Mark Bonde & Samantha McCarroll-Hyne
None of it was by design. How could it have been? There was no "Guidebook to Paisley Park" that I could purchase. The internet at the time was barely a thing, and there wasn't a YouTube video to watch. If I was to make the journey I would have to learn along the way. There were others on the path as well, making their trips to Paisley along side of me. We would share our perspectives with one another and speculate on what could happen next, but none of us knew where the road would go.
The fearless leader of this eclectic group of misfits was a superstar among superstars. He had a catalogue of music and a global following. He had done incredible things with his life by the time I had first visited Paisley Park. He had decided at some point that he was going to host parties for everyday people, inviting them to his place to listen to music and dance. It was a 'scene', and I became a part of it. Each experience would bring with it another story. These stories would piece themselves together over two decades and would weave themselves into me. They would inform my view of the world and shape my reality. I count myself blessed to have had them, to have seen what I've seen and been where I've been.
I miss Prince. His death was a heavy blow and very few understand the full impact. Writing has helped me process my grief and share my story with others. Collaborating with Samantha has helped bring more power to the words; like many things, the collaboration sprung up naturally and took a life of its own.
Peace and Be Wild.
Mark Bonde lives in North Minneapolis with his wife and two children. He is a member of Liberty Community Church and loves public speaking. He preaches each month at the Hennepin County Adult Corrections Facility Men's Section with his father.
Now age 24, Samantha has been a Prince fan for nearly 20 years, with Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic as her first album. Already a hardcore fan with an extensive bootleg collection, Samantha met Prince through Larry Graham at age 12, and their friendship continued to grow from there. She attended her first Prince arena show a year later on 7-7-7 at the Target Center. She became a regular at Paisley Park at age 19, attending 40 shows before Prince's passing almost three years later. In January 2016, Prince asked Samantha to distribute his final album, HitNRun Phase Two, through his new Peer 2 Peer distribution network. Since Prince's transcendence, Samantha has been working to preserve his legacy as a human and not just a musician through several different projects.
Samantha is writer, editor and website designer for People of Paisley Park. She lives in Minneapolis, and is currently working on several other Prince projects, including ones with Neal Karlen and Duane Tudahl.