If you’re looking for a book about Prince the musician, this isn’t it: The Most Beautiful — an achingly lovely memoir by Prince’s first wife and longtime muse, Mayte Garcia — is about Prince the man, the friend, the lover, and the husband. It’s a heartbreaking inside look at the tortured side of genius that most of us are never allowed to see, and it belongs on the shelf next to the definitive Prince bios. Below, some of our favorite stories:
When she first stepped into Prince’s hotel room, she discovered it had been transformed with rugs candles, flowers, veil, great swaths of linen. “This is called ‘foo foo,’ I learned later, and Prince had a staff member dedicated to it. Wherever Prince went, it was the foo-foo master’s job to go ahead of him and make sure the hotel suite would be a place where he could feel at home.”
“When Prince and I were first hanging out — not yet lovers, just friends, and collaborators — he got it into my head that I should change my name to Arabia.” She finally had to tell him, “No. That would not be cool. My mom would kill me.”
Because he got mobbed when shopping, Prince believed in what Garcia called the “fast and plenty” approach. “We drove down Melrose in a limo, and at each place… Prince would bolt in and out before the people inside knew what was happening. So I followed suit. No time to check out price tags. Just scope out the coolest clothes, grab whatever we want, and hand it to security on the way out.”
Prince kept an entire wardrobe staff at Paisley Park to work on his outfits: pattern makers, cutters, seamstresses. “He had a lot of input into the design process. He’d tear pages from magazines and instruct the designer to recreate the bodice detail from this dress and the cuff from that shirt and a collar from something Errol Flynn wore in Captain Blood.” He also liked to steal her clothes: “If I bought a pair of amazingly cool tailored pants or a hot jacket, he’d take them to wardrobe, have the pants hemmed up, and tell them to put shoulder pads in the jacket so he could wear them.” His massive walk-in closet was arranged by color, “beginning with black and then brown, red, and an amazing array of purple, indigo, and blue.”
“Prince’s house was repainted a different color on a regular basis, and a new car… was custom painted to match it. The last week of December 1990, the first time I visited him at the house that would eventually be our home, the exterior was electric blue and rose-hip pink. Two years later, I arrived to find it canary yellow with purple accents.”
Read more at EW.