How Eddie Van Halen hacks a guitar

TopicsAll ForumsGeneralThe Corner PubHow Eddie Van Halen hacks a guitar

This topic has 4 voices, contains 4 replies, and was last updated by  ron 885 days ago.

May 19, 2015 at 11:42 am Quote #45511

sickman
(2368)

A new pic from the work bench at 5150 here!

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/a15615/how-eddie-van-halen-hacks-a-guitar/

I’ve always been a tinkerer. It comes from my dad. Growing up, we lived in a house in Pasadena that had no driveway. You used an alley that ran through the middle of the block, behind all the houses, to get to your backyard or the garage. Well, the neighbor behind us had a U-Haul trailer up on car jacks and loaded with cinder block. One night my dad came home from a gig at three in the morning. He had a little heat going, he’d had a few drinks, so he says, “This thing is blocking me from getting in again.” So he got out of the car and tried to move it. As soon as he lifted the trailer, the jack fell over, and it chopped his finger off.

This was a problem. Besides the obvious reasons, he played clarinet and saxophone. On a sax, you don’t need to seal the hole with your finger. A valve closes over it. But with a clarinet, you have to seal the hole, so he took a saxophone valve cover and adapted it to work on his clarinet.

Another funny thing was later in his life, when he started losing his teeth. You need your bottom teeth to play a reed instrument. Instead of going to the dentist, he made himself a perfectly shaped prosthesis out of white Teflon that filled the gap where his teeth were missing. He slipped that in when he had to play. Watching him do that kind of stuff instilled a curiosity in me. If something doesn’t do what you want it to, there’s always a way to fix it.


  Quote
May 19, 2015 at 3:40 pm Quote #45516

wjamflan
(971)

sickman: A new pic from the work bench at 5150 here!

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/a15615/how-eddie-van-halen-hacks-a-guitar/

I’ve always been a tinkerer. It comes from my dad. Growing up, we lived in a house in Pasadena that had no driveway. You used an alley that ran through the middle of the block, behind all the houses, to get to your backyard or the garage. Well, the neighbor behind us had a U-Haul trailer up on car jacks and loaded with cinder block. One night my dad came home from a gig at three in the morning. He had a little heat going, he’d had a few drinks, so he says, “This thing is blocking me from getting in again.” So he got out of the car and tried to move it. As soon as he lifted the trailer, the jack fell over, and it chopped his finger off.

This was a problem. Besides the obvious reasons, he played clarinet and saxophone. On a sax, you don’t need to seal the hole with your finger. A valve closes over it. But with a clarinet, you have to seal the hole, so he took a saxophone valve cover and adapted it to work on his clarinet.

Another funny thing was later in his life, when he started losing his teeth. You need your bottom teeth to play a reed instrument. Instead of going to the dentist, he made himself a perfectly shaped prosthesis out of white Teflon that filled the gap where his teeth were missing. He slipped that in when he had to play. Watching him do that kind of stuff instilled a curiosity in me. If something doesn’t do what you want it to, there’s always a way to fix it.

That was very cool. Thanks Brian. I don’t think I’ve ever actually heard the whole story of how Mr. VH lost his finger. Thanks again for posting.


“This hamburger don’t need no helper.” – DLR 5/17/15


  Quote
May 19, 2015 at 9:05 pm Quote #45522

VAiN
(2767)

Love the pics… cool to see an original 5150 head in the mix.. My dream maple-neck Stealth is on the wall.. LOVE that! I wish they’d release it!


Resident dickhead. I will hurt your delicate feelings.


  Quote
May 20, 2015 at 11:44 am Quote #45535

ron
(8929)



  Quote
May 21, 2015 at 7:04 pm Quote #45556

ron
(8929)

This was the first time in over 30 years I’ve bought an issue of Popular Mechanics. Kinda looking forward to seeing what else (other than the Eddie story) is in it.


  Quote

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.