MN Reads: “My Life in the Purple Kingdom” by BrownMark
image credit: Nancy Bundt / University of Minnesota Press

MN Reads: “My Life in the Purple Kingdom” by BrownMark


On this episode of MN Reads, KUMD’s Chris Harwood talks with musician, songwriter, and producer BrownMark about his memoir, My Life in the Purple Kingdom, published 2020 by University of Minnesota Press. Within a couple months in the summer of 1981, he went from being Mark Brown, a nineteen year-old 7-Eleven employee struggling to broaden the sound of his Twin Cities band Fantasy, to becoming BrownMark, playing bass with Prince and The Revolution in Los Angeles as the opening act for the Rolling Stones. The book chronicles the tough lessons he faced at such an early age with life on the road, sudden fame, racism, and the creative energy surrounding Prince that resulted in both artistic ecstasy and artistic friction.

BrownMark was with The Revolution from 1981 to 1986 through the era of the albums Controversy, 1999, Purple Rain, Around the World in a Day, and Parade, and went on to a solo career with Motown.