Only two other guitars have sold for more than that at auction...
Eddie Van Halen is known as one of the greatest, most innovative and influential guitar players of all time.
His fret-tapping and unique utilisation of the whammy bar reinvented guitar playing for rock players as they knew it. So, it makes sense that guitar enthusiasts would want to get their hands on the instrument that defined one of the most thrilling guitar intros to any rock song: Van Halen’s Hot For Teacher.
Last week, the Kramer red and white striped electric guitar Eddie Van Halen played in the song’s iconic music video went up for auction with a starting price of $1.8 million.
According to Guitar World, the Kramer was projected to sell for anywhere between $2 and 3 million. The prediction was a bit too low as the guitar sold for a whopping $3,932,000 at a Sotheby’s auction.
Only two other guitars have sold for more than that at auction: Kurt Cobain’s Smells Like Teen Spirit Mustang (for $4,550,000) and his Martin D-18E, played during the band’s legendary MTV Unplugged set (for $6,010,000).
Eddie Van Halen’s Hot For Teacher guitar was built by Paul Unkert of Kramer Guitars, who said about the instrument in an accompanying letter provided in 2005: “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. Paul ‘Unk’ Unkert.”
Check out the Hot For Teacher music video below.
Eddie Van Halen passed away in October 2020 at age 65, following a lengthy struggle with cancer.
The news was shared by Van Halen's son Wolfgang via a post on social media.
"I can’t believe I’m having to write this, but my father, Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, has lost his long and arduous battle with cancer this morning," read the post.
"He was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I’ve shared with him on and off stage was a gift.
"My heart is broken and I don’t think I’ll ever fully recover from this loss."