What’s it like to shred through “Eruption” on Eddie Van Halen’s guitar?
Two rockin’ high-rollers will be able to find out on Dec. 4 and 5 after a pair of the six-string maestro’s custom-made axes hit the sale block at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills. Only for the most amped-up of fans, the guitars carry estimates of $40,000 to $80,000.
The late, great musician, who passed away Oct. 6 after decades of high-flying rock starhood, was famous for customizing his own guitars. Each of the instruments up for auction come augmented with special goodies: The 2004 Charvel Art Series electric guitar is packaged with photos that show Van Halen personally applying his iconic crisscrossing graphics.
“He did it with tape,” Darren Julien, president and CEO of the auction house, told The Post. “It’s like pin-striping on a car.”
It also comes with an added layer of authenticity: a cigarette burn from a night in 2004 when he played the guitar in San Antonio, Texas. “There is a burn on the fret board where he had his Camel tucked under the strings,” Julien said.
The other one was a gift to the late Bryan Cush, owner of the Centenary Oyster House in Shreveport, Louisiana, the town where Eddie met first wife Valerie Bertinelli backstage after a show in 1980.
This particular guitar was built by Van Halen and his tech. It bears his distinctive imagery and is autographed to Cush. (“Let’s get Shucked up” Van Halen scrawled above his signature.)
The rarity comes with Van Halen’s guitar pick and two backstage passes. Van Halen reportedly played the guitar in the bar where it had been kept on display before being obtained by the anonymous person now selling it.
Expensive as the instruments are, to crib a line from a Van Halen hit, their prices “might as well jump.”
“I feel that the estimate is low in light of Eddie’s passing,” Julien said. “I won’t be surprised if they sell in the six figures. At our last rock ‘n’ roll auction, we had a guitar of Kurt Cobain’s sell for $6 million. The bar has been raised for this category. Rich millennials have really helped the market.”
And just what would Van Halen think about his guitars racking up such hefty paydays for their owners?
“Eddie was concerned about the music he made with them,” said Julien. “I don’t think he was the type to care about his things being sold.”
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