The world continues to reel from the death of guitar legend Eddie Van Halen in early October. The game-changing musician left behind a legacy of both technical ability and inimitable style which no one may ever replicate. Now, it appears that the world has Van Halen fever, as a lot of Eddie’s guitars recently sold at auction for a whopping $422,000.
According to Rolling Stone, Eddie’s guitars were sold as part of Julien’s Auctions’ Icons & Idols: Rock ‘n’ Roll event (the same event at which a kitchen sink signed by the members of Tool was auctioned off to aid Ronnie James Dio’s cancer charity).
Most coveted among the guitars in this event were the variations on Eddie’s signature Frankenstrat. The customized Kramer electric guitar that Eddie Van Halen built with his guitar tech Matt Bruck at his home studio went for an unbelievable for $231,250. Meanwhile, Eddie’s 2004 EVH Charvel Art Series electric guitar was finally sold for $140,800. By comparison, the non-playing prop guitar used by child actor Bryan Hitchcock, who played a Lil’ Eddie Van Halen in the “Hot for Teacher” video, went for a paltry $50,000.
Eddie’s guitars weren’t the only piece of rock history that sold for big bucks. Two Fenders smashed by Kurt Cobain were sold for a combined $281,600, Bob Marley’s first guitar to ever be auctioned off went for $153,600, a mid-’60s Hammond organ played by Greg Allman went for $102,400, and the Octvaia pedal that Jimi Hendrix used on the live album Band of Gypsys got sold off at $70,400. Even the Tool sink sold — according to Julien’s, the kitchen fixture earned Ronnie James Dio’s Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund a hilarious $2,240.
We only hope that the resurgence in popularity Van Halen are seeing after Eddie’s tragic passing remains with us into 2021, and the world stays as aware of the guitarist’s legacy as it is at this moment.
Words by Chris Krovatin