Wolfgang Van Halen criticizes EVH guitar auction: "The only place they’d possibly belong is in a museum"

Eddie Van Halen auction
(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

Three Eddie Van Halen electric guitars, including an EVH Charvel Art Series electric and a red-black-white Kramer built by Ed himself, recently sold at Julien’s Icons & Idols Trilogy: Rock ‘n’ Roll auction for a combined $422,000.

One person who was less than thrilled with the sale, however, was Van Halen’s son, Wolfgang, who took issue with how the instruments were characterized.

“The headline should read: Three guitars that are striped were sold at an auction for charity,” he wrote on Twitter. “They weren’t stage guitars. I had nothing to do with this.”

He continued, “I don’t EVER plan on selling any of my father’s iconic guitars. The only place they’d possibly belong in is a museum.”

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Now, Julien’s has responded to Wolf’s statement. Darren Julien, president and chief executive of the auction house, told the BBC: “We, along with Eddie Van Halen's millions of fans, are mourning his family's and rock music's tremendous loss, and are honored to keep his music legacy alive with the offerings of his memorabilia and instruments.”

Julien continued, "We've auctioned many of Eddie Van Halen's iconic guitars in the past years and this year was no exception with these two guitars which were consigned to our Icons & Idols Trilogy: Rock ‘n’ Roll sale weeks before we learned the sad news of his passing."

The customized Kramer was the top-selling item of the auction. Built by Van Halen with his guitar tech Matt Bruck at the guitarist's 5150 home studio, it was gifted to Van Halen's friend Bryan Cush, the owner of Cush's Centenary Oyster House in Shreveport, LA in 1991 and inscribed 'Yo - / Bryan / Let's get / shucked / up / Eddie Van Halen / 5150.”

The 2004 EVH Charvel Art Series, meanwhile, features a Strat-style headstock numbered on the back #54, has the white and black abstract design in the style of Ed’s 1978 Van Halen guitar and is signed Eddie Van Halen, initialed VH 04 and is inscribed in Van Halen's hand San Antonio Texas / 9-28-04.

The final EVH-related instrument to sell at the auction was a scaled-down, non-playing version of an a red, black and white striped prop guitar, used by child actor Bryan Hitchcock while playing a young Eddie in the Hot For Teacher music video.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.