Update (4/12, 1:30pm): Guitar.com has reached out to Julien’s Auctions on the matter and have received the following response, “We have a notarised letter from Joey [Cush] who is Bryan’s brother who he gave the guitar to. There is a bill of sale from the [Cush’s] to the owner of the guitar who consigned the guitar.”
Wolfgang Van Halen has slammed the recent sale of three of his father’s guitars at auction, alleging that the event was “taking advantage” of Eddie Van Halen’s passing.
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Responding to a news article on the auction, held on 2 December by Julien’s Auctions, Wolfgang tweeted: “The headline should read: ‘Three guitars that are striped were sold at an auction for charity’. They weren’t stage guitars. I had nothing to do with this. I don’t EVER plan on selling any of my father’s iconic guitars.”
Upon realising the proceeds for the auction weren’t in fact going to charity, Wolfgang added: “Oh wait, scratch that. It WASN’T for charity. They’re just taking advantage of my father’s passing. What a surprise.”
The headline should read:
“Three guitars that are striped were sold at an auction for charity.”
They weren’t stage guitars.
I had nothing to do with this.
I don’t EVER plan on selling any of my father’s iconic guitars.
The only place they’d possibly belong in is a museum. https://t.co/npM4TZKWYU
— Wolf Van Halen (@WolfVanHalen) December 3, 2020
On Instagram, Wolfgang clarified his position: “The stories for this have been saying they were ‘iconic’ guitars. Not true.
“That makes it seem like the Frankenstein or the Shark guitar were sold. Yeah that’s bullshit. One of the guitars auctioned off was actually a gift so yeah, seems a little shitty if you ask me.”
The gift in question is a customised Kramer electric, put together by Eddie and his technician Matt Bruck at 5150 studios. The guitar was allegedly gifted to one of EVH’s close friends, the late Bryan Cush, owner of Cush’s Centenary Oyster House in Los Angeles. It fetched the highest sum at the auction, selling for $231,250.
The other two instruments sold were a 2004 Charvel Art Series electric for $140,800 and a scaled-down Frankenstrat used in Van Halen’s Hot For Teacher music video for $50,000.
The plot thickened as Wolfgang began tweeting about the auction and leaving comments on various news articles that covered the sale.
A man introducing himself as the lawyer for Cush’s estate, Michael Sohigian, responded to Wolfgang on Twitter. He claims that the Cush family will be suing Julien’s Auctions and the various parties involved in the hopes of reclaiming the Kramer guitar.
“Your dad [Eddie Van Halen] gave the guitar to Bryan Cush,” Sohigian wrote. “After Bryan died, during the probate of Bryan’s estate, which included your dad’s guitar that Bryan treasured […] one of his brothers sold it on eBay without telling or asking permission.”
, you don't know the half of it. Your dad gave the guitar to Bryan Cush, one of the brothers who owned Centenary Oyster House in Shreveport (ask your Uncle P), inscribed to Bryan, "let's get shucked up." After Bryan died. . . 1/ https://t.co/T6yNYaFGm9
— Michael Sohigian (@MichaelSohigian) December 4, 2020
That eBay buyer then allegedly re-sold the guitar via Julien’s Auctions. Both the buyer and the winning bidder will also be part of the lawsuit, according to Sohigian.
Guitar.com has reached out to Wolfgang, Sohigian and Julien’s Auctions. We will update this story as more information is revealed.