I recently wrote about the Godin Acousticaster featured prominently in the Rock and Roll Love Affair video, so I’ve decided to follow up with some details about the distinctive purple heart shaped guitar that also features in the video – this time in the hands of the stunningly talented Andy Allo.
According to the Paisley Park Guitar and Bass book Prince set eyes on this guitar on tour in Japan. But its design originates from a specialist guitar manufacturer based in California called Daisy Rock Guitars. Daisy Rock’s mission statement is simple – to make guitars that encourage girls to pick them up and play.
Daisy Rock’s heart shaped guitar is called the Heartbreaker, and it was made available in two variants: “Debutante” which has a child-sized 22 1/2” scale length; and “Artist” which is a 24 3/4” scale length, much more suitable for adults.
I believe Daisy Rock originally started out making full sized guitars, but quickly adjusted their strategy and focussed on children’s guitars, so I presume that the Artist version pre-dates the smaller Debutante.
The Heartbreaker can be found in several colours – “Princess Purple”; “Pink Heart”; “Red Hot Red”; and “Black Heart” (not pictured). As well as the Artist and Debutante there is also a bass version available.
Both guitars feature a solid Basswood body, which helps to keep them light. Each have bolt on maple necks, with rose wood fingerboards inlayed with pearloid heart shaped fret markers. The larger of the two has a Duncan Designed humbucker pickup at the bridge and a single coil Duncan Designed Lipstick Tube pickup at the neck. These pickups are produced by Seymour Duncan for the mid to low end guitar market, and are manufactured in Korea rather than in the US like their premium range. By contrast The Debutante has a single unbranded humbucker.
For adult hands the Debutante is just too small to be comfortable. Given the lack of practicality, I presume that its appearance in the RnR Love Affair video is as a funky prop rather than an instrument that Andy Allo actually played. Inspection of tour footage and photos from the Welcome 2 America Tour (European leg) during which Andy joined Prince and the NPG there is no evidence of the guitar making an appearance.
The guitar featured in the Paisley Park Guitar and Bass book is the larger Artist model, easily identified by the additional neck pickup. It is much more comfortable to play, with the slight issue that the body of the guitar tends to easily slip off the players knee when playing seated.
Purple Heartbreakers rarely come up for sale on eBay and other sites, finding them takes perseverance. But when they do it is possible to pick them up for a bargain price as they are not commonly associated with Prince. This makes them perfect for collectors on a budget.