In celebration of the 40th anniversary of 1978 landmark album Van Halen, EVH is privileged to unveil three tribute “Eruption” models, including the Super ’78, ’78 Eruption Relic and ’78 Eruption.
On the cover of Van Halen’s eponymous debut album, Eddie Van Halen thrusts his black-and-white striped instrument towards the camera as if he’s showing you the future. He played this guitar on his unprecedented and mind-blowing instrumental track “Eruption”—hence the name of these new models— and almost immediately, this monumental instrument became a timeless icon, symbolic of a paradigm shift in guitar-driven rock and roll.
While many a fan has attempted to duplicate his guitar over the past 40 years, for the first time ever, EVH Gear is now recreating this instantly recognizable axe, as well as his period-correct case and case candy items.
Said Eddie Van Halen: “Of all the guitars I’ve ever built, the white and black guitar will always be my favorite because it did all the things I needed a guitar to do, which prior to that guitar did not exist. So much changed because of it. I recorded the first album with it and did the first world tour with it. The ‘78 Eruption tribute is as close to my original in sound and feel as humanly possible. I’m incredibly proud of it.”
Limited to only eight guitars, the Super ’78 model features all of the original “Eruption” guitar specs, including an ash Strat® body, bolt-on maple neck with oiled back finish, straight 12” radius maple fingerboard with katalox face dots, black side dots and 21 mowed-down jumbo frets, hand-cut black pickguard, EVH Frankenstein™ humbucking bridge pickup, vintage Fender® Stratocaster® bridge with a Kluson® brass block and Schaller® tuning keys. Its white-with-black-stripes motif paint job has been reliced to match the wear and tear from the band’s first-ever world tour, and is stylishly finished off with distressed eye-screw strap hooks and a 61071 stamped neck plate.
In a true homage to this pivotal period, EVH has also recreated Eddie Van Halen’s original G&G case (with a tour-worn outer treatment and distressed latches) and loaded it up with the very items used by him at the time, such as ’70s-era Fender Super Bullets, Van Halen ’70s tortoiseshell picks, ’78 chain strap and vintage 3-in-One oil can. This model is also accompanied with an exclusive collector’s booklet, a backstage pass vinyl cloth sticker and several autographed items including a certificate of authenticity, 8”x10” 1978 concert photo of Eddie Van Halen, vinyl copy of Van Halen and a rare original Van Halen Looney Tunes Merrie Melodies red vinyl.
Adding to the value and the once-in-a lifetime collector’s nature of this package, Eddie Van Halen played “Eruption” from Van Halen in its entirety on each guitar and then signed the back of the headstock, which was video recorded for prosperity and will be presented to the instrument’s future owner on an EVH thumb drive.
Limited to only 30 guitars, the ’78 Eruption Relic has also been recreated down to every last nick and scratch and shares all of specs as the Super ’78: ash Strat® body, bolt-on maple neck with oiled back finish, straight 12” radius maple fingerboard with katalox face dots, black side dots and 21 mowed-down jumbo frets, hand-cut black pickguard, EVH Frankenstein humbucking bridge pickup, vintage Fender® Stratocaster® bridge with a Kluson® brass block, Schaller® tuning keys, reliced white-with-black-stripes motif paint job, distressed eye-screw strap hooks and a 61071 stamped neck plate.
The ’78 Eruption Relic comes in a recreated G&G case with reliced handle and latches, and is loaded with ’70s-era Fender Super Bullets strings, Van Halen ’70s tortoiseshell picks, ’78 chain strap and 3-in-One oil can. This model is also accompanied by an exclusive collector’s booklet, a backstage pass vinyl cloth sticker, 8”x10” 1978 concert photo of Eddie Van Halen, signed certificate of authenticity and autographed vinyl copy of Van Halen.
Limited to a 40-piece run, the ’78 Eruption guitar is as it appeared in its original pristine condition, prior to Van Halen embarking on its first-ever world tour.
