Paul McCartney’s bass and Eddie Vedder’s Telecaster break world records in Music Rising charity auction

Electric guitars and bass guitars
(Image credit: Van Eaton Galleries)

Van Eaton Galleries’ huge Guitar Icons charity auction came to a close over the weekend, raising over $2 million in total for the Music Rising charity thanks to some record-smashing sales.

Highlights from the event, which was organized by U2’s the Edge and producer Bob Ezrin, include Paul McCartney’s tour- and studio-played Yamaha BB-1200 “Wings” bass guitar, which raked in $496,100.

Paul McCartney bass guitar

Paul McCartney's tour and studio-played Wings Yamaha BB-1200 (Image credit: Van Eaton Galleries)

It was the first record-breaking bid of the night, and overtook Bill Wyman’s 1969 Fender Mustang bass – which sold in 2020 for $384,000 – as the most expensive bass ever to be sold at auction.

McCartney’s bass was joined in the record book by Eddie Vedder’s concert-smashed Lake Placid Blue Fender Telecaster, which sold for $266,200 – a figure that broke the record for the most expensive smashed six-string.

Fender Telecaster

Eddie Vedder's concert-smashed Fender Telecaster (Image credit: Van Eaton Galleries)

A fair share of the Edge’s own instruments featured on Van Eaton Galleries’ bill, with his I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For Custom Strat selling for $496,100 and his Music Rising ONE guitar fetching $184,525.

The Edge’s U2 bandmates Bono and Adam Clayton had also donated guitars to the cause – a tour-played Gibson ES-175 and Fender Precision Bass – which sold for $266,200 and $78,650, respectively.

Other non-U2-related highlights include Coldplay’s Chris Martin’s tour-played custom-painted Fender Telecaster Deluxe, which went for $81,070, and Noel Gallagher’s $51,425-priced Nash Telemaster.

Lou Reed’s “Goldie” Danny Gatton Fender Telecaster and Lenny Kravitz’s Gibson Custom Shop Flying V each added a cool $72,600 and $42,350 to the tally, respectively, while one bidder scooped up a Bruce Springsteen-signed ‘50s Fender Telecaster for $72,600.

Of the event, the Edge commented, “We want to thank everyone involved in this amazing auction including the artists who generously gave their personal instruments and the bidders from around the globe who helped us break world records. 

“The proceeds Music Rising earned will help bring live music back to life in a part of the country whose musical culture has been hugely influential in the world,” he continued. “We are indebted to all of the supporters of Music Rising who have given us a great opportunity to return to our roots and help those musicians in need.”

Ezrin added, “We are so thankful to all of the artists, supporters and bidders who helped make Guitar Icons an auction for the history books. New Orleans musicians are the custodians of a unique music heritage, passing it down through the generations and influencing so many genres of music we enjoy. 

“The proceeds from this auction will help musicians from the region who suffered financially through this pandemic.”

To find out more, head over to the Guitar Icons page on Van Eaton Galleries.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.