Eddie Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher” Guitar Sells for Nearly $4 Million at Auction

The instrument was custom made for the Van Halen legend by Paul Unkert of Kramer Guitars

Eddie Van Halen Hot for Teacher guitar auction
Eddie Van Halen in the “Hot for Teacher” video (via YouTube) and “Hot for Teacher” guitar (via Sotheby’s)

    If you’ve ever wondered how much the guitar that Eddie Van Halen used in the iconic music video for Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher” is worth, the answer is: a helluva lot.

    The guitar sold for a whopping $3,932,000 during a recent auction at Sotheby’s. The lot closed on April 18th, according to the listing on Sotheby’s website. On the site, the guitar is billed as, “One of the most iconic guitars of the MTV era as played by the most influential guitarist of his generation.”

    “The legendary ‘Hot for Teacher’ stage used and filmed guitar, custom made by Paul Unkert of Kramer Guitars for Eddie Van Halen, including important innovations customized for Eddie’s evolving guitar technique,” the listing continues.


    The minimum bid for the custom-made Kramer was $1.8 million. It was valued at between $2 and $3 million.

    According to Sotheby’s, the guitar has a “poplar double-cut ‘Strat’ style body, the top routed for a single double-coil Seymour Duncan humbucker pickup, volume control, Floyd Rose bridge with whammy bar, unvarnished 22 fret maple bolt-on neck (stamped ‘UNK’ on heel) with Kramer sticker on headstock” and an unvarnished body. The headstock is spray painted with Van Halen’s famed black and white abstract stripe design on a red ground. It is also in the original case with tour and Warner Brothers tags.

    The listing also states that the guitar comes with the straight jacket and white gloves worn by Van Halen in the music video.


    Eddie Van Halen passed away in October 2020 after suffering a stroke, with lung cancer among the underlying causes.

    In June 2020, late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain’s “Unplugged” guitar sold for a record $6 million at auction.

    Watch Van Halen’s music video for “Hot for Teacher” below.