It features an ash Strat® body, bolt-on maple neck with oiled back finish, straight 12” radius maple fingerboard with katalox dots, black side dots and 21 jumbo frets, hand-cut black pickguard, EVH Frankenstein humbucking bridge pickup, vintage Fender® Stratocaster® bridge with Kluson® brass block, Schaller® tuning keys, white-with-black-stripes motif paint job, eye-screw strap hooks and a 61071 stamped neck plate.
The ’78 Eruption comes in a recreated G&G case and is loaded with ’70s-era Fender Super Bullets, Van Halen ’70s tortoiseshell picks, ’78 chain strap and 3-in-One oil can. This model is also accompanied by an exclusive collector’s booklet, backstage pass vinyl cloth sticker, 8”x10” 1978 concert photo of Eddie Van Halen, signed certificate of authenticity and autographed vinyl copy of Van Halen.
Back when Van Halen’s trailblazing album first appeared, nobody had ever seen or heard a guitar like the one Eddie Van Halen played on it because no such guitar ever existed. What was it? You couldn’t buy one.
That’s because he made it himself. The then 22-year-old Eddie Van Halen had the mind of not only a great musician, but also of an innovative inventor—a constant tinkerer who was always messing with his gear. He couldn’t help it. No off-the-shelf guitar had the features he needed to really let his playing take off, and he knew it. He’d tried a few staples in his formative years, but eventually found them all lacking in one way or another. So, he took matters into his own capable hands.
After starting out with his ’58 Fender Strat, Eddie decided he wanted a heavier piece of wood for the body, so he bought a Strat-shaped body for $50 and a neck for $80.
This new body, of course, came pre-routed for three single-coil pickups, so Van Halen again took up his chisel and soldering iron to install the humbucking pickup, which he had potted himself to reduce feedback by dipping it into a coffee can full of paraffin wax. Also to his preference, he removed the varnish from the neck, which was wider and thinner, and re-fretted it with larger fret wire and Crazy Glue.
It was this Strat body that first received the distinctive and soon-to-be-iconic striped paint job; Van Halen sprayed it with black and white acrylic-lacquer Schwinn bicycle paint. He cut out and mounted his own homemade black pickguard, covering the neck and middle pickup routings, and installed a single master volume knob (although the knob itself, famously, was a “Tone” knob), brass nut and the tailpiece from the ’58 Stratocaster.
Although it didn’t take long to build and although the whole shebang cost him less than $150, this guitar would change the world.
For more information, please visit www.evhgear.com..
Two of the most important and recognizable names in rock ‘n’ roll joined forces in 2005 to develop and launch the EVH brand of guitars, amplifiers and musical products. Guitar icon Eddie Van Halen combines more than 35 years of unparalleled instinct and innovation in instrument and amp design with the expertise of the craftsmen and engineers at Fender® to create some of the highest quality, best sounding and most durable musical instrument products available today.
EVH brand products are the embodiment of Eddie Van Halen’s legendary sound crafting abilities created in partnership with Fender, one of the world’s leading musical instrument manufacturers, marketers and distributors. Notable products include EVH 5150III™ amplifiers and cabinets, Frankenstein™ replica guitar, Striped Series and Wolfgang® guitars in addition to high-quality EVH brand guitar accessories. For more information, visit www.evhgear.com.
About Fender Musical Instruments Corporation: Since 1946, Fender has revolutionized music and culture as one of the world’s leading musical instrument manufacturers, marketers and distributors. Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC), whose portfolio of brands includes Fender®, Squier®, Gretsch® guitars, Jackson®, EVH® and Charvel®, follows a player-centric approach to crafting the highest quality instruments and musical solutions across genres. FMIC is dedicated to unlocking the power of music through electric and acoustic guitars, amplifiers, pro audio, accessories and digital products that inspire and enable musical expression at every stage, from beginners to history-making legends.