Up in smoke, a lifetime of memories for Minneapolis writer


Early this April, Minneapolis writer Neal Karlen lost nearly everything he owned when his apartment was engulfed in flames.

Among the items destroyed were countless irreplaceable collectables, ranging from a Sandy Koufax rookie baseball card to a signed Lenny Bruce check.

“I lost 95 percent of it,” Karlen said.

At the time of the fire Karlen was not home and with him was perhaps his most important possession--his laptop.

Karlen, who has written numerous Rolling Stone cover stories, is currently working on a book on music icon Prince. Over the years, Karlen developed a rapport with Prince and has on his laptop countless hours of never-before-heard recordings with the music legend.

“The first chapter is going to be his public death, the Eiffel tower glowing purple. The last chapter is going to be his private death, alone in an elevator, which I know was his greatest fear--dying alone,” Karlen said.

The book is due out in January.

Friends have set up a GoFundMe account for Karlen, which can be found here.


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