Why ‘The Most Beautiful’ by Mayte Garcia Will Make You Love and Hate Prince

The Most Beautiful cover

The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince, is a story about music, artistry, pain, infatuation, control, religion, and deep, soulful love. Put frankly, it is a story that will stick in your mind after you’ve placed the book down.

Whether you were a fan of Prince or not, I recommend reading The Most Beautiful, because much more is buried in this rock star romance than a world filled with purple foo foo.

I once read a great piece of writing advice that said a memoir should be your story, but it shouldn’t be about you. Rather, the memoir is about everyone else reading your book. Mayte Garcia accomplished this with grace and love.

She wrote with endearment and forgiveness. She wrote truthfully, sometimes with the perspective of a wiser woman, sometimes with raw emotion. What I loved most about her book is how I felt myself getting pulled into the eccentric, strange, and lovely world of Prince with her.

For those who don’t know, Ms. Garcia is the first ex-wife of Prince. She was also the only woman with whom he had a child, and that child died one week after birth. Their marriage ended soon after.

Before meeting Prince, Ms. Garcia was becoming a world-renowned belly dancer by the age of 16, when she met Prince backstage. He was 13 years her senior, but in typical Prince style, he saw her artistic potential before she could, and he began contacting her offstage.

Ms. Garcia went on to become a creative collaborator of Prince’s, then a backup dancer and employee, and finally his wife. The Most Beautiful is Ms. Garcia’s story, told her way. She wrote it soon after his death.

Sadly, her memoir made me think of Prince in a different light.

No doubt he was a creative genius, but did he also suffer from unknown mental illness? Perhaps a form of narcissistic disorder? Ms. Garcia does not hide the emotional roller coaster she lived with him, everything from the extraordinary highs of dopamine-filled passion, to the anger and rage she felt at the lows.

Through it all, one thing is apparent: Ms. Garcia never stopped loving Prince. She loved him wholly, completely, without prejudice. Her love is permeating, because even after you learn of Prince’s most sinister side, you will still appreciate and accept him. Maybe you will even still love him.

My favorite part of the book was the end. No spoilers here, but I’ll say this: it was the light amongst much darkness. Want to know why I adored it so much? Well, I guess you’ll have to read the book.

STARS: 4/5

BOOK: The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince

AUTHOR: Mayte Garcia

AMAZON LINK: https://www.amazon.com/Most-Beautiful-My-Life-Prince/dp/0316468975

PUBLISHER: Hachette Books

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It’s Raining Spiders … and Stuff

Ladies and gentlemen, it has rained spiders in Brazil. Yes … spiders. Rained. IN BRAZIL.

The land which gave birth to Zumba has now become Stephen King’s official playground. And you can thank the “social spider,” a group of arthropods working together to form a giant web to catch their prey.

Now that’s socialism, folks.

 

Thank you to 12 News in Phoenix, Ariz. for originally informing me of this (intriguing? terrifying?) phenomenon.

[… Shudder …]

*********************************

AND IN OTHER NEWS:

**I officially ended the world’s longest eyelash debacle on Sunday. Not sure how this happened, but I wound up with an eyelash stuck in my eye for a MONTH. A month, people. Do you have any freakin’ clue what it’s like to wake up every morning to an eyelash jabbing its way into your cornea, with NO recourse? I poked, I stabbed, I rubbed; yet that dang thing would not budge. For this alone, I think I deserve a spot in the “Guinness Book of World Records.”

the_black_keys

**The Black Keys won three Grammys. The Black Keys are seriously the coolest musicians EVER (except for my dad, of course).  I saw them, LIVE, with my sister, back in October, and they tore it up. And last night, they won THREE GRAMMYS, which means my El Camino ticket stub is now worth some mula. $$$$ 🙂 (Not that I’m selling it … suckers!)

**Java jam. That’s it, people. Jam made from espresso. A piece of Heaven really does exist here on earth. I may now die in peace.

**My cat peed on his own this morning. VICTORY!

cat in litter box

My First Rock Concert … At 30!

I know what you’re thinking: “Shari, c’mon, I’m sure you’ve been to SOME concert by now.”

Well, yes. I saw Simon and Garfunkel’s reunion tour with my mom and sister. And a few years ago, I sat in the nosebleed section and watched Elton John make love to the piano.

But I’ve never experienced a serious ROCK CONCERT, where you’re banging your head and dancing in the aisles, and where the music pries open your chest cavity and literally grabs your heart until the lyrics become your oxygen — until last night.

When I saw THE BLACK KEYS live in Phoenix!

