Paisley Park (credit: the now-defunct “Paisley Park After Dark” Facebook page)
Welcome to my blog. I’m Laura, and I’m the author of The Rise of Prince: 1958-1988, a biography of music icon Prince Rogers Nelson.
Two years ago, my family moved to Minnesota. After arriving, I joined a fitness center and began taking a class that started at 6 a.m. As luck would have it, my route to the club was Highway 5. Driving west on that highway each morning, I noticed a white building lit up purple in the early dawn hours. I nearly drove off the road looking at it, day after day. Finally I realized: This was the legendary Paisley Park, and somehow, we had landed only three miles away from my idol, the musician I’d loved ever since my teenage years — Prince. I was so excited to imagine my new life, where I would be able to attend the parties that he’d been hosting, and to be part of the whole Paisley Park community.
Then, something horrible happened. Only a month after we’d arrived in Minnesota, Prince died. Like millions of others, I was crushed. I was despondent. I had arrived too late to see Prince at his legendary compound. (The cry of “but I just got here!” wasn’t my first reaction to his death — although it may have been my second). Despite the fact that I was in a desperately busy season of life as a wife and mom of two boys who had just moved to a new state, plus a full-time director of communications for a company in New York, I knew I had to do something. I was a writer. I had somehow landed in Chanhassen, Prince’s home since 1986. He was suddenly, inexplicably gone. “There must be a reason I’m here,” I thought. I had to do something to honor him.
Through the magic of the fan site Prince.org, I got lucky and managed to track down Alex Hahn, the author of Possessed, my favorite book about Prince. Together, we went on to write The Rise of Prince: 1958-1988. We published the book in February 2017.
But, the story doesn’t end there. Prince stories kept coming to me. As I went about my day, I’d meet people who knew him, and who wanted to share their stories. It happened at the grocery store, at the Post Office, and even at the Verizon store, where the sales clerk who fixed my phone turned out to the the adorable little boy from “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” video.
I knew I needed a place to share these stories with Prince fans and music lovers from all over the world, so I created this blog. You can come here to find all the latest Prince stories, direct from Chanhassen.