U.S. District Judge Blocks Prince’s Unpublished Music

4180ca67-822d-4873-a645-6a2d474e671a-large16x9_PrinceCDA federal judge has blocked a sound engineer from releasing unpublished music by Prince after the late superstar’s estate objected.

George Ian Boxill worked with Prince on five tracks in 2006, and made at least one recording – called “Deliverance” – available Wednesday for online sales. Prince’s estate and Paisley Park Enterprises sued to block it.

U.S. District Judge Wilhelmina Wright late Wednesday granted a temporary restraining order to stop the songs’ release, and ordered Boxill to deliver the recordings to the estate. Wright said she would schedule a hearing later on a preliminary injunction.

The estate’s lawsuit said Boxill signed a 2004 confidentiality agreement that the recordings would remain Prince’s sole property. Prince sings and plays guitar and keyboard on the tracks.

One visit to the sprawling Minnesota recording complex that Prince called home may not be enough.

Paisley Park, in the Minneapolis suburb of Chanhassen, opened as a museum in October, just six months after the “Purple Rain” megastar died there of a painkiller overdose. Prince left behind more than 7,000 artifacts, including costumes and shoes, and more than 121 guitars and instruments.

Paisley Park spokesman Mitch Maguire said the Oscar- and seven-time Grammy Award-winning musician did archivists a favor because he would “seemingly hang onto everything.” That allows the museum to switch archival pieces out, so fans coming back for tours will have a new experience.

For members of Prince’s 1980s backing band The Revolution, reuniting and hitting the road for a spring U.S. tour is how they are coping with the “Purple Rain” pop superstar’s unexpected death a year ago.

“We’re taking it to the people who are grieving like we are, and letting them have a little bit of relief,” guitarist Wendy Melvoin, sitting on a couch with other members of the band during a break at their Minneapolis rehearsal space, said Wednesday.

When Prince died of an accidental painkiller overdose, members of The Revolution were mourning at a Minneapolis hotel and made an impromptu video, promising to reunite for shows honoring their one-time flamboyant front man. After three sold-out shows at the fabled First Avenue nightclub (the setting of Prince’s hit 1984 movie “Purple Rain”) in September, The Revolution is back, preparing to kick off a tour Friday at Paisley Park in the Minneapolis suburb of Chanhassen on the anniversary of Prince’s death.

The tour includes stops in Chicago, Washington, D.C., New York, Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles and San Francisco before ending in Seattle on July 15.

Melvoin is joined by bassist BrownMark, keyboardists Matt Fink and Lisa Coleman, and drummer Bobby Z. The reunited Revolution plans to play Prince’s synthesizer-heavy 1980s music through his lauded 1987 double album “Sign o’ the Times.”

“We have the ability now to give people a glimpse of what we experienced with him,” BrownMark said. “And I think that’s a powerful thing. I know it helped me heal.”

While Prince had a reputation as a perfectionist, members of The Revolution remember the good times goofing in the studio.

“We had fun. We had a lot of fun. Sometimes we would be rehearsing and we’d crack up, we’d just laugh for an hour, cracking jokes,” BrownMark recalls.

“We’d go play softball,” keyboardist Fink said. “‘OK, we’re not going to rehearse today, let’s go play softball.'”

After years of recording and touring with The Revolution, Prince “did what any boss would do and just put it (the band) to bed,” Bobby Z. said.

“That intense run we had, all those years, it was starting to come apart at the seams, with personalities and under that kind of pressure, just like human beings do, and he just kind of made a decision,” the drummer said. “And he wanted to move on as basically a solo artist with a backing band, no disrespect. But this was a band he was a very critical member of.”

Whether The Revolution will continue beyond this tour is an open question.

“We’d love to be able to see if there are some legs with this,” Melvoin said.

 

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