Rock memoirs have proved a lucrative niche for publishers as baby boomers snap up books by their favorite performers. The gold standards in terms of both sales and literary qualify include “Life” by Keith Richards (776,683 print copies sold, according to Nielsen), “Chronicles” by Bob Dylan (560,706) and “Just Kids” by Patti Smith (466,635).I've read all 3 of those — and Eric Clapton's book too — so I guess I'm in the niche. And I love Prince. But the author needs to tell good stories on himself — like Richards, Smith, and Clapton — or have an endless assortment of interesting things — like Bob Dylan. I don't know if Prince is up for any of that. He seems so secretive and enigmatic. But it's surely not enough to "like Dylan" write ones own songs. Song lyrics are song lyrics for a reason. They go with singing and lots of instrumentation. When read, what seemed sublime is often stupid.
I did a chapter-by-chapter series of blog posts when I read Dylan's "Chronicles" in 2004. Sample:
Dylan seems to have gotten some ideas from Harry Truman, whom his parents took him to see when he was a kid: "Truman was gray hatted, a slight figure, spoke in the same kind of nasal twang and tone like a country singer. I was mesmerized by his slow drawl and sense of seriousness and how people hung on every word he was saying." Pp. 230-231....UPDATE: Meade and I are discussing the meaning of "Just look for the purple banana til they put us in the truck." I say it was what was a typical Prince message: Live it up because you're going to die. The banana is obviously the man's penis and the truck is the hearse that takes you away. Meade says the truck is the vagina. He agreed about the banana.
A Bob Dylan political opinion: "I wasn't that comfortable with all the psycho polemic babble. It wasn't my particular feast of food. Even the current news made me nervous. I liked the old news better." P. 283.