The Edge and producer Bob Ezrin team up for massive charity gear auction, featuring guitars from U2, Paul McCartney, Lou Reed, Slash and more

The Edge
(Image credit: Chung Sung-Jun)

U2 guitarist the Edge and legendary producer Bob Ezrin have announced a massive gear auction in aid of the charity Music Rising.

Hosted by Van Eaton Galleries in Los Angeles, the auction will see stage-played instruments from the likes of Paul McCartney, Lou Reed, Paul Stanley, Vince Gill, Bono and many more go under the hammer. 

In addition, a huge array of collectible electric guitars – including a double neck Epiphone G-1275 signed by Don Felder and a Goldtop Slash Les Paul Standard signed by the man himself – will go on sale to support New Orleans musicians who have been without income in recent months after the pandemic and the devastation caused by Hurricane Ida.

Music Rising was co-founded in 2005 by Ezra and the Edge with a number of industry partners in response to Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, providing instruments to musicians, students and community groups across the Gulf region.

“The music of New Orleans has influenced various styles of music borrowed from early traditions,” said the Edge. “It is the birthplace of jazz and represents a musical culture which bears great significance to most every genre today. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to lose my ability to do what I love – making music. 

“Unfortunately there are many musicians and crew members who continue to struggle since the pandemic. If this multigenerational chain is broken, we lose more than just a few concerts we lose an entire culture that stretches back centuries.” 

There are many highlights from this year’s auction. Perhaps it’s best to start with some lots from the U2 guitar archive. The Edge’s 2005 Limited Edition Music Rising Gibson Les Paul Standard is up for auction. Featuring a watercolour effect finish and a wooden Music Rising pickguard, it was played by the Edge during live performances of One, and was part of his touring rig for the Joshua Tree tours of 2017 and 2018. 

Also from the Edge, there is a custom Fender Stratocaster, which was stage-played and toured between 2017 and 2019, featuring on Bad and I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For. 

A veteran of U2’s groundbreaking early ‘90s Zoo Tour, Bono’s ES-175 hollowbody electric guitar is also up for auction, as bassist Adam Clayton’s Precision Bass. 


(Image credit: Dave Hogan / Van Eaton Galleries / Music Rising)

Elsewhere, Paul McCartney has donated his number one bass guitar during his Wings years – a Cherry Burst Yamaha BB-1200, Vince Gill’s Duesenberg Bonneville, Lenny Kravitz’s Gibson Flying V, KISS’s Paul Stanley a custom reverse Ibanez Iceman, and Lou Reed’s Danny Gatton Fender Telecaster – aka “Goldie” – is also among the toured-and-played items.

While many of these instruments have been loved and looked after, others in auction have endured some tough times; like Eddie Vedder’s Chicago Cubs Telecaster, which he duly smashed onstage in tribute to arch instrument-smasher Pete Townshend at the end of Pearl Jam’s cover of Baba O’Riley. Though, judging by the pictures, it looks like it has been fixed up to play.

Other collectible instruments include signed guitars from Bruce Springsteen, Green Day, Dave Grohl, and many more, plus a Yamaha Motif-8 electronic keyboard signed by Elton John. Head over to Van Eaton Galleries to view them all in the virtual catalogue.

The Guitar Icons: A Musical Instrument Auction to Benefit Music Rising kicks off on 11 December at 10am PST.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.