Wolfgang Van Halen hits out at EVH guitar auctions – “I would never sell any of my father's guitars. They're priceless to me“

Wolfgang and Eddie Van Halen
(Image credit: Michele Eve Sandberg/Corbis via Getty Images)

Wolfgang Van Halen has condemned the recent sale of three EVH guitars at auction, saying that the guitars were not iconic, not stage guitars, and accusing the sellers of cashing in on his father's death.

The three electric guitars in question were sold by Julien's Auctions for $422,050 (£313,000), and comprised an 2004 EVH Art Series model, a black-and-white striped red Kramer built by Eddie and his guitar tech, and a scaled down red, black and white prop guitar that was used in the video for Hot For Teacher.

Responding on Instagram, Wolfgang distanced himself from the sale and said that he would never sell any of his father's guitars.

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“I had nothing to do with this,“ he wrote. “I would never sell any of my father's guitars. They are priceless to me. They belong in a museum if anything.“

“The stories for this have been saying they were 'iconic' guitars. Not true,“ he continued. “That makes it seem like the Frankenstein or the Shark guitar were sold. Yeah that's bullshit.“

EVH Guitars auction

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

The 2004 Art Series states that the guitar was hand-striped by Eddie Van Halen himself and played at a San Antonio gig, while the Kramer was gifted to his friend Bryan Cush, the owner of Cush's Centenary Oyster House, in Shreveport, LA in 1991. The back of the guitar is inscribed with a dedication to Cush –  Yo - / Bryan / Let's get / shucked / up / Eddie Van Halen / 5150". 

Wolfgang described the sale of the Kramer as "shitty."

Darren Julien, president and chief executive of Julien's, told the BBC that the auction house was "honoured" to to keep Eddie Van Halen's musical legacy alive through the sale of memorabilia and collectable instruments, and said the guitars were sent to auction before his death on 6 October.

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

Julien's Icons & Idols Trilogy: Rock and Roll sale witnessed a number of high-profile sales – most notably Jimi Hendrix's Octavia. Built and designed by Roger Mayer and used on the Band Of Gypsys album, it was sold for $70,400.

Meanwhile, in other auction news, Chris Cornell's 1966 Candy Apple Red Fender Jazzmaster, which was used during the Superunknown sessions, was sold for $125,000. 

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.