New Book Highlights Producer/Musician’s Six Decade Journey in Rock and Roll
With his debut book release, If You See Me: My Six Decade Journey in Rock and Roll, veteran producer, songwriter, and musician Pepé Willie teams with co-author Tony Kiene to give a thorough account of his six-decade journey in rock and roll. From the emergence of New York’s R&B scene in the 60s to the increasing popularity of the Minneapolis Sound and the rise of the legendary icon Prince in the 1980s, If You See Me shares Pepé’sfirst-hand account of how he got his start in the music business. If You See Me: My Six Decade Journey in Rock and Roll is available at major online book retailers.
A founding member of the 1970s Minneapolis-based funk band 94 East, Pepe’ always had a natural interest in and talent for writing and producing music. Known as the “Godfather of the Minneapolis Sound,” Pepé’s influence was integral to several emerging musicians seeking to make a name for themselves. Using the knowledge he’d gained during his music career, Pepé served as a mentor who played a considerable part in the early success of musicians like Prince, Morris Day, André Cymone, and many others.
As a child, Pepé’s exposure to the music business inspired his interest in learning more about the industry. His uncle was a founding member of Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame’s, Little Anthony, and The Imperials. While working with Little Anthony and The Imperials, Pepé would routinely run errands for the Artists that played at the infamous Brooklyn Fox and Paramount Theatre Holiday shows, including the entire Motown roster, sit in on recording sessions, and attend gigs at popular concert venues, including the famous Copa Cabana club in New York. These experiences helped him cultivate his skillset, which he would later share with others seeking success in the music business.
Published by The Minnesota Historical Society Press, If You See Me: My Six Decade Journey in Rock and Roll has received exciting feedback. Music industry professionals and pop culture enthusiasts are eager to read the story of Pepé’s success and friendship with the late musician Prince. In the book, Pepé shares how he met Prince and several stories about the legendary musician’s undeniably unique talent for playing instruments, especially the guitar.
Pepé Willie has shared similar stories in several documentaries and interviews highlighting Prince’s life and music career, but Pepé’s If You See Me offers a deeper perspective into the ever-changing culture of the music business from the 1960s and beyond. Pepé’s six-decade journey is impeccable, offering timeless guidance and mentorship to ambitious artists.
About Pepé Willie
Pepé Willie is a producer, songwriter, musician, mentor, and consultant. He currently works out of Minneapolis with his own company, Pepé Music Inc. His record label, Reo Deo, released a 35th Anniversary CD with his group, 94 East, titled The Cookhouse Five (April 2011). This historical CD of 5 songs featuring Prince on guitar marks the first time Prince ever recorded in a studio. The Cookhouse Five CD was accepted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s newest facility, The Library, and Archives, in Cleveland, Ohio. For more information on Pepé Willie, visit his website.