Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com Reiland Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com Reilander Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com Reilander Pickups
Join TDPRI Today

FINALLY: good clear pictures of the Teles Roger Sadowsky made for Prince.

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Blazer, Apr 29, 2016.

  1. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    40
    Dec 2, 2003
    The Netherlands
    [​IMG]
    Sadowsky with one of the FOUR Hohner-style guitars he made for Prince, He revealed that two of them were normal stage guitars the other two were sprayers with a Hose at the neck to simulate orgasm and spray the audience wet.

    He delivered the guitars in time for the rehearsals of the Purple rain album and subsequent tour. The instruments were used by both Prince and Wendy.

    Roger Sadowsky posted this on Facebook:

    "Dug through my photo archives and here are the only photos I have of the guitars I made for Prince back in the 80's. I was brought in just as they were beginning rehearsals for the Purple Rain tour and personally delivered every guitar to Minneapolis.

    First, I made two copies of his Hohner Tele as Hohner had discontinued the guitar at that time.

    Second, I made two more Hohner copies that ejaculated! In the Purple Rain movie, there is a scene where he climbs to the top of a huge mountain of speakers, grabs a guitar and masturbates the neck until the guitar ejaculates onto the audience. The guitar was a prop and connected to a tank of Ivory Liquid off stage. Prince wanted a fully playable guitar that could also ejaculate. I ran copper tubing along the side of the truss rod and it terminated at the tip of the head stock. On the body side, it terminated in a compartment we routed in the back so they could install their solenoid valve that connected to the tank of Ivory Liquid. I called these two guitars the Ejacucasters!

    The final two were two different T-style guitars, both purple with flowers."


    Here's the two floral teles.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Prince using the Purple Floral Sadowsky live.
     
    SunnySky, overlock, Iago and 3 others like this.
  2. Lefty Addams

    Lefty Addams Tele-Holic

    759
    May 6, 2012
    Essex, UK
    Fantastic thread! Beautiful teles right there for the purple maestro ..
     
    indiobravo likes this.
  3. blowtorch

    blowtorch Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    May 2, 2003
    Wisco
    ejacucasters, hahaha
     
    indiobravo and Doug 54 like this.
  4. Forum Sponsor Sponsored posting

  5. Dan Spiffy Neuman

    Dan Spiffy Neuman Tele-Meister

    Age:
    32
    440
    Apr 4, 2016
    Madison, WI
    Cant say I've ever seen Prince play the red pickguard version. But it explains why many of the copies have the red guards.
     
  6. CrisHendrix

    CrisHendrix Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 11, 2011
    Plano, TX
    I think that red tortoiseshell material was just a lot easier to find. Even Hohner used it when they re-released their Tele copy after the success of Purple Rain, the "Hohner Prinz". I'm guessing the leopard skin material was unavailable by that time or more costly to produce (each Hohner re-release seemed to be more cheaply made).
     
  7. WilburBufferson

    WilburBufferson Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 11, 2009
    Canada
    Any info on the pickups in these guitars? Or is that well-documented elsewhere? The pink one is fantastic!
     
  8. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    40
    Dec 2, 2003
    The Netherlands
    One of the reasons why Sadowsky got involved with this was that the roadcrew HATED the Hohner, the stock pickups were noisey and coupled with the boss pedals that Prince favored were a soundman's nightmare.

    The Hohner was first outfitted with a built in wireless and later with EMG electronics to quieten it down on stage.
    [​IMG]
    Prince Rocking the Hohner during the "Purple Rain" tour, note there's no lead from the plug socket and the backplate housing the wireless.

    One of the memos that Sadowsky got when building the Hohner copies was that they should be first grade guitars. And I'm pretty sure that he fitted them with top notch pickups although I have no idea what they were.
    [​IMG]
    Prince's guitars during the Grafiti Bridge tour, note that the Sadowski has been fitted with leopard motif pickguards that match the Hohner's.
     
    Lefty Addams likes this.
  9. jmclaren

    jmclaren Tele-Holic

    697
    Apr 21, 2004
    Southern California
    Sure looks like Strat pickups in those Sadowski's.
     
  10. radiomanjh

    radiomanjh Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 14, 2010
    Texas
    great info Blazer, thanks!
     
  11. Dan Spiffy Neuman

    Dan Spiffy Neuman Tele-Meister

    Age:
    32
    440
    Apr 4, 2016
    Madison, WI
    On Facebook, people have been posting video clips to Sadowski's page asking him if the guitars Prince are playing are one of his. So far every time he's responded it's been one of the original Hohners, he can tell "by the pattern and color of the tortoise guard". The Hohner with the built in wireless has been spotted. There was also a Hohner that squirted water. The two that Sadowski built squirted Ivory liquid soap. I asked what pickups were in his, I'll post back if he replies.
     
