Guitar EDDIE VAN HALEN gifted to JASON BECKER is going up for auction
The guitar Jason Becker received as a gift from Eddie Van Halen is going up for auction next month.
Becker, who was diagnosed with ALS in 1989, is parting ways with the instrument in order to raise money for his ongoing care, which costs more than $100,000 a year.
The guitar — which was given to Becker by Van Halen in 1996 — is being auctioned at New York City-based auction house Guernsey’s in December.
On Saturday (November 18), Becker‘s social media was updated with the following message: “Hello, everyone, Jason here. I want to convey that I’m completely fine with this guitar being put up for auction. It was just collecting dust on my wall, and I thought it should be with someone who would really love and appreciate it as much as I do, and hopefully share it with others.
“Over the years, Eddie was incredibly kind and generous to both me and my family. These memories are something that all of us will cherish forever. To many, he was a guitar hero and a larger-than-life character. He meant all of those things to me as well, and then he became my friend. He was as kind, generous, and compassionate as he was a musical genius.
“Whenever people visited my house and saw the guitar, their faces would light up, knowing they were close to something that had a connection to Eddie. My family would share stories about the day he came over, sat on our couch, jammed, and hung out with all of us. After Eddie‘s passing, I shared a video of that special day, revealing a side of him that very few had the privilege to witness. Reading the heartfelt comments and witnessing the overwhelming outpouring of love for Eddie from so many has genuinely touched the depths of my heart.
“I hope it serves as an inspiration for people to extend as much love to others as Eddie bestowed upon me and my family on that day.
“The auction of this guitar will benefit my family in many ways, but equally important, I hope it shines a light on the extraordinary heart that beat within Eddie.
“Love to all, Jason, Family, and Team Becker.”
An amazing meeting took place on August 31, 1996. That’s when Eddie spent the day with a guy who had followed in his footsteps playing alongside David Lee Roth — Jason. Jason had been diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and was not in good shape. Van Halen came to Jason‘s house to give love and support — as well as a guitar — to his friend and to film an ALS awareness promotional video. During that time, Eddie told stories, talked about his creative process, and played amazing music, instantly sounding exactly like Eddie Van Halen even when playing Jason‘s guitar through a small practice amp.
In December 2020, Becker released never-before-seen footage of the meeting which shows a side of Eddie Van Halen that goes far beyond his brilliant musicianship: a sweet, caring, generous personality, devoid of the trappings of fame or rock stardom. The video also documents the incredible strength of Jason Becker, who had been deprived of his shot at fame as well as his genius guitar skills, but still found the courage and the will to battle a debilitating disease.
“Eddie was such a beautiful person,” said Becker. “He was incredibly kind to me and my family. Not only was he my biggest influence, he had such a huge heart. He honestly saved my life.”
Production of the Peavey EVH Wolfgang signature guitar (named after Eddie’s son) had just begun at the time of the gift. Jason’s instrument, designated #69, had been culled from the first 100 examples of the model that were made after Eddie tested each one and selected a handful that he deemed best for his personal use. Once selected, the guitar was re-inspected and set up by Jim DeCola, Peavey Guitar Design Engineer / EVH Wolfgang Designer. Jason Becker’s thumbprint now appears on the back of the neck, reflecting its ownership by two true guitar icons.
The instrument comes with an original Certificate of Authenticity and, should the buyer wish, an opportunity to meet with Jason Becker.