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  1. #1
    On Fire Warmoth's Avatar
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    12.20.12 @ 07:26 AM
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    [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img] Hey everyone! I have been a long time viewer and decided to add a post that I thought you all might enjoy. To make a long story short, I play in a rock band in Nashville, TN. About 3 years ago after a gig on a Saturday night(about 2am) this guy comes up to me and asks me what I thought about my Peavey Wolfgang. I told him it was "ok". He said "yeh, they are truly pieces of shi&$^." I told him that I liked my VH Musicman much better, even though I didn't bring it to the gig. He agreed, and said that there was no comparison between the 2 guitars. I noticed he had a VH logo necklace on, and I asked him "do I know who you are?" and he said "maybe." I asked him if he was Zeke Clark, Eddie's gutiar tech, and he said "yes, that he was, but not anymore". (I believe he stopped teching after the F.U.C.K tour.) He was now a local tech in Nashville, TN for various other players etc. We seemed to hit it off well, and after about 10 minutes he asked me if I would like to play the "REAL" Van Halen guitars. I was floored! Needless to say I followed him (and his Jaguar) to a house about 10 miles away. We pulled into his large garage. He had Platinum records hanging all over the place. I noticed a lot of Zeppelin, Prince and of course VH!!! All albums he had something to do with (tech-wise I assumed) Zeke, me and his brother went upstairs to his living room and started watching Live Without A Net on a bigscreen TV. Zeke showed me his photo album of many many pictures he had of him, Ed and Valerie hanging out a 5150 and Ed's house. There were not to many pix of the band members. I remember a few photos of a silver or primered Lamborghini and a shot or 2 of Alex. He also had a photo album with about 500 guitar picks. He gave me a white pick that has Eddies signature on it with 5150 embossed in gold ink. The other side has the VH logo. The whole time Zeke was pretty drunk. His brother was not. His brother seemed to be about 38 and was handicapped. Some sort of walking problem. But he was a really nice guy and more down to earth. I picked up a yellow guitar Zeke made for prince (it was that goofy symbol looking thing) It had a Kahler on it. (pretty sad). I played a red Washburn looking guitar he built for Sam. Then Zeke says "are you ready to play the real thing?" And I was like ok!!!! He went into a spare bedroom and pulled out 5 cases from under a HUGE bed. Each one was opened to reveal the striped 5150 Kramers, cigarette burns and all! I almost passed out! Zeke claims that there are 18 Kramer guitars in all (that he made), and he owns most of them. Although 1 was stolen at a show (by security!!!) in Miami several years back. We plugged each one in, one at a time. He had a coffee table in his living room that was an amplifier aswell. You just plugged into the damn coffee table. It was cool. The guitars felt really nice. They were pretty heavy to my surprise. The Floyd Rose/whammy bars were real loose and warn out. They really wobbled. Zeke said that was how Eddie like them and that they were that way on purpose. They sounded great. Zeke and I traded VH licks. He was quite a terrible player. Maybe the alcohol didn't help....but trust me, he was not too good. But like that matters. He is a tech guru, not a rock star. He proceded to tell me about how he wound all the pickups many times to Eddies liking, and how Eddie would have him constantly tweak a pickup until it was right. He also told me how they decided on specefic metals to use in the floyd rose while working with Floyd Rose personally. He claims each guitar is worth about 35,000 each. He keeps 5 in Nashville and like 6 in LA. The others are in another house. He spreads them out so they can't all be stolen or lost in a fire at once. He keeps them at relatives houses, and they basically babysit. There is quite a bit more to the story but I am not sure if anyone wants to hear more. I hope you all have enjoyed this long winded story. Trust me, it is all true and I am a blessed person for experiencing it. There is a little more if you want me to tell it.
    By the way, I am very happy to see that Ed was at NAMM, and I cannot wait for new VH. I feel as though Sammy will return but who knows? I am a fan of both eras. I just want new VH like everyone else.
    PEACE everyone!
    As usual, there is a great woman behind every idiot.
    - John Lennon

