Prince’s Yamaha DX7 Is for Sale at Auction
A Yamaha DX7 keyboard purchased by Prince in 1983 is currently up for sale at an auction, where it is estimated to sell for more than $25,000.
The synthesizer is one of 29 Prince-related items that RR Auction, and it comes from Shane T Keller, who worked at Paisley Park -- starting as a night receptionist and eventually becoming a recording engineer -- from 1991 until 1996. As Keller told MusicRadar, he bought it when Prince was offloading some old gear to raise money for his tour in support of The Gold Experience.
"Money was tight as Prince was in his battle with Warner Bros, so there was no outside money coming in for tour support,” he said. “Then de facto tour manager, Stuart White, told me about it in passing at the studio. I said I needed a sampler, and Stu replied that I could buy his EMAX II. 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."
“I knew where it was because he used it the spring before on the 'Purple Medley,'" Keller continued. "Stuart agreed, and I made the cash purchase of both the EMAX II and Prince's DX7. 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. 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."
A strip of masking tape on the back bears the words "Fink Main," suggesting that it had been used during by Revolution keyboardist Dr. Fink. Another strip of tape lists 23 algorithms, including settings for "Let's Work" and "Kiss," in Prince's handwriting.
Bidding for the instrument, which comes with a letter of authenticity from Keller, started at $2,500 and, as of press time, currently sits at $5,000. The auction ends this Thursday, June 18 at 7:00PM Eastern.