This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

1980s funk music and my high school in Minneapolis

If you were living on planet earth anytime during the 1980s and 1990s, you heard the Minneapolis funk music sound. I was living in Los Angeles at the time, and I don't recall that I paid much attention to it. But I have a personal connection to it, through my high school.

Most of my friends at Washburn High School in Minneapolis were musically-inclined. And most of them stayed in the old neighborhood, and got involved with the music business. It all started with a singer/songwriter who went to South High School, which isn't far from Washburn, who called himself Prince. Now he's the artist formerly known as Prince, or maybe he's Prince again, I haven't kept track.

And I didn't keep track of a lot of my high school friends. I was busy in California doing whatever I was doing, and didn't pay much attention to Minneapolis Funk Music. But now I'm trying to catch up.

None of my friends became so successful that I can drop their names at parties, or get people to ask in astonishment "you knew him in high school?", but the connection to Paisley Park (I'm gonna assume now that you know about Prince) is very interesting to me.

I've just been an ordinary working man (corporate graphic designer) so I have no personal experience with show biz. But I lived in LA, and I knew actors and musicians. And theirs is a world where success is difficult to measure, and is always fleeting. I tried not to think about it much, it always made me so sad, but I'm thinking about it now.

People involved with show business (from actors, to song writers, etc.) have to always be looking for their next gig, or their next project. It is very poor form to ask them about something they did yesterday, or ten years ago. Luckily, if they're famous enough, you find out that stuff on IMDB. But my friends never quite made it there.

The person that I am thinking about as I write is +Carlos Boyce Jr. . Yes, I knew him in high school. He was involved with the whole Minneapolis Funk Sound in the '80s and '90s, and is still active in the music business. He calls himself "The Song Doctor". Hopefully someday we can sit on a patio and talk about the old days. But if he is like my other high school friends, he won't want to talk about the past. He will want to talk about the future. You know, the next gig, the next project.

Carlos has been promising to visit me for years, and maybe he will. When he does, I'll ask him about the history of music in Minneapolis. I know that he won't want to talk about it, and would resent his life being "history", but maybe he will for me. I'll let you know.
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