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Lot #5249
Prince Handwritten Rehearsal Notes from the 1988 Lovesexy Tour - From the Collection of Prince's Former Guitar Tech

Prince works over Lovesexy Tour rehearsal notes for the songs ‘Alphabet Street,’ ‘Positivity,’ and ‘Let’s Go Crazy’

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Prince works over Lovesexy Tour rehearsal notes for the songs ‘Alphabet Street,’ ‘Positivity,’ and ‘Let’s Go Crazy’

Exceptionally rare handwritten rehearsal notes by Prince from his 1988 Lovesexy Tour, which were almost certainly used by Prince for his performance at the Palatrussardi in Milan, Italy, on July 16, 1988. The notes, unsigned and penned in blue ballpoint on an off-white 6 x 8.25 sheet of Hilton International Milano guest stationery, provide detailed stage production and musical arrangements for the songs ‘Alphabet Street,’ ‘Positivity,’ and ‘Let’s Go Crazy,’ three songs from two of Prince's most popular albums of the 1980s: Lovesexy and Purple Rain. Given the inclusion of the chart-topping hit ‘Let's Go Crazy,’ this was likely towards the end of the show, as part of the encore. Prince begins with instructions regarding the end of “Alphabet Street,” writing “V, W, X, Y, Z,” “confusion,” and an elaborate doodle with musical notes, stars, an exclamation point, and a question mark. He writes “on the 1—whoosh > water sound,” and then segues with a direction to “End Positivity chords with sax while stage pumping dry ice, Yes signs flicker.” Prince concludes with a “Positivity edit,” clarifying lyrical queues “Raise yo hand 4 Pos[itivity]” and “Hold on 2 your soul.” “That would be the end,” he writes, and then closes with “Water sound and chords / NO sax as usual — water segues into LET'S GO CRAZY.” In fine condition.

Accompanied by a full letter of authenticity from REAL, and a letter of authenticity from Jeff Gold, the owner of Recordmecca and a former executive vice president/general manager of Warner Bros. Records, who worked closely with Prince during the 1990s and art directed numerous album covers for him, including Diamonds & Pearls, Love Symbol, and The Hits/The B-Sides. Gold affirms that he obtained these notes directly from Joel Bernstein, Prince’s former guitar technician, who also provides a signed letter of authenticity. Bernstein’s letter reads: “This letter is to authenticate Prince's handwritten rehearsal notes likely dating from his show at the Pala Trussardi in Milan, Italy, on July 16, 1988. On stationary from the Hilton International Milano hotel, Prince has noted the detailed changes he wanted to make during three songs: ‘Alphabet Street,’ ‘Positivity’ and ‘Let's Go Crazy.’ Prince only played ‘Positivity’ five times during the Lovesexy tour, and never with these other songs. As the set list for the July 16 show is undocumented, and he wrote these notes while in Milan, these notes almost certainly were for that show. I worked with Prince from 1987 through 1991, as his personal guitar technician for concerts and recording, and occasionally as his photographer. This period included, Sign O' The Times, Lovesexy, the Batman soundtrack, and My Name is Prince. This is from my personal collection."

Rehearsal notes by Prince are virtually unobtainable, with this rare handwritten sheet offering a unique glimpse into Prince's artistry and hands-on approach as a live performer during the 1988-1989 Lovesexy Tour, widely regarded as one of his creative peaks. A museum-quality Prince collectible of exceptional appeal and significance.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Marvels of Modern Music
  • Dates: #693 - Ended May 23, 2024

This item is Pre-Certified by Real
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