Prince’s legendary bassist remembers the icon five years after his death


by Stacy M. Brown —

About one year before Prince’s death, the Purple Rain icon called his favorite bassist, BrownMark, and flew him out to his famous Minneapolis area home called Paisley Park.

“He was riding his bicycle, and when I got out of the car, he told me that I had a glowing aura,” the vaunted bass player for Prince’s famed band, The Revolution, stated.

“It was the last memorable conversation we had,” recalled BrownMark, whose real name is Mark Brown.

Five years ago, on April 21, 2016, Brown and most of the world were shocked to learn of the 57-year-old Prince’s death from an accidental overdose of prescription medication.

In a live interview with the Black Press’ morning news program, “Let It Be Known,” Brown spoke of his life with Prince, how much he misses the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member, and his new book “My Life in the Purple Kingdom.”

“I was heartbroken,” Brown remembered, noting that he cried for two days.

Brown joined The Revolution in 1981 at the age of 19.

He performed on some of Prince’s most memorable songs including, “1999,” “When Doves Cry,” “Purple Rain,” and “Kiss.”

Although he had departed The Revolution before Prince released “Sign O’ The Times,” one of the greatest CD’s ever, Brown still played an integral part in that seminal recording.

“Prince usually began working on albums two or three years before he would release them,” Brown revealed. “So, although I wasn’t with him when ‘Sign O’ The Times’ was released, I played on that record.”

In Brown’s new book, he detailed his relationship with Prince and noted how he kept his otherwise public position secret from his children for years.

“My son was in high school, he was 18, and some student showed him the ‘Purple Rain’ album cover and told my son, ‘this guy looks like you,’” Brown remembered. “My son said, ‘that’s my dad.’ He ran home and asked me why I hadn’t told him that I was in a band.”

Brown remembers Prince as a brother, someone he could bounce ideas off and vice versa.

“Big brothers beat up on little brothers. I always beat up on my little brother,” Brown insisted. “The family love was so strong in The Revolution. We were really tight-knit.”

He described Prince much like those who only knew him from afar and others who only knew his music – a genius.

“Prince was good at everything,” Brown mused. “He was from another universe.”

Still, Prince allowed Brown to “do my own thing,” the bassist noted.

“He always gave me a lot of latitude and never controlled what I played and how I played. We worked every single night, and he loved it, and we carved a whole sound, and it was a unique group of people that Prince put together. We were all in the Purple University of funk.”

(Follow Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire senior national correspondent, @StacyBrownMedia.)