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Gear Porn by Dave Leslie: Ernie Ball Music Man EVH

EVHI remember it as if it was yesterday. February 24 1992 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Baby Animals were out on tour as the support act for Van Halen on the last half of their F.U.C.K. tour. We had been on tour for about a month and were having a blast! We felt as if we were part of a travelling juggernaut, 10 semi-trailers, 8 tour buses, a production that almost needed its own postcode it seemed so huge… The venues were all arenas averaging about 10,000 people and because of the good airplay that Painless was getting on MTV, the audiences were very receptive. Our show consisted of 40 minutes of the rockin’-est stuff we had, played as hard as we could then run laughing offstage to do a Meet & Greet, get changed and then prepare to watch VH play…

Being the affable “Crazy Aussies” that we are, we had made lots of friends in the touring entourage and became quite close to the Van Halen chaps, who took us under their care and made sure that we had access to all the fun activities that a band on that level enjoyed while on tour…

This fourth leg was coming to an end and we were getting ready to do a club tour of U.K. and Europe for a month and then re-joining the VH juggernaut for the eight-week-long fifth and final leg.

The VH boys (Ed and Alex especially) spent lots of time in our dressing-room as it was far less formal than their ‘rockstar’ digs. There was something about a bucket of cold beer and a couple of small amps that seemed to appeal to Ed…

He spent hours between soundcheck and our show drinking and jamming AC/DC songs (Ed knows all Angus’ solos, note for note…) in our little room at the end of the corridor while his management were asking around ‘Where’s Edward?” So, on this evening, Ed strolling into our room with a guitar case didn’t seem all that unusual. He laid it on a dining table and gestured for me to “come, check this out…”

I approached the open case which contained one of his Ernie Ball Music Man EVH signature guitars, quilted top, in RED.

“Cool”, says I, “Is that your new guitar?”

“No” replies he, with big smile “It’s YOUR new guitar!”

As you could imagine, I was floored. I mean this is Edward FUCKING VAN HALEN!!! Giving ME a guitar?!! I have to admit I still get the shiver when I think about that moment! It was literally, a dream come true…

I was a little overwhelmed to use it that night but took it over to Europe, whacked a set of 0.10s on her (him?) and proceeded to play the heck out of it for the next few years! It features heavily on “Shaved & Dangerous” album and subsequent tours after that.

It only comes out to play on very special occasions lately. Needs a bit of a refret etc, but still plays well.

It’s a chunky, nuggetty, focused tone with a really nice top-end spank. Not quite as thick-sounding as a Les Paul style but plenty thick enough, as its namesake displays…  Moderate output pickups that seem to compress when you dig into ‘em and gorgeous Birds-Eye Maple neck that felt like it had already had 10 years of playing on it the day I got it…

Actually I might go plug it in. Writing about it has given me a guitar horn.

See youse next time (…or at a BAs gig near you!)

EVH 1

EVH 2

 

EVH 4

EVH 5

EVH 3


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Peter Hodgson Hi! I'm Peter Hodgson. I write for Gibson.com, Australian Guitar, Australian Musician, Mixdown Magazine (including my instructional column, 'Unleash Your Inner Rock God,' which has been running since 2007), BluntBeat (including their weekly hard rock/metal column Crunch) and The Brag. And I'm Assistant Social Coordinator with Seymour Duncan. I've been playing guitar since I was 8 years old, and I've been writing for magazines since I was 18. I've also worked as a guitar teacher (up to 50 students a week), a setup tech, a newspaper editor, and I've also dabbled in radio a little bit. I live in Melbourne, Australia, and my hobbies include drinking way too much coffee, and eating way too much Mexican food. You can check out my guitar playing at Bandcamp or on YouTube, and feel free to email me at iheartguitarblog@gmail.com

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