the point of view of Brown Mark the base player in Princes band from 1982-86.

The book goes into detail about the authors struggle to be taken seriously and then he was hand-picked by Prince and their sets off a rollercoaster ride through the heady days of purple rain and beyond. This book is not a book that says Prince is great and can do no wrong he is amazing he is fantastic and so on and so on (thank God) this book is brown Marks truth as he saw it. There are many examples in this book where Prince appears not to treat the author not very well and I applaud him for his honesty, we also see the out and out racism that he experienced as a black man never mind a famous black man which is abhorrent from any era.

The floors in Princes character and legendary and I am not surprised and I believe everything that is said in this book there are numerous accounts of Prince withholding money to band members treating them badly in other books so I'm not shocked by the revelations contained in this book, the Amazon reviews have been really mixed the problem with Prince books is that fans believe that we know him, almost that we were there… I have news for you all we weren't Brown Mark was and experienced everything for better for worse good or for bad. Some fans are not happy unless we say what wonderful man Prince was and they will not hear of any other traits that are contrary to that this book is unflinchingly honest about the authors struggle to deal with his new-found fame his demanding employer (Prince) surviving broken promises and ultimately thanks and redemption the author narrates the book excellently and for me this is a book that comes full circle from a child who hits the big time crashes and burns on many occasions (quite literally) and then realises at the age that he is now the Prince taught him so many things and without those lessons he would not be where he is today which I found very humbling indeed.

In short if you're looking for Princes great Princes marvellous book then don't bother buying it on the other hand if you're looking for a account of an amazing time in Princes career from someone who was there he gives a warts and all account of how both he and Prince coped with newfound fame then this book is for you! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and has not changed my opinion of Prince or for that matter of the author as I said earlier in this review this is the authors truth and should be treated as such.