Published: June 27, 2016
BEVERLY HILLS, CALF. — Prince’s unique, innovative, personally-owned and played Yellow Cloud electric guitar sold for $137,500 in Heritage Auctions’ Entertainment and Music Memorabilia Auction on June 25.
The guitar was purchased by Jim Irsay, owner and CEO of the Indianapolis Colts and purveyor of one of the world’s finest collections of historical instruments. Prince’s solid body, made-to-order, instrument will join other guitars owned and played by the likes of Jerry Garcia, John Lennon, Bob Dylan and Ringo Starr, among others.
“Mr. Irsay is delighted this historical instrument will reside with many others,” said Chris McKinney, curator of rare guitars and collectables, The Irsay Collection. “The collection is about preserving pieces of music history and this guitar will join those used by some of the world’s greatest musicians—of which Prince certainly deserves a place of honor.”
Designed in the shape and style Prince made famous, this was the superstar’s instrument of choice for his hours-long concerts performed from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s. The pop star died April 21, 2016, at his Paisley Park home in Minnesota. “This Yellow Cloud guitar was Prince’s main guitar and used in most of his early videos and touring performances and album recordings,” according to Zeke Clark’s letter of authenticity, which accompanied the guitar. “In 1994 he broke the neck of this guitar at a French T.V. show. After returning to [United States], I repaired neck and installed the first Floyd Rose set up Prince ever played … [a]nd then used in recording more albums, up until the symbolic guitar was born.”
“I hope the new owner appreciates it as much as I did,” said Richard Lecce, the former owner of the guitar. “It would be wonderful if it could be shared with the world in some way so that other people can enjoy it as both a work of art and a piece of music history.”
More Prince memorabilia also generated strong bidder interest, and a review of the entire auction will appear in a future issue. The price given includes the buyer’s premium. For further information, 877-437-4824 or www.ha.com.
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