Posts Tagged ‘Prince’

A guitar used by Prince on his ‘Purple Rain’ tour is expected to fetch over £1 million when it goes to auction next week.

LOT386 OF 805:PRINCE OWNED AND PLAYED ORIGINAL CLOUD 2 “BLUE ANGEL” GUITAR, 1984 – WITH ROADCASE, MAGAZINE AND PHOTO

The custom electric blue instrument was one of four ‘cloud’ guitars used between 1984 and 1985 in support of the ‘When Doves Cry’ hitmaker’s seminal sixth studio album.

It was also used throughout the ‘Parade’ tour in 1986, the ‘Sign o’ The Times’ tour in 1987, and was the primary guitar Prince used throughout the ‘Lovesexy’ tour between 1988 and 1989.

The guitar was thought to be lost when it disappeared in the 90s until it was found last year. The owner was given it by Prince but was not aware of its exact history.

A description on Julien’s Auctions site reads: “The guitar, currently painted an electric blue finish, has been refinished a number of times, but began white. The guitar has also been painted and used by Prince as peach, light blue, and yellow. The guitar neck is cracked from between the 6th and 7th frets up to the headstock.

“From 1984 until the time that Andy Beech began making Cloud guitars for Prince in 1993, this was Prince’s primary performance Cloud guitar. The Guitar is accompanied by a custom purple Calzone case with stenciled labeling identifying this as ‘C1’ and listing the address for Paisley Park.”

Martin Nolan of Julien’s told Fox News: “The owners of the other three Cloud guitars won’t be selling soon so this opportunity may never come up again.

He added that he expects it to fetch over $1million when it goes to auction, but “there is no ceiling to how well it could do.”

As for the whereabouts of the other three ‘cloud’ guitars, one was handed out as a prize in a competition, one is privately owned and the other sits in Smithsonian Museum in New York.

As the highlight of Julien’s Auctions ‘Music Icons’ auction taking place June 19th-20th, Prince’s ‘cloud’ guitar can be bid on here.

The guitar, currently painted an electric blue finish, has been refinished a number of times, but began white. The guitar has also been painted and used by Prince as peach, light blue, and yellow. The guitar neck is cracked from between the 6th and 7th frets up to the headstock. From 1984 until the time that Andy Beech began making Cloud guitars for Prince in 1993, this was Prince’s primary performance Cloud guitar. Guitar is accompanied by a custom purple Calzone case with stenciled labeling identifying this as “C1” and listing the address for Paisley Park.

A detailed timeline of this guitar and its many finishes is provided below. It is important to note that this is the only Cloud guitar that was painted the lighter blue/teal color giving it the nickname “Blue Angel.”

  • The guitar was created for and used throughout the Purple Rain Tour (1984-1985)
  • Used throughout the Parade Tour (1986)
  • Used throughout the Sign o’ The Times Tour (1987)
  • Appeared in the 1987 music documentary “Sign o’ The Times” and it is featured on the poster for the film
  • It is the primary guitar Prince used throughout the Lovesexy Tour (1988-1989)
  • Prince played this guitar on September 24, 1989 when he appeared on the Saturday Night Live 15th Anniversary Special and performed “Electric Chair.” The guitar featured Batman fingerboard decals at that time.
  • Appeared on September 1991 Spin magazine cover, a copy of the magazine is included with this lot.
  • Used at the September 5, 1991 MTV Video Music Awards when he performed “Get Off.”
  • September 9, 1991 Prince appeared on the Arsenio Hall show for a now legendary performance of five songs on stage for over 20 minutes throughout the show. He played this guitar for the opener “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Cream,” and “Purple Rain
  • Used in the music videos for “Get Off” and “Cream”
  • Used throughout the Diamonds and Pearls Tour (1992)
  • It is not simply a play on words to say that the history of Prince Cloud guitars has, to this point, been a bit nebulous. This is due in large part to the many conflicting and inaccurate accounts floating around the internet.

There were a great number of later copies of the Cloud commissioned by Prince that, to the casual observer, are a close match to the originals; by design. It doesn’t help that Prince was a perpetually evolving artist whose instruments are reminiscent of the Emerald City of Oz horses of a different color that cycled through the colors of the rainbow.

All of this is set against the background of a virtual revolving door of guitar techs who worked with Prince throughout his long career. Unlike some prominent guitarists who employ one guitar tech for decades at a time, techs generally didn’t last long with Prince. One story relayed by a former tech tells of hash marks on the warehouse walls to mark the number of days each tech would last, and some reportedly chalked up only one mark. Therefore, there is no single person with continuity from the time this guitar was made until this guitar has come to market that can trace the entire history of this instrument from start to finish.

A teenage Prince shopping his demo tape around New York City in 1976 to an artist that had not only secured a record deal, but an artist that had already released five albums, For You (1978), Prince (1979), Dirty Mind (1980), Controversy (1981), and 1999 (1982), all achieving critical and commercial success. It was on the wave of this success that Prince embarked on his most ambitious project to date, Purple Rain. The script called for a guitar in a shop window that would serve as “The Kid’s” object of desire. For this, Prince enlisted the help of legendary Minneapolis guitar shop Knut Koupeé Music. According to all accounts, Prince brought his Sardonyx bass, and explained that he would like to commission a guitar version of the instrument in white, with EMG pickups and gold hardware for use in his upcoming film.

Prince very clearly understood the fact that this guitar would become an iconic symbol of his brand with the release of the film, and he sought to protect it, reserving the right to own the design and trademark for himself. With this legal document in place, Knut Koupeé set to building the second Cloud guitar. This guitar was again built from parts purchased from the O’Hagan company, but this time an O’Hagan Nightwatch would become a Cloud.