Hello everyone, today is bittersweet as I return to the sad news of the passing of Eddie Van Halen, the guitar genius of the band that shares his family name. This is my way of thanking Eddie for all the inspiration he gave to me as a budding musician.
Eddie Lodewijk Van Halen was born in Jan 1955 to Dutch father, Jan Van Halen who was a jazz pianist, clarinetist and saxophonist (I guess Eddie was always gonna be a great with those genes) and his mother Eugenia (nee van Beers) who was of Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) descent.
The Van Halen family moved to the USA and settled in Pasadena California in 1962. Eddie had an older brother named Alex and the pair studied classical piano from an early age in San Pedro but Eddie couldn’t read music! He learnt by watching and listening…and when he had to perform Beethoven or Mozart pieces he would improvise! Alex decided to pick up the guitar prompting Eddie to buy a drum kit to accompany his brother. However after hearing Alex drumming the song Wipe Out by The Safari’s the pair “swapped” instruments and Eddie began studying guitar. He practised whenever he could, carrying the guitar around with him. They soon realised that rock music was much more cool than classical and formed a band….and Eddie built a guitar!
The guitar became famous as the “Frankenstrat” built from various parts and modified pieces that allowed Eddie to create out-of-this-world sounds. Eddie also became synonymous with a playing technique he called “Tapping” where he used the fingers of both hands to tap and hold the strings on the fretboard to play ultra fast notes up and down the musical scales. Later Eddie would invent a device to assist holding the guitar in position whilst he “Tapped”. He also designed other guitar parts so he was a designer too….and I think it’s time to show you my design in honour of EVH…This is my “Eruption Saber”….
You may have seen this saber before if you follow my site. I posted one picture of this as a variant to my Obi-Wan Kenobi Master K (https://ftsabersite.wordpress.com/2019/10/12/master-k-saber-an-obi-wan-kenobi-inpsired-hilt/) hilt but the news of Eddie’s passing was so sudden I totally forgot I had built it. However I have added a few more details I’ll show below. But first this saber shares a similar colour scheme as Eddie’s famous Frankenstrat of black, white and red abstract stripes and shapes. The Frankenstrat was originally black until Eddie felt it needed a coat of bright red bicycle paint! The guitar was also updated with pickups (the magnetic elements that pick up the strings vibrations and turn the movement into electrical signals) that were assembled by Duncan Seymour – a famous guitar technician who also modified some pickups for Brian May. Now as this saber is an “old” design I felt I needed to upgrade it so in tribute to one of Eddie’s most famous tunes named Eruption…I added a crystal chamber with the power of that Van Halen solo!
I felt there was so much power in the crystal of this hilt it needed to be caged! But there was no caging Van Halen and the band toured the world and their fame grew globally. Eddie worked and collaborated with many names in music including Kiss bassist Gene Simmons, Nicolette Larson, Michael Jackson (remember the solo in “Beat It”? That was Eddie!), Brian May, Sammy Hagar, Black Sabbath, Roger Waters and Toto guitarist Steve Lukather. He even wrote film scores and appeared in Frank Sinatra videos and in a stroke of comic genius….Two And A Half Men…
So to round this tribute off I produced a couple of “Posters” featuring the big man himself, the Frankenstrat and a tip of the hat to another great EVH recording – Panama.
Now I feel I have done my tribute properly and thanked Eddie for all he gave me. I hope he would have approved. I just have to perfect my version of “Jump!” on keyboard.
Again my thoughts and prayers are with Eddie’s family, friends and all who have been affected by, inspired by or were just entertained by the great man.
That brings a close to this post…thank you all for checking this tribute out and for all the comments and support you have given me, hopefully this has given some back. I appreciate all of your efforts and hope you will return to see upcoming posts featuring many more new saber designs, some spaceships and much more. Till next time…...JUMP!
WMG (on behalf of Warner Rhino Off Roster-Audio); LatinAutor – Warner Chappell, UMPI, Abramus Digital, SOLAR Music Rights Management, UNIAO BRASILEIRA DE EDITORAS DE MUSICA – UBEM, UMPG Publishing, Warner Chappell, LatinAutor – ACODEM, ASCAP, CMRRA, LatinAutorPerf, LatinAutor – UMPG, PEDL, and 20 Music Rights Societies
“Eruption Saber” is a For Tyeth Editions design and is ©Copyright of For Tyeth/FTSabersite 2016-2020. The “Frankenstrat” and the associated Frankenstrat pattern along with all other images, logos and related material are Trademark/©Copyright belonging to the Van Halen estate. The “Two and a Half Men” video clip is Copyright of Chuck Lorre Productions/ The Tannenbaum Company/ Warner Bros. Television.