Two Eddie Van Halen Custom Guitars Are Hitting the Auction Block

Eddie Van Halen
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Eddie Van Halen performs onstage at the Aragon Ballroom, Chicago on April 6, 1979.

Two iconic Eddie Van Halen-designed custom guitars -- including his legendary 2004 EVH Charvel Art Series instrument with the red, white and black stripes on the body and headstock -- are hitting the auction block next month. Julien's Auctions announced the sale on Monday (Oct. 19) as part of its upcoming (Dec. 4-5) "Icons & Idols Trilogy: Rock 'N' Roll" event, which will take place live at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills and online.

The auction will also feature artifacts and memorabilia owned and used by Kurt Cobain, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Lady Gaga, David Bowie, Aerosmith and more.

Julien's describes the 2004 instruments custom designed and played by the Van Halen guitarist, who hand-striped the EVH Charvel Art Series electric with a maple neck and fingerboard, as a "Fender Stratocaster-style headstock numbered on the back No. 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 with his full name, initialed VH 04 and inscribed in Van Halen’s hand "San Antonio Texas / 9-28-04." The guitar also features an "EVH humbucking pickup with evidence of a cigarette burn to the front." There are also a number of accompanying photos of Van Halen hand-applying the stripes to the guitar, as well as shots of him playing it on stage in San Antonio, as well as an EVH hardshell case with a partly-smoked cigarette in a plastic vial. Van Halen died on Oct. 6 at age 65 following a long battle with cancer.

The auction will also spotlight another EVH custom-designed electric guitar serial number F 0024 built by Van Halen with his guitar tech Matt Bruck at the guitarist's 5150 home studio, according to a release announcing the event. The instrument has a red body with white and black stripes designed and applied by Van Halen, with a maple neck and fingerboard with dot inlays, pointed Kramer headstock with Kramer machine heads, single humbucker pickup and Floyd Rose tremolo.

Van Halen gave the guitar to his friend Bryan Cash -- owner of Cash's Centenary Oyster House in Shreveport, Louisiana -- inscribing it with "Yo - / Bryan / Let's get / shucked / up / Eddie Van Halen / 5150." The guitar, which was displayed at the bar where it was played when Eddie visited, also includes a white Van Halen guitar pick and two backstage passes, one of which is labeled Bertinelli Guest, a reference to Van Halen's ex-wife, actress Valerie Bertinelli.

According to Julien's, both guitars are expected to sell for between $40,000-$80,000. "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,” said Darren Julien, president and CEO of Julien’s Auctions in a statement. "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 auction will also feature a black Fender Stratocaster played and smashed by Cobain during Nirvana's 1994 In Utero tour at a show at the Palais Omnisport de Rennes in Rennes, France, on Feb. 16, 1994 (estimate: $60,000 - $80,000); Michael Jackson’s white nylon right-hand glove with a silver-tone metal hook, covered in hand-sewn Swarovski crystals and worn by the late King of Pop during The Jacksons' 1984 Victory tour (estimate: $50,000 - $60,000); Lady Gaga’s black Kaimin PVC jacket worn in the video and photoshoot for her makeup brand, Haus Laboratories (estimate: $4,000 - $6,000); Aerosmith’s 1993 MTV Video Music Award Moonman for the Viewers’ Choice Award for the single “Cryin’,” (estimate: $10,000 - $15,000) and David Bowie’s U.S. Tour IV manuscript from his 1974 Diamond Dogs tour, with the lyrics to his songs performed on the tour and filled with handwritten notes by Bowie for the sound engineer (estimate: $20,000 - $30,000).

Other items for sale include Madonna's vintage nude cocktail dress with silver beads worn at the 1987 New York premiere of Who’s That Girl (estimate: $20,000 - $30,000) and Elvis Presley’s black cotton macrame zodiac signs belt (estimate: $30,000 - $40,000), plus more to be announced later.

Remembering Rock Legend & Guitar Hero Eddie Van Halen | Billboard News