  2. #2
    Damage your reputation seenbad's Avatar
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    09.26.16 @ 04:44 PM
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    Donor

    Great first post dude. Of course we'd love to hear more. That kind of thing is what the site is here for man. Spill it! [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img]
    sheepa latta peepah dabba looka foh a moopy

    Gunter glieben glauchen globen

  3. #3
    Hot For Teacher
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    02.28.12 @ 12:53 PM
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    Not that I don't believe your experience, but I find it hard to believe that Eddie would let all of his guitars be with someone else. Perhaps since this guy used to build guitars for Ed, he was qualified enough to make himself some REALLY good copies. Or perhaps he made some stuff that Ed rejected and he was allowed to keep them.

    From what I have read, Ed still has most of those guitars locked away somewhere.

    Can anyone shed some light on that?
    ExpandedConsciousness:

    WOW!!! HOLYFUCKINGFUCK!!! What kind of Twilight Zone am I living in? What kind of Viagra-Testosterone mix are these 50 year old + guys on? I never thought I'd hear another Dave and Eddie album again. If I did, I thought it would be a mid-paced affair like the Rolling Stones or later day AC/DC. After the TATTOO single I was ready for a poppy album from old guys, with a few nods to harder rock (She's A Woman and Bullethead) and I would have been happy with that.

    I NEVER THOUGHT I'D BE GETTING A FULL-THROTTLE HARD ROCK, HEAVY METAL, BALLS TO THE WALL, FUCKING VAN HALEN THRASH METAL ALBUM!!!

  4. #4
    Top Of The World
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    03.03.08 @ 10:34 PM
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    Warmoth,

    Way cool story, man. Killer.

    Didn't Zeke Clark used to post on the Warner Bros. Van Halen forums site???

    I am pretty sure that is was him.

  5. #5
    On Fire Warmoth's Avatar
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    12.20.12 @ 07:26 AM
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    True enough. That is a good thought, and I was thinking that at first too. But remember, these are only the "Kramer" guitars Zeke made, not the ones Eddie made. He doesn't own Frankenstein or any of the original Eddie chop jobs. These were touring guitars, and were also used on some recordings. I'm not sure why Zeke (his real name is Randall) would need to fake it anyway. He told me an extensive story regarding when he was in New York and was watching TV when the show he was watching was interupted by a news story about the earthquake in California. This was about 1992 I believe. He had to fly out to California because his house was destroyed. That's where he lived at the time. He claimed that all of the destroyed homes were surrounded by police tape etc and that they would not allow anyone to try and recover any items due to safety issues plus the fact that insurance was going to cover "any losses" and they didn't want people to salvage anything that was going to be laid to waste anyways. Well, he went up to his place early in the am when the cops weren't there and had to climb under the rubble basically, to salvage Eddie's guitars, as well as other guitars and other personal items like his mountain bike etc, platinum record plaques, etc... One of the items he salvaged was a Les Paul given to him by Les Paul. It has Les Pauls wifes name written on the fret board instead of fret inlays. Pretty cool guitar.... He said people constantly ask him if he will rent the guitar(s) for a day just for studio work, but he refuses. He seemed very proud and protective of his work. One of the guitars I played, he showed me a candid picture of Eddie with the guitar. Granted, it was only a picture but considering the source how could I dispute it? We hung out until about 4:30 am. I told Zeke I had to go. I was too tired to continue playing, but I was hopeful that I would hear from him again. I gave him my email and phone number. He never called (surprise surprise). One of the final things he said to me was "please don't tell anyone where I live." I agreed, shook his hand and departed. I don't remember the ride home, but I will never forget that night.
    As usual, there is a great woman behind every idiot.
    - John Lennon

  6. #6
    Eruption
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    "We seemed to hit it off well, and after about 10 minutes he asked me if I would like to play the 'REAL' Van Halen guitars."

