Got a big pile of money sitting around, clogging up your hallways, tripping you over, hogging the spare room? Well might I suggest you divert it into this little acquisition:
That right there is one of Eddie Van Halen’s early Kramers, used on the Diver Down tour and during the recording of 1984. Built in 1982 by Paul Unkert (check out his current work here), it’s modelled on Eddie’s Frankenstein guitar, but with a Kramer twist most evident in the body and headstock shapes. In terms of Frankie-like features it has the large rough humbucker rout, the unused neck pickup, a pickup selector switch wedged into the middle pickup cavity, only a partial pickguard, maple fretboard, and a Floyd Rose tremolo. Who knows what the bridge pickup is? Eddie used a lot of different stuff in those days, much of which was rewound either by himself or by pros.
Just think – there’s every chance that this could have been the guitar used to record “Panama” or “Drop Dead Legs” or the solos on “Jump” or “Hot For Teacher.”
This guitar was traded to a chap named Pete Novo in return for a piece of studio gear. The guitar’s provenance is explained in this Rig Talk post, along with a lot of great photos, and it was profiled in The Guitar Collection Book (which is where the above pic is from) if you’d like to know more. And if you’re interested in adding this to your collection, call Brad at King Guitar.
If you can’t afford the guitar just now, check out The Guitar Collection Book. It’s not cheap, but what an amazing resource.