Eddie Van Halen – Kramer EHV 5150
About The Guitar
As with all my guitar sculptures, I start by transferring my scale drawing onto a wood base. I make sure I accurately mark out all the features of the guitar; pickups, volume & tone knobs, jack plugs, bridges, fret position, headstock features etc.
From there I lay the outline of the body shape using an appropriate material that best fits the guitar characteristics. The EVH 5150 has heavy motorcycle chain as the basic outline of the body and the headstock.
The body is predominately constructed out of motorcycle sprockets. The striping effect is achieved by using round-bar steel and cut, flat metal strips.
I have used a common technique of super heating metal and then quenching with motor oil to achieve the rainbow/purple effect on the fret boards. Furthermore, I have also used the same technique to highlight the masking tape effect Eddie Van Halen used on his custom EVH 5150.
About the Artist
Edward Lodewijk van Halen (January 26, 1955)
Eddie Van Halen’s guitar solo on “Eruption” was voted number two in Guitar Worlds “100 Greatest Guitar Solos”. He is considered to be one of the most influential guitarists to popularise the finger tapping technique using both left and right hands.
Although originally trained as a classical pianist, he switched to become a drummer. Then soon after, a guitarist. He reportedly could never actually read music!
Eddie’s main influences came from Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page. In 1972 Eddie and brother Alex, formed a band called Genesis – he later changed the name having found out about the English progressive rock band with the same name. When they hooked up with David Lee Roth they then became known as Van Halen.
With hits, such as “Panama”, “Jump”, “Hot For Teacher”, and “Why Can’t This Be Love”, Van Halen is credited with selling over a reported 94 million records worldwide
Eddie Van Halen first incarnation of his famous EVH 5150 started back in 1974 when he built a hybrid guitar called the “Frankenstein” or “Frankenstrat” built from both Gibson and Fender guitar parts. He originally painted the whole guitar black and then wrapped masking tape round the body and repainted it white. This gave the famous masking tape effect.
In 1979 Eddie revisited “Frankenstein” but this time he painted it yellow, and then using the same technique as before, he masked the guitar and repainted it black, giving birth to his “Bumblebee”.
Mid 1979 saw Eddie revise the Bumblebee colours to the now famous red guitar with black and white stripes.
The first signature Kramer EVH 5150 was produced in 1983. Eddie continued to play Kramer guitars up until 1993.