Alex Van Halen’s historic 1980 Invasion Tour Ludwig drum set and five Eddie Van Halen designed, hand-striped & played Charvel EVH guitars are included
Julien’s Auctions has announced the marquee lineup of Music Icons, the world-record breaking auction house to the stars’ annual music extravaganza on Friday, June 11th, Saturday, June 12th and Sunday, June 13th live at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills and online at juliensauctions.com.
A canon of over 1,000 music iconography featuring instruments, memorabilia, wardrobe and personal property owned and used by the greatest 20th and 21st century’s pop culture icons representing the genres of rock and roll, pop, soul, R&B and beyond will be offered. A marquee lineup of legends including Alex Van Halen, Eddie Van Halen, Kurt Cobain, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Prince, Elton John, Little Richard and others join the previously announced female music icons lineup of Cher, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Whitney Houston and more.
Bursting onto the auction stage this summer will be one of the most coveted drum kits played by the legendary drummer, Alex Van Halen. His custom designed Ludwig drum kit, stage played on over 100 shows of Van Halen’s 1980 Invasion tour, will make history once again as the first and only drum kit of the rock icon ever to come to the auction.
“This kit from the 1980 Van Halen Invasion World Tour spent five years on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland,” Alex Van Halen shares. “It’s the only one like it in the world and I’m happy that 100% of the selling price will be going to charity via the Frangioni Foundation and Mr. Holland’s Opus.”
This spectacular and massive drum ensemble features a visually striking element: articulating kick drums, which began a long fascination Van Halen had with flexible hoses joining drums. In the early 70s, Van Halen and his younger brother, prodigy lead guitarist, Eddie Van Halen, founded their namesake group and soon after with bassist Michael Anthony and singer David Lee Roth, conquered the world and entered into the pantheon of rock as of one of the greatest hard rock bands of all time. Van Halen dominated the music charts, MTV and sold out arenas around the world, thrilling audiences with their high flying, energetic live shows throughout the ’80s and into the ‘90s with the drum legend’s fiery percussion and epic solos powering their classic hits, “Runnin’ with the Devil,” “Unchained,” “Hot for Teacher,” “Panama,” “Jump” and more. Van Halen’s immense skill and intensity behind the drum unleashed the era-defining sound and fury of the ‘80s American hard rock music scene and the seismic shift that would propel other glam metal/hard rock bands such as Mötley Crüe, Metallica, and Guns N’ Roses to follow. Van Halen was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. The drum set has a conservative estimate of $200,000-$300,000.
Five Charvel EVH Art Series electric guitars designed, hand striped and played by Eddie Van Halen will join his brother Alex’s drum kit on the auction stage including the last of the late legendary rock guitarist’s Charvel legendary EVH guitars he played on stage. The Stealth black body with a silver hand-striped design by Van Halen, possibly in tribute to his EVH Wolfgang guitar, is applied with four white “Van Halen / 2012” guitar picks attached to a strip of adhesive tape, and is signed and inscribed “Kansas City / MO / 5.22.12 / Eddie Van Halen / Van Halen / 2012,” with an additional note “Last one!!” indicating that this was his last Charvel stage-played EVH guitar. The lot comes with a photograph of Eddie Van Halen playing the guitar live on stage with Van Halen at Kansas City Sprint Center, on May 22nd, 2012. Other Eddie Van Halen Charvel EVH Art Series electric guitars include: a red guitar with a unique black and white hand-striped design by Van Halen that pays homage to his legendary ‘Frankenstein’ Mark II guitar—and is uniquely numbered “5150”—the name of EVH’s recording studio (and also the date that he played this guitar), signed and inscribed by EVH in silver sharpie: “Baltimore, MD / 5.15.08 / Eddie Van Halen / Van Halen ’08” that comes with a DVD featuring footage from the show of Van Halen playing this guitar live on stage at First Mariner Arena, Baltimore, MD on May 15th, 2008, and a Van Halen 2007-08 tote bag; a black guitar with a unique, yellow hand-striped design by Van Halen in tribute to his “Bumblebee” guitar, signed and inscribed in silver sharpie: “8.7.04 / Las Vegas NV / Eddie Van Halen / Van Halen / 04” that comes with a black custom EVH tour flight case (not the standard hard case that typically accompanies these guitars,) a photograph of EVH playing the guitar live on stage with Van Halen at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, Paradise, NV, on August 7th, 2004, a certificate of authenticity signed by Van Halen, two “VH” guitar picks, a ticket from the show, a corresponding backstage pass, and a Mandalay Bay hotel room key card; a yellow guitar with a unique, black hand-striped design by Van Halen in tribute to his “Bumblebee” guitar, signed and inscribed in black sharpie: “Des Moines IA. / 2.6.08 / Eddie Van Halen / Van Halen 2008” that comes with a black custom EVH hard case, a photograph of Eddie playing the guitar live on stage with Van Halen at Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, IA on February 6th, 2008, and a certificate of authenticity signed by Van Halen and a black body with a unique, yellow hand-striped design by Van Halen in tribute to his “Bumblebee” guitar with the words: “Las Vegas” partly visible under the bridge, signed and inscribed in silver sharpie: “Las Vegas NV. / 12.30.07 / Eddie Van Halen / Van Halen 2007,” which comes with a black custom EVH hard case, a photograph of EVH playing the guitar live on stage with Van Halen at MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas on December 30th, 2007 (the last date of the first leg of Van Halen’s 2007/08 tour), and a certificate of authenticity signed by Van Halen. Each of these guitars have a conservative estimate of $30,000-$50,000.
