A synth used by Prince on ‘Purple Rain’ album and tour is up for auction

It comes with handwritten labels from the Purple One himself

A keyboard used by Prince during the recording of his ‘Purple Rain’ album has gone up for auction.

According to Music Radar, the vintage Yamaha DX7 synthesiser was played by the late icon on the classic 1984 record and its subsequent live tour.

Handwritten preset labels including “Kiss LP”, “Dope Drum” and “Another LP1” still remain intact on the piece of kit.

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The keyboard will go under the hammer on the RR Auction website tomorrow (June 18), and is estimated to bring up to $25,000 (£19,950). Other items on offer include an E-mu EMAX sampler, a signed ‘Purple Rain’ album, handwritten lyrics and a sketchbook.

Former Paisley Park Studios sound engineer Shane T. Keller is the current owner of the Yamaha DX7, having purchased it back in 1995. Prince was at that time in the midst of a dispute with his label Warner Bros, and is said to have been looking to fund his 1996 Japanese tour.

“I said I needed a sampler, and [Stuart White, tour manager] replied that I could buy his [Prince’s] EMAX II,” Keller recalled to Music Radar. “I also wanted a keyboard to trigger the sampler. I knew I wouldn’t be able to get a newer keyboard, but I was aware of Prince’s old keyboard in the band tech room on the very back shelf.”

Keller added: “When we were working on the ‘Purple Medley’, Prince asked me, ‘Can you get my DX7?’. I had to look for it, so that is how I knew where it was later in the year during the fire sale.

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“His handwriting is all over it, and he assumed ownership of it when I brought it into Studio A. Indeed, it was his, and I saw him play it.”

Earlier this month, a ‘cloud’ guitar used by Prince on his ‘Purple Rain’ tour also went up for auction.

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