Letter from the Publisher

Prince Was Ours

frank-roffersI first became aware of Prince in January 1980. I was in my high-school years growing up in rural Wisconsin. My family’s television antenna picked up three channels, and one Saturday morning, our TV was tuned into American Bandstand. A kid named Prince Rogers Nelson and his band from Minneapolis performed two songs and gave an awkward interview with Dick Clark. He was just a few years older than myself, and his performance was raw, talented and exotic. I purchased his self-titled album (on cassette tape back then) through my Columbia House mail-order music club. I was immediately hooked and listened to it over and over again.

Over the next five years, Prince turned out a series of exceptional albums. While attending the University of Minnesota, Duluth, I found it impossible to escape the constant stream of his songs over the radio, at parties and in bars. We loved it. In 1984, he produced Purple Rain, and the movie and album became international sensations. From that point on, Prince had the single biggest impact on the music scene of the North since Bob Dylan.

Fast-forward three decades, and Prince remained an eclectic superstar. He continued to rule the music world, undermining expectations and defying norms. His obscurity only further contributed to the Prince myth. He was a freak in the best sense of the word. He seemed to never age and had a swagger that felt both random and effortless.

Artful Living had been contemplating a feature on Prince for a few years and had been working on story angles and content. In March, the singer announced his plans to pen a memoir titled The Beautiful Ones after a song on Purple Rain. We decided the timing was right for us to move ahead.

Just as this issue was going to press, shockingly and unexpectedly, Prince died. Our content needed to be quickly transformed into a tribute. Now we celebrate him with our coverage of a night at Paisley Park, his most famous feuds and little-known facts about his life.

Also in this issue is the remarkable story about St. Paul native Mary Griggs Burke leaving a legacy with the donation of her beloved Forest Lodge to Northland College of Ashland, Wisconsin. The institution is creating a Camp David of sorts for freshwater studies for the world. This is an important issue and concerns our everyday lives.

Check out the best homes available from the finest real-estate agents in our region with Coldwell Banker Burnet’s Property Gallery. A recent study by St. Thomas University revealed that Artful Living readers hanker to see what new homes are on the market and what it costs to acquire remarkable properties.

If you love touring amazing houses, don’t miss this year’s Artisan Home Tour by Parade of Homes in June. This collection from the region’s finest builders and remodelers will inspire you to remodel or even build your dream home.

Please enjoy this issue of Artful Living and our celebration of Prince. He remains the musical king of our generation and the soundtrack of our lives. We loved him, and he was ours. As he said it best: “Music is music, ultimately. If it makes you feel good, cool.”



Frank Roffers
Publisher + Editor-In-Chief

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