Other drum kits from legendary rock bands will rock the stage with a singular and sensational drum kit (photo below left), heading this way from the legendary drummer Eric Singer of one of rock and roll’s most notorious bands, KISS (estimate $50,000 – $70,000).
“KISS, keeping in line with Las Vegas: bright lights, big production, one-of-a-kind, i.e. Elvis, Rat Pack, & Liberace style, I had this Pearl drum set custom made for the first-ever KISS Vegas residency,” states Eric Singer. “These shows were recorded and featured on the KISS Rocks Vegas DVD. I also played this kit on the KISS & Def Leopard tour as well as various other high-production KISS shows. The LED lights inside the drums ran in synchronization with the KISS light show, changing colors throughout the night controlled from the lighting board plus these drums sound amazing!”
The original five-piece Premier brand drum kit in red sparkle finish used by Clem Burke on numerous classic Blondie recordings, such as “Heart of Glass,” “Call Me,” and “One Way or Another” as well as the band’s music videos, and publicity shoots is another auction show stopper (estimate: $30,000 – $50,000). The previously displayed Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum drum kit was used exclusively in the recording of Blondie’s multi-platinum selling albums Parallel Lines and Eat to The Beat, in concert during the worldwide 1979 Blondie Parallel Lines tour and also appears in the 1980 film Roadie during Blondie’s cover performance of the iconic Johnny Cash song, “Ring of Fire.”
A fine collection of original artwork and a lyrical masterpiece created by one of the most influential singer-songwriters of all time and pop culture icon, Bob Dylan, will make an appearance. A sheet of notepaper from The Atlantic Lumber Company in Boston, Massachusetts, contains handwritten lyrics and chord annotations in pencil by Dylan to his 1969 song “Lay Lady Lay” with working lyrics not in the final version, such as “Got my night light shining… got the heartbreaking blues and they’re all for you.” These lyrics to one of Dylan’s most classic hits covered by numerous bands including the Byrds, the Everly Brothers, Duran Duran, Ministry, and others, has an estimate of $500,000-$700,000. Other Dylan artifacts include a record sleeve for his 1964 album The Times They Are A-Changin’ (estimate: $4,000-$6,000) and his original signed artwork pieces including “Driver,” a framed watercolor and gouache on paper original artwork that was part of Dylan’s The Drawn Blank Series, his first foray into fine art publishing which exhibited at Halcyon Gallery in London (estimate: $40,000-$60,000) and “Truck” a limited edition giclée on paper lithograph by also from the same series (estimate: $1,000-$2,000); and “Little Factory For Ice Cream” created in 2019 as part of his 12-piece The Beaten Path collection of artwork (estimate: $2,000-$3,000) as well as a Dylan signed record sleeve for his 1964 album The Times They Are A-Changin’ (estimate: $4,000-$6,000).
Another fascinating and rare piece of art heading to the auction stage comes from another iconoclast and one of rock music’s most signature artists of all time: Kurt Cobain. A self-portrait caricature drawing (photo left) (estimate: $10,000-$20,000) done in black felt pen on TNT Music Centre [sic] in Singapore stationery by the charismatic front man of the group Nirvana depicts himself playing the guitar and is signed “Kurdt Kobain Rock Star” and handwritten on the right, “I don’t know how to play and I don’t give a hoot!” Cobain gifted the drawing to Jacque Chong, a freelance photographer who worked with Cobain during Nirvana’s Nevermind album promotional tour in Singapore in 1992. Julien’s Auctions has broken world records with the sale of Kurt Cobain’s memorabilia, including Cobain’s cardigan worn on MTV Unplugged in New York, which sold for a record $334,000, his In Utero tour Fender Mustang guitar which sold for $340,000, his cardigan worn on his last photoshoot which sold for $75,000, a Nirvana paper plate set list written in Cobain’s handwriting which sold for a record $22,400 and the Guinness Book of World Record sale of Cobain’s MTV Unplugged 1959 Martin D-18E acoustic-electric guitar, which sold for $6 million making it the world’s most expensive guitar ever sold at auction.
