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- Eddie Van Halen’s iconic “Hot for Teacher” guitar sold for nearly $4 million at auction this week.
- The late rockstar played the custom-made instrument for much of the 1980s.
- Van Halen died in 2020 from cancer.
Eddie Van Halen’s custom-made Kramer guitar blew away auction expectations on Tuesday when it sold for nearly $4 million at Sotheby’s.
The red, white, and black guitar was dubbed “one of the most iconic guitars of the MTV era” by Sotheby’s and was reportedly made to accommodate the late Van Halen’s innovative playing style in the early 1980s.
According to the listing, the instrument was estimated to sell for between $2 million and $3 million, but the bidding closed around noon on Tuesday at $3.932 million for an unknown buyer, Fox Business reported.
The musician died in 2020 from cancer.
It’s most recognizable as the guitar used by Van Halen in the music video for the 1984 hit song “Hot for Teacher” by the eponymous band he co-founded with his brother Alex Van Halen.
The winning bidder will receive the guitar’s original case, along with the straight jacket and white gloves Van Halen wore in the video, a letter from the instrument’s creator Paul Unkert, and a signed photo of Van Halen.
“The ‘Hot For Teacher’ Van Halen [guitar] was built by me at the Kramer Green Grove Road Plant in Neptune, NJ around 1982-1985/ #CO176. Look for ‘Unk’ stamps on Neck and Body. It was my last project for Ed and Kramer,” Unkert wrote in the letter dated April 13, 2005, per Sotheby’s.
In 2020, Van Halen died at the age of 65 from cancer, and he’s widely regarded as an innovator of guitar-playing. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.