U2 guitarist The Edge and legendary producer Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Kiss, Alice Cooper), co-founders of the charity Music Rising, just launched an experiential online auction on Ohyay, which puts fans inside virtual spaces such as The Edge's living room and the streets of London with Paul McCartney. Participants sign up for free and share their link with up to 8 guests to invite to their private online experience.
Of course, the ultimate goal of Guitar Icons: A Musical Instrument Auction is to generate the highest bids for the guitars from over 30 musicians, among them Paul McCartney, Bono, Bruce Springsteen, Lou Reed, Zac Brown, Eddie Vedder, Slash, Ronnie Wood, Lenny Kravitz, Chris Martin, and, yes, The Edge. The auction is on Dec. 11.
An 80-page beautifully designed, full-colour auction catalog, featuring over 50 items, can be purchased for $25 (USD).
“This year we’ve gone back to our roots to try and help support the musicians of the New Orleans region after a long period of being without income due to the pandemic,” says Ezrin in a YouTube video promoting the auction.
Adds The Edge: “The amazing guitars and other musical instruments on offer today were donated by some of the world’s most iconic musicians and friends of Music Rising.”
Then Ezrin, “Every penny we raise will help the musicians and crews in New Orleans and surrounding region to get back on their feet after over a year of being without income.”
The Irishman and Canadian founded Music Rising in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina “to rescue the musical culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South region of the United States in the hurricane’s aftermath by replacing musical instruments that were lost or destroyed in the deluge.” The organization has gone on to help musicians in the aftermath of other catastrophes in the region, some 3000 musicians and dozens of schools and congregations, according to the charity.
The dedicated site for Guitar Icons: A Musical Instrument Auction on Van Easton Galleries also includes everything from Alice Cooper’s golf clubs to Elton John’s keyboard, Alex Lifeson’s amps, and an assortment of signed Pearl Jam posters. Almost all are from male musicians, except for Lzzy Hale and Joan Jett.
While the auction ends on Dec. 11, the experiential opportunities continues until Jan. 1.
On Ohyay, registrants can access 360 degree views of the instruments; learn the stories behind them, filmed in the artists’ homes and studios; and watch performances filmed exclusively for the virtual experience. They can also purchase new and limited-edition Music Rising merchandise from the virtual gift shop. The virtual environment also allows visitors to explore virtual New Orleans landmarks, such as Bourbon Street, Preservation Hall, and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation.
“With ohyay, we’ve created communal, experiential, and inclusive virtual spaces for music fans around the world. We’re excited for people to experience an online auction like never before and connect with their favorite artists on a new level,” said The Edge in a press statement.
Among the items and virtual experiences are:
“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” Custom Signature Fender Stratocaster
Take a seat on The Edge’s living room couch and learn about his custom Strat, which he played on tour with U2 from 2017-2019. “Artists have gotten together to sell guitars and other rock n’ roll paraphernalia to raise money for the music and culture of New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz and R&B,” he says.
Tour and Studio-Played Left-Handed Wings Yamaha BB-1200 Bass
Join The Beatles’ bassist Paul McCartney on the rainy streets of London, where he showcases his maple, elder, and mahogany Yamaha bass. Click on the street sign to view a photograph of him playing the guitar with Stevie Wonder in 1981, during the “Tug of War” recording sessions.
Tour-Played Custom Painted Fender Telecaster Deluxe
Step into rainbow-colored lights flashing across Coldplay’s “Mylo Xyloto” tour stage and watch Chris Martin play the chords from “God Put a Smile on Her Face” on his painted fender telecaster deluxe. Up close, you can see that the street art-inspired guitar is a vibrant artwork in itself and a piece of Coldplay’s overall stage presentation.
Signature "Soul Power" Stratocaster
Get an inside look into Tom Morello’s studio, where he has rehearsed, recorded albums, scored films, and jammed with his kids. Hear about the guitarist’s involvement with Music Rising and the guitar that he played on his latest album, “The Atlas Underground Fire.” “We’re stepping up for a city that we all love and that is so culturally important to the history of music,” he says.
Concert Smashed Fender Telecaster
Dive into an undersea cove to reach Eddie Vedder’s concert-smashed Lake Placid-Blue Fender American Special Telecaster. You can also bid on signed posters, a ukulele, and a hand-illustrated tambourine.