Eddie Van Halen is without a doubt one of the most influential rock guitarists of all time.
He is equally famous for both his innovative finger-tapping style of playing, along with his uniquely striped hand built guitars.
Since 1978, countless fans have copied Eddie’s art, but starting in 2004 a limited number of them were finally able to own it.
- Edward Van Halen first introduced his custom designed EVH Art Series guitars during the Van Halen Summer Tour 2004 reunion with Sammy Hagar as part of Charvel’s 25th Anniversary Celebration.
- There were (3) Initial Color Combinations: WHITE & Black (tribute to the ’78 Van Halen I guitar), BLACK & Yellow (tribute to ’79 Bumblebee from Van Halen II), and of course a RED with White & Black (tribute to the iconic ‘Frankenstein’).
- Each guitar was hand striped by Edward Van Halen with a one-of-one unique design and were serial numbered on the neck plate from 001 – 300.
- Charvel USA and EVH then also produced a run of limited edition replicas of the (3) original designs, under the same Charvel EVH Art Series name, and started with higher sequential serial numbers than the “tour guitars”.
- The “tour guitars” in 2004 were featured on songs such as Up For Breakfast, Somebody Get Me A Doctor, Top of The World, Unchained, and Why Can’t This Be Love.
- ‘evhguitarshop’ then sold the freshly autographed “tour guitars” in a custom EVH case through eBay auctions, with opening bids of $5150.
- eBay auction winners would also receive a professional photo of Eddie playing the guitar on stage, along with an Edward Van Halen signed COA, and some occasional case candy.
- In 2007-2008, the long awaited Van Halen reunion with David Lee Roth finally came to fruition and spiked the desirability of the Charvel EVH Art Series Tour Guitars played on DLR classics such as Cradle Will Rock and I’ll Wait.
- REVERSE color combinations also appeared on tour and added even more uniqueness to the collection (BLACK with White, YELLOW with Black, and BLACK with Red and White).
- Some of Eddie’s new creations instantly became more notorious due him adding numbers, letters, or shapes to the designs as well.
- #175 from the Uniondale, NY show on 11/8/07 is a REVERSE BLACK with White and features the letters “NY”. On 12/13/07, this guitar sold for a record $50,100.02!!
- In 2012, a handful of STEALTH BLACK with Silver designs were sprinkled into the series (as an apparent tribute to his Stealth Black EVH Wolfgang that had been Eddie’s primary guitar for recent years).
- Additional attributes to most of the 2012s was a piece of rolled duct tape with stage used guitar picks attached and (2) Chrome Screw Eye inserts that replaced the standard guitar strap buttons (inspired by the ‘Frankenstein’)
- Truck Reflectors (attached to the back like Franky) also found their way to some 2012s. Eddie used to flip up his Frankenstrat at the end of shows and reflect the stage lights off the back of his guitar for an added visual effect.
- The beginning and the end of the Charvel EVH Art Series tour run #001 “Last One” is a STEALTH BLACK and Silver guitar that was played in Kansas City, MO on 5/22/12.
General Specifications and ID Markings:
- Fender Strat-style Headstock with Charvel Made In U.S.A. and EVH Art Series logos
- Headstock Decal (on back): “This guitar headstock is the registered trademark of Fender Musical Instruments Corporation and is being used with the express permission from FMIC. Body Artwork ®2004, Edward Van Halen”
- Bolt-On Quartersawn Eastern Hard Rock Maple Neck with Oil Finish
- Maple Fingerboard
- Rosewood Skunk Stripe
- 1-5/8″ Nut Width
- 22 jumbo Frets
- 25-1/2″ Scale
- Charvel Made In USA and EVH Serial Number stamped on the Neck Plate
- Basswood Body
- Custom Wound EVH Humbucking Pickup
- Floyd Rose Original Tremolo with EVH D-Tuna Drop D Tuning System
- Genuine EVH Hologram Sticker with Serial Number (attached on the back between the tremolo springs)
- Chrome Hardware
- Fender Strat-type Volume Knob – Labelled “Tone” (which is another subtle tribute back to the days when Eddie simply built his guitars from spare parts)
I’ve been fortunate enough to own a few of these guitar masterpieces over the years and was one of the original eBay auction winners in 2007. They all have a great story, look amazing on the wall, and are a pleasure to own.
I am currently working on building a catalog of all 300 Charvel EVH Art Series Guitars (in my spare time), so I would love to connect with other tour guitar owners and learn as much as possible about each of their unique piecees with hopes to one day being able to share them all online.