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EDDIE VAN HALEN's Canadian-flag guitar to be auctioned

Photo credit: Julien's Auctions


Julien’s Auctions‘ bi-annual “Played, Worn, & Torn: Rock ‘N’ Roll Iconic Guitars” auction is once again set to feature some incredible guitars and music artifacts from your favorite artists — and this time around the Beverly Hills, California-based auction house is highlighting one piece of rock and roll history that has remained absent from the world for three decades.

For rock music aficionados, a recently unearthed piece of memorabilia adds a unique layer to this national holiday’s history: a 1993 Ernie Ball Music Man Eddie Van Halen Signature guitar, emblazoned with the Canadian flag, played by the legendary guitarist himself during a Canada Day concert.

The guitar, unseen for 31 years, has resurfaced, igniting a wave of nostalgia and curiosity. Its backstory is as vibrant as its red and white paint job. Crafted in March 1993, the guitar, initially listed as “Guitar Van Halen Purple Translucent,” may have undergone a transformation before its patriotic makeover. The maple neck, basswood body, and signature DiMarzio humbuckers remain a testament to Eddie Van Halen‘s meticulous style and eye for craftsmanship.

The guitar’s significance, however, transcends its technical specifications. On July 1, 1993, Van Halen took to the stage at Molson Park in Barrie, Ontario, for a Canada Day concert. As the encore approached, he unveiled the Canadian Flag guitar — a surprise for the audience and a tribute to the nation. The encore, featuring iconic songs like “Jump”“You Really Got Me” and “Rockin’ In The Free World”, became a historic moment in both VAN HALEN‘s legacy and Canada Day celebrations.

Footage of the concert (see below),though grainy and low quality, captures the guitar’s brief but impactful appearance. Eddie, bathed in stage light, can be seen wielding the instrument with his characteristic flair. The images, along with the recently discovered guitar, offer a glimpse into a forgotten chapter of rock history.

The guitar’s whereabouts for the past three decades remain a mystery. Its re-emergence, complete with a black hardshell case, a concert ticket, and photographs of the performance, is a treasure trove for collectors and fans alike. The instrument’s journey, from the factory floor to the stage to a hidden corner of rock and roll history, speaks volumes about the enduring power of music and its ability to create lasting memories.

While the reasons behind Eddie Van Halen‘s choice to play a Canadian Flag guitar on Canada Day remain a subject of speculation, the gesture itself is a testament to the musician’s connection with his audience and his appreciation for the country. The guitar represents a tangible link between a rock legend and a national holiday, a symbol of cultural exchange and mutual admiration.

Eddie sadly passed away in 2020 due to complications from throat cancer. His musical legacy, lives on. To honor his memory and continue his fight against cancer, proceeds from the auction of this iconic Canadian Flag guitar will benefit the City Of Hope, a leading research and treatment center for cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

For more information, visit JuliensAuctions.com.

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