October 20, 2020 (Updated 12/4/2020) – Julien’s Auctions – an auction house based out Los Angeles, C.A. will auction off guitars built and played by Eddie Van Halen. The auction, dubbed “Icons And Idols: Rock ‘N’ Roll” takes placed on Friday, December 4th and Saturday, December 5th, 2020.
A press release by the auction house reads as follows:
Our “Icons & Idols: Trilogy” takes place across first weekend of December with “Icons & Idols: Rock ‘N’ Roll” taking center stage. The event will span over 700 historic artifacts featuring some of the most iconic memorabilia and important artifacts ever assembled, representing legendary music artists crossing over every genre, including Kurt Cobain, Nirvana, Prince, Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Little Richard, Johnny Cash, Jim Morrison, the Rolling Stones, Queen, David Bowie, The Police, Guns N’ Roses, Bob Marley, Elton John, Whitney Houston, Cher, and many more. all taking place on Saturday, December 4th and 5th, live in Beverly Hills and online at www.juliensauctions.com.
Also included in the auction are two Charvel™ Art Series guitars custom built, painted and autographed by Eddie Van Halen.
“Eddie Van Halen thrilled audiences with his virtuosic and electrifying guitar playing on his stripe designed electric guitars in his high energy performances while flying through the air. At center stage of this auction will be two of these important guitars custom designed and played by the lead guitarist and co-founder of the American rock band Van Halen.
Van Halen hand striped this 2004 EVH Charvel™ Art Series electric guitar with maple neck and fingerboard, Fender Stratocaster™ – style headstock numbered on the back #54, in the unique white and black abstract design in the style of his 1978 Van Halen I guitar. The front of the body is signed Eddie Van Halen, initialed VH 04 and inscribed in Van Halen’s hand San Antonio Texas / 9-28-04. This guitar also features an EVH humbucking pickup with evidence of a cigarette burn to the front. Accompanying the guitar are multiple photos of Van Halen hand-applying taped stripes to the guitar, photos of him playing the guitar on stage in San Antonio and an EVH hardshell case with a partly-smoked cigarette in a plastic vial. The EVH Charvel Art guitars are a limited-edition series of guitars inspired by Eddie Van Halen’s most famous guitars where each one has a unique body, designed by Van Halen himself. UPDATE: This guitar sold at auction for an amazing $140,800.
A customized electric guitar serial number F 0024 built by Van Halen with his guitar tech Matt Bruck at the guitarist’s 5150 home studio is another unique and personal favorite from the rock legend. Featuring a red body with white and black stripes designed and applied by Van Halen, the guitar features a maple neck and fingerboard with dot inlays, pointed Kramer headstock with Kramer machine heads, single humbucker pickup and Floyd Rose tremolo (seen in photo right). In 1991, the guitar was gifted to Van Halen’s close friend Bryan Cush, the owner of Cush’s Centenary Oyster House in Shreveport, LA. It is inscribed “Yo – Bryan Let’s get shucked up -Eddie Van Halen -5150″ and was displayed at the bar where it was played by Van Halen when he visited. The guitar also includes a white Van Halen guitar pick and 2 backstage passes, one labelled Bertinelli Guest. Both guitars are estimated to sell each between $40,000 – $80,000. UPDATE: This guitar sold at auction for a whopping $231,250.
Even a movie prop attached to Van Halen sold well at the auction. A scaled down non playing version of an Eddie Van Halen red, black and white striped prop guitar, used by child actor Bryan Hitchcock playing a young Eddie Van Halen in the iconic VAN HALEN music video to their hit “Hot For Teacher” scored top grades at the auction with a winning bid of $50,000.
Van Halen, with lead guitarist Eddie Van Halen, his brother and drummer Alex Van Halen, bassist Michael Anthony and singer David Lee Roth, shot to rock superstardom soon after the release of their 1978 self-titled debut album. Van Halen dominated the music charts throughout the ‘80s with their classic hits, “Runnin’ with the Devil,” “Unchained,” “Hot for Teacher,” “Panama” and “Jump” and played to sold out arenas around the world throughout the decade and into the ‘90s with singer Sammy Hagar. From his star making guitar solos on Van Halen’s “Eruption” to his now iconic contribution to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It,” the charismatic songwriter and musician is deified as one of the greatest guitarists in rock history and is worshipped by legions of fans, fellow musicians and critics alike. Van Halen was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. The beloved pop culture icon died on October 6, 2020 at the age of 65 after a long battle with cancer.”
“As we were preparing for our annual Icons & Idols: Rock and Roll auction lineup, we were stunned to hear the sad news of Eddie Van Halen’s passing last week,” said Darren Julien, President/Chief Executive Officer of Julien’s Auctions. “We are honored to include at this event two iconic guitars from his brilliant and blazing career as one of rock’s greatest and most gifted guitar heroes. His instruments join their rightful place among other rock royalty items from Kurt Cobain, Michael Jackson, Aerosmith and many others we look forward to announcing in the coming weeks.”
Other auction highlights include: Kurt Cobain’s stage played and smashed black Fender Stratocaster guitar used on Nirvana’s 1994 In Utero Tour:
You can view the items for sale in person beginning on November 30th – Friday, December 4th, 2020
Daily: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. Bidding begins on December 4th at 10 AM.
You can bid on the items in the auction here.
You can read the full results of the auction here.
Have you ever bid on an online auction for guitars before (not including Ebay, etc?) If so, did you win the auction? Feel free to post a pic of the item(s) and tell us about it.