Jim Irsay Purchased Prince’s Iconic “Yellow Cloud” Guitar

Prince’s iconic “Yellow Cloud” guitar has a new owner. Is it John Mayer? Nope. What about Niles Rodgers or another famous guitarist? Nope. It’s an NFL owner. (Of course)

Jim Irsay won his bid for $137,500 at an auction in Beverly Hills over the weekend.



Now, as musicians, we normally are against rich guys buying guitars that they’ll never play. However, Irsay is a serious collector and he plays.


Here’s a quick rundown from Guitar World:

Of course, $137,500 hardly seems a bargain—unless you consider what else is in Irsay’s collection. He paid considerably more in February 2015 when he dropped $343,750, including commission, for Les Paul’s Black Beauty.

But that was nothing compared to the small fortune he’s spent on Beatles gear in recent years. A keen collector of the group’s instruments, Irsay paid $567,500 for George Harrison’s cherry-red 1964 Gibson SG and $408,000 for a 1966 Vox Kensington prototype guitar once owned by John Lennon.

His other auction prizes include Lennon’s 1964 Rickenbacker 325 Fireglo “Beatle Backer” ($910,000), Jerry Garcia’s custom Doug Irwin Tiger ($957,500), and Bob Dylan’s 1964 Fender Stratocaster, which the folk-rock legend played at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival for his infamous electric set ($965,000).

But even those prices pale in comparison to the $2.125 million Irsay paid last November for Ringo Starr’s drum head with the Beatles logo, seen during the group’s 1964 performances in the U.S., and the $2.2 million he dropped the following month for Starr’s first 1963 Ludwig Oyster Black Pearl three-piece drum kit, purchased at the same auction where he bought Lennon’s Beatle Backer.

From the auction listing: “This guitar, like everything about the enigmatic virtuoso, is uniquely Prince,”


“Mr. Irsay is delighted this historical instrument will reside with many others,” Chris McKinney, the curator of Irsay’s 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.”

One interesting note: Prince snapped the neck of the instrument in 1994, former guitar tech Zeke Clark tells NBC News, but the auction house says it was expertly repaired.

Let’s hope he has as much “luck” with the repaired Andrew, because he’s about to have to pay A LOT more for that piece of his collection.

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