Two guitars custom-designed and played by Eddie Van Halen have sold at auction for a combined $372,050.
The Van Halen-built (with the help of his guitar tech, Matt Bruck) and 2004 EVH Charvel Art Series guitars went under the hammer as part of Julien’s Icons & Idols Trilogy: Rock 'N' Roll auction in Beverly Hills, CA.
The custom, Van Halen/Bruck-built guitar – constructed at Van Halen's 5150 home studio – sold for $231,250. It features a red body with white and black stripes designed and applied by Van Halen, plus a maple neck and fingerboard with dot inlays, a pointed Kramer headstock with Kramer machine heads, a single humbucker pickup, and a Floyd Rose tremolo.
Featuring the serial number F 0024, the guitar was gifted to Bryan Cash – the owner of Cash's Centenary Oyster House in Shreveport, Louisiana, where the instrument was displayed – in 1991. It's inscribed “Yo - / Bryan / Let's get / shucked / up / Eddie Van Halen / 5150.” It also includes a white Van Halen guitar pick and two backstage passes.
The 2004 EVH Charvel Art Series model, handstriped with the same design as the 1978 Van Halen guitar, sold for $140,800.
Featuring a maple neck and fingerboard, plus a Strat-style headstock numbered #54 on the back, it's signed by Van Halen, initialed "VH 04" and inscribed with “San Antonio Texas / 9-28-04.”
The guitar's EVH humbucking pickup features a noticeable cigarette burn, and it comes with multiple photos of the guitarist hand-applying taped stripes to the guitar, and playing the guitar on stage at that September 28, 2004 Van Halen show in San Antonio. It also comes with an EVH hardshell case featuring a partly smoked cigarette in a plastic vial. Talk about an authentic touch!
Also of note at the auction was the sale – for $50,000 – of the scaled-down, non-playable version of Eddie Van Halen's red, black and white striped prop guitar used by Bryan Hitchcock in the legendary "Hot for Teacher" video.
The guitar was sold with Hitchcock's 'Young Eddie' three piece outfit from the video – a white T-shirt with a "No Bozos" graphic print, a pair of Sergio Valente torn jeans and an Oleg Cassini denim vest – plus production documents from the video, including a script, three call sheets from the video shoot, a large color photograph of Hitchcock and Eddie Van Halen posing with their guitars at the shoot, and more.
Notably, Eddie Van Halen's son, Wolfgang, took to Twitter (opens in new tab) following the auction to emphasize that the guitars were not in possession of him nor anyone else in the Van Halen family, and that he had nothing to do with the sale.
The headline should read:“Three guitars that are striped were sold at an auction for charity.”They weren’t stage guitars.I had nothing to do with this.I don’t EVER plan on selling any of my father’s iconic guitars. The only place they’d possibly belong in is a museum. https://t.co/npM4TZKWYUDecember 3, 2020
“The headline [of a Blabbermouth story on the auction] should read: Three guitars that are striped were sold at an auction for charity,” Wolfgang wrote. “They weren’t stage guitars. I had nothing to do with this. I don’t EVER plan on selling any of my father’s iconic guitars. The only place they’d possibly belong in is a museum.”
For more info on the auction, stop by juliensauctions.com (opens in new tab).
Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.
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