Julien’s to auction two Eddie Van Halen guitars

Posted by on October 20, 2020

Julien’s Auctions



Two of Eddie Van Halen’s guitars are headed to auction in December. Julien’s Auctions has announced Monday that the instruments will be headlining their Icons & Idols Trilogy: Rock ‘N’ Roll event, set to happen December 4 & 5 at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills and online. 

“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,” reads the press release. “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.” 

The first guitar up for auction is Van Halen’s hand-striped 2004 EVH Charvel Art Series electric guitar. As described by the press release, the instrument features “a maple neck and fingerboard, Fender Stratocaster-style headstock numbered on the back #54, [a] unique white and black abstract design in the style of his 1978 Van Halen I guitar, is signed ‘Eddie Van Halen,’ initialed ‘VH 04’ and inscribed in Van Halen’s hand ‘San Antonio Texas / 9-28-04,’ and features an EVH humbucking pickup with evidence of a cigarette burn to the front.” Also included in the lot are photos of Van Halen applying stripes to the guitar and playing it in San Antonio, and an EVH hardshell case with a half-smoked cigarette in a plastic vial still inside.

The second instrument is a customized electric guitar built by Van Halen and guitar tech Matt Bruck. One of Van Halen’s personal favorites, it features a red body with black and white stripes (applied himself), a “maple neck and fingerboard with dot inlays, pointed Kramer headstock with Kramer machine heads, single humbucker pickup and Floyd Rose tremolo.” Gifted to his friend Bryan Cash in 1991, it has been prominently displayed in Cash’s Schreveport, LA restaurant Centenary Oyster House for years and played by Van Halen when visiting. The guitar is signed “Yo – / Bryan / Let’s get / shucked / up / Eddie Van Halen / 5150.” That lot also includes “a white Van Halen guitar pick” and a pair of backstage passes, one of which says “Bertinelli Guest.”

Each of the guitars is expected to bring in between $40,000 and $80,000. 

News of the auction comes just a couple of weeks after Van Halen’s tragic death on October 6. Said President and Chief Executive Officer of Julien’s Auctions Darren Julien, “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. 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.” (The donations were presumably made before his passing).

Some of the featured items mentioned in the press release include a guitar played by Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain that was smashed during a 1994 show at Palais Omnisport de Rennes in Rennes, France during the ‘In Utero’ tour, a white nylon right-hand glove with a silver-tone metal hook, entirely adorned with hand-sewn Swarovski crystals worn by Michael Jackson during his ‘Victory’ tour, a black Kaimin PVC jacket worn by Lady Gaga in the promotional videos and photos for her Haus Laboratories make-up brand, Aerosmith’s Moonman for Viewers’ Choice Award for the single “Cryin’” from the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards, David Bowie’s annotated manuscript from his U.S. Tour IV, a cocktail dress worn by Madonna and Elvis Presley’s black cotton macrame Zodiac signs belt, among hundreds of other items from music’s most influential figures. 

Items from the ‘Icons & Idols Trilogy: Rock ‘N’ Roll’ event will be open to the general public for viewing starting November 30 at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills, CA. The live auction will take place both in person and online on December 4 and 5. More information about the event and bidding registration can be found on the Julien’s website.

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