  12. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    40
    Dec 2, 2003
    The Netherlands

    Footage of the 1981 "Dirty Mind" era, showcasing the reason why the Sadowsky's came to be in the first place. The Hohner hums, screeches and splutters whenever Prince stomps on the distortion.

    I also noted no lead coming from the Hohner which means that it already had the built in wireless, EDIT: Yup during "Got a broken heart again"you can see the backplate as he takes his guitar off I guess that in 1981 the wireless units weren't as good as they would eventually become.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
  13. Dan Spiffy Neuman

    Dan Spiffy Neuman Tele-Meister

    Age:
    32
    440
    Apr 4, 2016
    Madison, WI
    I am downloading that video for later watching (along with every other Prince concert that's been posted). Not sure how long they'll remain up for.

    You raise an interesting question. There almost for sure had to be a different set of pickups in the Hohner(s) prior to the Kinmans. Takumi Suetsugu, Prince's longtime guitar tech, said he put the Kinmans in but Prince didnt like them so they didnt last long. He said before him someone installed a dummy single coil in the back to reduce noise, but it sounded terrible. The Hohner definitely sounded GREAT during the Purple Rain era, so what was in it at that time?

    Listening to the video you posted above while I type, and his distorted tone is definitely inferior to the Purple Rain era, but it sounds less to me like a pickup difference and more like an amp difference. His studio distorted tone also sounds more similar to the later stuff.

    I pick up my original Hohner (not a Mad Cat but made in Japan) tomorrow, I presume it should have a similar set of pickups. I'll be interested to compare it to others.
     
  14. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    40
    Dec 2, 2003
    The Netherlands
    Judging from what the footage of the early music videos show (the one from "Uptown" in particular) his backline back then were Fender amps.



    From "Purple Rain" onward, Prince used Boogies which probably does explain that rich overdriven tone he had. This footage of the "Purple Rain" tour showcase how awesome the Hohner could sound.


    Here's what his more recent backline was like.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    40
    Dec 2, 2003
    The Netherlands
    Anyway, here's a clip of both Prince and Wendy playing the Sadowsky guitars.


    Note the lead coming from Wendy's guitar and the fact that it doesn't have the sloping Hohner logo.
     
  16. Dan Spiffy Neuman

    Dan Spiffy Neuman Tele-Meister

    Age:
    32
    440
    Apr 4, 2016
    Madison, WI
    I've seen that graphic tossed around. Not sure if it's accurate or not, but the Lonestar is a GREAT sounding amp. When I've seen his live rig it had waaayyyy more Boss pedals than that, including a Metal Zone.

    I stand corrected, I HAVE seen him play that blue guitar before.

    I cant hardly make out Wendy's guitar but it does appear to have the red guards.
     
  17. warrent

    warrent TDPRI Member

    11
    Sep 15, 2009
    toronto
    Which version is Prince playing in this video?

    The recording of this concert was the basis for Purple Rain,Computer Blue, Lets Go Crazy and
    and I would die 4 U
     
  18. Dan Spiffy Neuman

    Dan Spiffy Neuman Tele-Meister

    Age:
    32
    440
    Apr 4, 2016
    Madison, WI
    My understanding is that has to be one of the originals, as none of the replicas had that pickguard.
     
  19. CrisHendrix

    CrisHendrix Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 11, 2011
    Plano, TX
    I think the 1st Ave performance would've been one of the originals, the Purple Rain tour that the copies were made for would've started over a year later.

    As far as the leopard pickguards, I'd have to wonder if his techs would've swapped them onto the Sadowsky copies. Prince was notorious for abusing his gear and throwing the guitars onstage, sometimes they would have to be rebuilt or used for spare parts.

    For pickups, from what I've seen his techs quoted it seems EMG comes up the most with mentions of Fender Noiseless and Kinman here and there, as well as some others he's tried over the years. On EMG's website they list him using EMG SA and EMG 85, I think this would've been his setup for the Cloud and Symbol guitars (I've heard the original Cloud used an EMG 81 in the bridge though).

    http://www.emgpickups.com/artist/index/view/id/75
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2016
  20. songtalk

    songtalk Friend of Leo's

    I would be willing to bet that in general he had single coils during the "great" years. I am sure he dabbled with noiseless stuff throughout the late 80s and early 90s but his typical tone is very much a product of single coil guitars.

    I owned the Kinman Broadcaster set and they didn't sound clean and clear at all so I took them out.

    Sound guys/feedback aside.
     
  21. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    40
    Dec 2, 2003
    The Netherlands
    No lead coming from the guitar, that's the original Hohner at work here. Note also during the solo of "Let's go crazy" that you can see the backplate.
    Edit: I was wrong about spotting the Prince's Mesa, it's actually BrownMark's Ampeg head, my bad.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2016
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.