That’s mostly because, while I had my brush with the party stage, I grew up under the iron fist of a Jewish mother. And really, the concert just never happened for me. Even though my father is a professional musician, and music has always been in my soul.

But last night …

A new world opened to me. And I suddenly understand why concerts—true rock concerts by true musicians—can be so addicting. And GOD, I just had to share this experience with you:

Shari and her sister
Me and my younger sister, Becca, at our seats before the concert started.
On the concert floor
The guards let us onto the floor before the concert started to grab some photos
The Black Keys!
The Black Keys!!
The Black Keys
Freakin’ most awesome band … ever!

Anyone else here a fan of The Black Keys?

My younger sister introduced me to their music a year ago and I liked them. In fact, I attended with my younger sister, as part of her 25th birthday gift. But after watching these two guys perform, I’ve become one of their most loyal fans.

The Black Keys were electric. They fed off each other’s energy until the volcano erupted; I felt like I was listening to Jimi Hendrix on the guitar.

Do you remember your first rock concert? Please do share!

Miracle off 28th Ave. on Tuesday Afternoon

Happy New Year! And I’m taking a break … LOL!

Instead, please enjoy this short blog post I wrote a year ago. About a beautiful experience I had, and I’d like to share with you. Let the music begin …

A Miracle off 28th Ave. on Tuesday Afternoon

Posted on December 28, 2010, by Shari Lopatin

It started with a simple routine walk during my lunch break.

Through the same neighborhood and past the same ordinary houses occupied by the same aging couples. Wearing the same workout clothes, and pounding the pavement with the same 2-year-old tennis shoes.

I continued walking down my routine path this Tuesday afternoon, feeling the steady pace of my feet below, when I heard it. Like an angel singing to me from another dimension, it sliced through the deafening silence of the neighborhood.

Music. Pure, dramatic piano notes dancing in the gentle breeze. Climbing up my spine and into my ears, filling me with an electric energy I hadn’t felt in years.

I stopped in my tracks–searching to my left, to my right. From where did this heavenly melody arise? I knew this tune, one of the first I’d learned as a little girl: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Climb Every Mountain” from The Sound of Music.

I suddenly realized this was no recording. It was live, and the individual playing was no amateur. Here I was, my work’s I.D. hanging from my neck, toes peeking through tips of old sneakers wearing away, standing in the middle of a retired neighborhood, and enjoying a live piano concert with the sun beating on my face.

My senses led me to the cozy, one-story house across the street from where I stood. With their windows open, oblivious to my undivided admiration, a shadowed face played for me.

Man or woman, boy or girl, I did not know. But their passion sang to my passion, their beauty filled my soul, and I drifted away as their music mounted higher into the crisp autumn air. I used to fall asleep this way, drifting to the sounds of hypnotic notes as my father played into the night.

That’s when I realized a miracle took place off 28th Ave. this Tuesday afternoon. I’d broken free. Away from Corporate America. Away from the cubicles, the computer screens and the repetition.

And I flew.

A Miracle off 28th Ave. on Tuesday Afternoon

A miracle took place off 28th Ave. this Tuesday afternoon.

It started with a simple routine walk during my lunch break.

Through the same neighborhood and past the same ordinary houses occupied by the same aging couples. Wearing the same workout clothes, and pounding the pavement with the same 2-year-old tennis shoes.

I continued walking down my routine path this Tuesday afternoon, feeling the steady pace of my feet below, when I heard it. Like an angel singing to me from another dimension, it sliced through the deafening silence of the neighborhood.

Music. Pure, dramatic piano notes dancing in the gentle breeze. Climbing up my spine and into my ears, filling me with an electric energy I hadn’t felt in years.

I stopped in my tracks–searching to my left, to my right. From where did this heavenly melody arise? I knew this tune, one of the first I’d learned as a little girl: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Climb Every Mountain” from The Sound of Music.

I suddenly realized this was no recording. It was live, and the individual playing was no amateur. Here I was, my work’s I.D. hanging from my neck, toes peeking through tips of old sneakers wearing away, standing in the middle of a retired neighborhood, and enjoying a live piano concert with the sun beating on my face.

My senses led me to the cozy, one-story house across the street from where I stood. With their windows open, oblivious to my undivided admiration, a shadowed face played for me.

Man or woman, boy or girl, I did not know. But their passion sang to my passion, their beauty filled my soul, and I drifted away as their music mounted higher into the crisp autumn air. I used to fall asleep this way, drifting to the sounds of hypnotic notes as my father played into the night.

That’s when I realized a miracle took place off 28th Ave. this Tuesday afternoon. I’d broken free. Away from Corporate America. Away from the cubicles, the computer screens and the repetition.

And I flew.