Ed's Axes




Before the recording of Van Halen's first album in 1977, Eddie tried several types of guitars before settling on his home made "Frankenstrat":

Finally Edward decided to create a guitar that featured the "best of both worlds" when he routed out the bridge pick-up cavity of a '61 Strat and popped in a Gibson P.A.F. (Patent Applied For) late 50's model humbucker. He was almost there.

In 1975, Ed purchased an ash guitar body and a maple neck from Linn Ellsworth (who a custom guitar builder and owner of Seattle's Boogie Bodies).

"It was a second,"recalls Ed."I gave the guy $50 for the body and got a neck for $80. I picked up the two and slapped them together."

That’s right folks, the guitar that Eddie Van Halen used to create some of the most incredible rock riffs ever with (including the immortal "Eruption") cost it's owner a whole 180 bucks!

"It was neat. I really felt I was on to something when I built that guitar, because you couldn't buy anything like it at the time."

This famous guitar, pictured in Eddie's grip on the cover of the first VH album, consisted of the following:

Bonus Information:



 Ibaneze Destroyer

This guitar was kind of Ed's back-up guitar during the earlier albums/tours. It was a Ibaneze copy of the Gibson Explorer model.

"You can hear that on 'Jaime's Cryin','On Fire' and 'You Really Got Me'. It was a great sounding guitar, but I (messed) it up by cutting a big chunk out of it later. It never sounded the same again." (Note: The overdubbed guitar on "Jamie's Cryin'" is not the Destroyer.)

This guitar was made up of the following:

Bonus Information


Charvel Strat

Eddie bought this Charvel Stratocaster copy just after the recording of Van Halen II. Ed said that the custom black and yellow striped paint job that he had put on it was dry just in time for that album's photo shoot. Eddie poses with his new axe on the back cover of VH II and also on the photos inside. The double locking Floyd Rose tremolo system on the guitar's picture above had not been installed yet at that time. The neck above is also different than the original (which had a black headstock). Ed took this guitar with him during the tour for Van Halen II.