LOS ANGELES (AP) — A bright yellow, uniquely shaped guitar used by Prince to perform such tunes as “Cream” and “Gett Off” is going up for auction.
Heritage Auctions is selling one of the late artist’s “yellow cloud” electric guitars beginning June 24 with an opening bid of $30,000. The guitar was one of several custom guitars Prince used in the 1980s and 1990s.
“I’ve been a Prince fan since I was a little kid, and that guitar always stuck out to me because it was super cool and stylish,” said current owner Richard Lecce, who bought it for about $30,000 over a year ago from Heritage Auctions.
The instrument features a serial number and comes with a letter of authenticity from Prince guitar technician Zeke Clark, who noted that the guitar’s neck was broken in France in 1994 and later repaired.
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“Unfortunately, as morbid as it is, when people pass, their items become more valuable,” Lecce said. “I think something as valuable as this could be too risky to continue to have in my possession.”
Lecce, who doesn’t play any musical instruments, said that other than posing for a few photos with the guitar when he first received it, he has kept it in pristine condition.
Prince employed other similarly shaped guitars in various colors. The instrument’s flowing form went on to become part of the musician’s iconic symbol.
Other items up for auction in Beverly Hills, California, include Prince record-sales awards and an original demo tape featuring the songs “Just as Long as We’re Together,” ”My Love Is Forever” and “Jelly Jam.”
Another “yellow cloud” guitar is currently on display at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.
Prince was found dead April 21 at age 57 in his Paisley Park recording complex in Chanhassen, Minnesota.
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang . His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/derrik-j-lang .