Handwritten letters (estimate each lot: $4,000-$6,000) from Britney Spears’ early years from the private collection of Donald “Reg” Jones, her high school boyfriend, present a rare opportunity to take a closer look at the personal life of the teenage pop sensation at the turning point of her young career and on the brink of becoming a global pop culture phenomenon. The letters were written by Spears during the time when she was living in New York, some of which contain multiple pages with sensitive content and candid details about their relationship as well as information about her schedule.
The one and the only, “The Artist,” Prince, not only changed the face of pop music but the face of fashion. A sensational 1994 blue Cloud guitar made by Andy Beech and commissioned and owned by Prince will rock the auction block. The guitar has a “Paisley Park” inventory tag on the neck plate reading: “Property Of / PRN Music Corp” and comes with a hard case with a laminated tag that reads: “PRN Productions / 7801 Audubon Road / Chanhassen, MN 55317” and: “117” on the reverse. In addition to these tags, the pickup cavity of the guitar is signed by Prince’s former guitar tech, Zeke Clark, in black marker: “Zeke for [love symbol] Prince.” The guitar was ordered through the NPG pop-up store at 21 Chalk Farm Road in London on June 29, 1994, for £3,500. It has a conservative estimate of $60,000-$80,000. A spectacular collection representing his maverick style legacy will dazzle the auction stage including several ensembles designed by Jose Arellanes and worn by the seven-time GRAMMY-winning icon on his Jam of the Year World Tour such as a black sleeveless turtleneck top with metallic blue stripes, black pants and matching custom-made Andre #1 booties with love symbol zips (estimate: $15,000-$20,000), his gold long-sleeve top with lace-up front and matching pants (estimate: $10,000-$15,000) and a black satin tunic with silver thread embroidery and sequin accents (estimate: $10,000-$15,000); a red two-piece Gianni Versace suit purchased and worn by Prince in the mid-1990s and an Issey Miyake long black button-down coat with tight pleating, worn by The Purple One before and after many performances during his 1997-1998 Jam of the Year World Tour and New Power Soul Tour (each lot estimate: $6,000-$8,000) and a 14K white gold necklace suspending a 14K white gold Love Symbol pendant accented with 63 round diamonds custom designed by a Minneapolis jeweler to wear for the Jam of the Year World Tour (estimate: $8,000-$10,000).
A collection of handwritten lyrics written by the Academy Award-winning legendary songwriter and famed collaborator with Elton John and Bernie Taupin will take the top of the charts. The collection comes from the musical genius’ first wife Maxine Taupin, who was privy to her husband’s creative writing process and rise to stardom in the 70s. Highlights of the collection including (with estimates): handwritten; original lyrics to “Candle in the Wind” ($60,000-$80,000); “Bennie and the Jets” ($40,000-$60,000); “Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)” ($30,000-$50,000); “The Border Song” ($10,000-$20,000); as well as a love letter from Bernie Taupin to Maxine Taupin dated October 1970 ($2,000-$3,000), a signed and inscribed copy of Bernie Taupin’s The One Who Writes The Word For Elton John ($600-$800), a group of Elton John “Five Years of Fun” concert ephemera ($800-$1,200) and more.
Other remarkable rock and roll iconography include (with estimates): a tangerine-orange polyester jumpsuit (photo above right) adorned with thousands of black and white sequins in a piano keyboard motif worn onstage by the “Rocket Man” Elton John at the Tucson Community Center Arena on October 1, 1975 ($15,000-$20,000); a Ludwig brand drum kit with black lacquer finish stage-played by Matt Sorum with Velvet Revolver during the Libertad tour (estimate: $10,000-$15,000); a cut sheet signed in black marker by The Doors lead singer Jim Morrison custom matted together with an image of Morrison ($5,000-$7,000); an Are You Experienced signed in purple ink on the record album sleeve by all three members of The Jimi Hendrix Experience band: Jimi Hendrix, Noel Redding, and Mitch Mitchell with an inscription by Hendrix that reads “The Best of Success in Your Work” ($5,000-$7,000) and much more.
“Each year, Julien’s Auctions ups the ante for music fans and collectors in offering the most prized music memorabilia ever to come to auction,” shares Martin Nolan, Executive Director of Julien’s Auctions. “From the first auction appearances of Alex Van Halen’s Rock and Hall of Fame displayed Ludwig drum kit and Kurt Cobain’s self-portrait drawing to Bob Dylan’s handwritten and annotated lyrics to his 1969 classic ‘Lay Lady Lay,’ this collection of fine and rare music collectibles is no exception and is one of our most exciting sales that is sure to make history once again on the auction stage.”
The auction will be held at Julien’s Auctions, 257 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210. A free public exhibition runs Monday, June 7th through Friday, June 11th from 11 am-5 pm PT. The auction is Friday, June 11th, Saturday, June 12th and Sunday, June 13th at 10 am PT each day.