Eddie Van Halen ‘Hot For Teacher’ Guitar Sells For $3.9 Million at Auction

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Eddie Van Halen’s “Hot For Teacher” guitar

One of Eddie Van Halen’s legendary guitars has sold at auction for a whopping $3.9 million. The sale at Sotheby’s as part of a “Rock & Roll” auction was held on Tuesday (April 18, 2023). The listing, with a minimum bid of $1.8 million, shattered the auction house’s estimate of $2-3 million. The guitarist gave the iconic instrument significant exposure in the 1984 music video for “Hot For Teacher.”

The instrument was custom made by Paul Unkert of Kramer Guitars for Eddie Van Halen, including important innovations customized for Eddie’s evolving guitar technique. The detailed Sotheby’s listing further noted the guitar’s unique features: a poplar double-cut “Strat” style body, the top routed for a single double-coil Seymour Duncan humbucker pickup, volume control, Floyd Rose bridge with whammy bar, unvarnished 22 fret maple bolt-on neck (stamped “UNK” on heel) with Kramer sticker on headstock, unvarnished body and headstock spray painted with Van Halen’s characteristic black and white abstract stripe design on a red ground, rear routed for the Floyd Rose’s three springs and stop, no pick guard or rear cover (as designed), screw holes on the back for Eddie Van Halen’s patented flip-up rest (for playing the guitar horizontally.

The unidentified new owner got a “bonus”: the listing included the original case with tour and Warner Bros. tags, plus the straight jacket and white gloves worn by Van Halen in the “Hot For Teacher” video.

The other 130 items at the Sotheby’s “Rock & Roll” auction included a Gold records presented to The Beatles for the albums Help and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, a copy of Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde album signed by the performer, a Gold Record presented to Big Brother and the Holding Company for the Cheap Thrills album, a management contract signed by the Rolling Stones and Andrew Loog Oldham, and a copy of Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs signed “Best wishes” by Eric Clapton.

Best Classic Bands Staff

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