The month of June started with music fans everywhere commemorating the would-be 61st birthday of pop legend Prince, and now his estate is releasing something extra special to cap off his birth month: replica versions of his renowned Cloud Guitar.
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Of all the instruments that Prince played throughout his career, the iconic Cloud Guitar has one of the most alluring and mysterious backstories. ? The Cloud first entered the public’s consciousness as the object of The Kid’s affection in Purple Rain, and the way Prince’s character in the film pines after the distinctive satin curves of the guitar as it sits in a display window speaks to just how mesmerized he was by this instrument. ? Prince first came across the model for the Cloud while browsing in a guitar shop with his childhood friend and first bassist, André Cymone, in the late 1970s when Prince was at the very beginning of his solo career. The two musicians were intrigued by the custom bass guitar with hand-carved curves and swirls, which resembled a classical instrument more than one you would see in the hands of a rock or funk musician. ? In 1983, when it came time for Prince to choose an instrument to play in his first film, he brought the Cloud bass to a young Minneapolis luthier named Dave Rusan, who worked at Prince’s favorite local guitar shop, Knut Koupee Music. Recreating the bass as a prop to use in the film took months, and only four copies of the original white Cloud Guitar were made by Rusan — but his Cloud Guitars laid the groundwork for one of the most intriguing stage instruments of the 1980s. ? Dave Rusan understood the signiﬁcance of a well-crafted guitar to an artist like Prince. “It’s so much more than just part of a costume. It’s a means of expression, power, identity,” he told Premier Guitar. ? Prince had the Cloud Guitar remade many times throughout his career in different colors and finishes, and the instrument re-emerged at several key points in his artistic evolution. Prince would call on the company @schecterguitarsofficial to repair his Clouds and manufacture new replicas for his use, including a run that was sold to fans on Prince’s HitnRun Tour. ? In recent years, the Schecter replicas of the iconic Cloud Guitar have only been available to purchase in-person at Paisley Park. But starting today, players around the world can purchase these exclusive, authentic Cloud Guitars from the Official Prince Store.
Coming in either blue or white, the new Cloud Guitar options are available for the first time online after previously being reserved exclusively for visitors of Paisley Park to purchase in-person. As history goes, Prince first came across The Cloud in the ’70s while perusing through a guitar shop with childhood friend/first bassist André Cymone, as stated by the official “PRINCESTAGRAM” above. The Purple Rain icon would later go on to get four custom version made in white — these were the only copies that existed at the time — and now it’s being brought to the masses by Schecter, the guitar company that repaired & made replicates of The Cloud during Prince’s historic career of touring and recording. This version, much like the original, is built from a mahogany body and a 3pc maple neck, runs an EMG 81 bridge pickup, EMG SA neck pickup and comes topped off fittingly with with the Love Symbols that are still synonymous with his artistry. For anyone looking to carry on the legacy of one music’s greatest talents to ever live, this rocking instrument is certainly the way to go.
Both Cloud Guitar options are available to pre-order for $1,750 USD right now on Prince.com, with shipments going out later this year in November. Get an up-close look below:
Images: The Prince Estate / Paisley Park Enterprises, Inc