Prince's unique musicianship was mirrored and enabled by the ornate guitars he used. Luthier Andy Beech of D'haitre Guitars in Bellingham, Washington is behind many of them. Beech designed 31 instruments for the late musicians including his famous "Cloud" guitar and "Symbol" guitar.
"I feel unbelievably privileged," Beech said while showing how the specialized instrument was constructed. "When I did this many years ago, when I started doing this, he only took somebody's word that I was capable of doing." Prince was involved with the process of crafting the guitars, said Beech.
The particular structure of Beech's guitars made them as much tools as they were showpieces. He most famously utilized its shape at the Super Bowl halftime show in 2007, which left Beech "breathless" and "screaming at the TV."
As integral as Beech was to Prince's music, the luthier never met the Purple One. "I had the opportunity several times to go down there," he said. "I had good friends working for him. That opportunity, sadly, will never be available to me again."