    -------------------------------

    Any idea why Zeke invited you to his home to play extremely valuable instruments after knowing you for 10 minutes?

  7. #7
    5150 Crown Royal's Avatar
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    09.26.16 @ 12:43 PM
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    [img]graemlins/brickwall.gif[/img] [img]graemlins/brickwall.gif[/img] PARAGRAPHS [img]graemlins/brickwall.gif[/img] [img]graemlins/brickwall.gif[/img]


  8. #8
    Top Of The World Halenizer's Avatar
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    07.08.15 @ 11:21 AM
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    Hey Warmoth, great story [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img] [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img]

    Can you tell me about the action on eddie's guitars, was it pretty low?
    "Who would ever believe a little dutch boy could create such a ruccous"

    - Eddie Van Halen


    Check out my band "Modern Relic" on youtube and Facebook

  9. #9
    Sinner's Swing! ED-A-HOLIC's Avatar
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    09.26.16 @ 12:05 PM
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    Awsome Experience!!!
    "I could call it anything, but the only word I can think of is Brown. It's just a warm sound. Warm, big, majestic" - Eddie Van Halen on his Tone

    "Van Halen is definitely a ladies band, and I´ve got the Polaroids to prove it". - David Lee Roth

    WOLFGANG did the IMPOSSIBLE, he brought back VAN HALEN, DEAL WITH IT.

  10. #10
    On Fire Warmoth's Avatar
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    12.20.12 @ 07:26 AM
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    The action on the guitars were a little high for my taste. Not too high, kind of like a strat.

    As far as Zeke only knowing me for 10 minutes and asking me back to his place to see the guitars... well the only thing I can think of is that it was the year 2000, and VH hadn't done anything for a while,Zeke was far away from being involved with VH at that point and he probably enjoys telling his experiences to someone who is really into VH and who isn't a crazy fan. I guess his first impressions felt that I was a decent guy and would not present any danger etc. Also, it was after 2am and he was pretty lit. Also, Nashville is a very "walk up" town. People are nice and pretty much everyone here is a musician and I think we related very well to each other. That's all I can say. Only Zeke knows the true answer to that one.
    As usual, there is a great woman behind every idiot.
    - John Lennon

  11. #11
    Hang 'Em High MAX's Avatar
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    06.03.10 @ 10:18 AM
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    Donor

    Great stories and thanks. I remember reading that Ed had a large alotment of backup Kramer Baretta types for the tours and the way he and the techs could tell them apart was by the number of stars that were on the headstocks. I believe that was in an old interview from his former tech Rudy Leiren(sp?).

    [ January 25, 2003, 01:21 PM: Message edited by: Ou812max ]
    EAT US AND SMILE!!!!

    "Please don't take my teddy bear... Please!!!" - diamondsgirl's Oscar nominated dramatic scene for best actress of 2007

    "and by Van Halen, I mean David Lee Roth" - diamondsgirl on Van Halen

  12. #12
    Atomic Punk Wolfman's Avatar
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    05.27.16 @ 08:26 AM
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    Man, that's a killer story, Warmoth. Sounds like total fun, and I loved the coffeee table amp - going to have to get cracking on my workbench to do something like that. [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img]

    I agree with you about Nashville - my sister has lived there for around 14 years, and every time I have visited, it seems like everybody gets even friendlier.

  13. #13
    Hot For Teacher
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Yeah, cool stuff, Warmoth. What's the name of your band? I'm in Nashville every now and then and am always looking for good local music. [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img]

  14. #14
    On Fire Warmoth's Avatar
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    12.20.12 @ 07:26 AM
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    The name of my band is "Tangent Kings". We have been around since mid 1996. At this time were are taking gigging time off to complete another CD since that is the only way we are able to get work done. We wont be playng until probably May or June. Which totally bums me, but it has to be that way.
    I am also supporting a guitar instrumental thing I have been working on for a couple years. I am currently putting a side project together. Take a listen to our tunes.

    www.mp3.com/tangentkings

    www.mp3.com/ratbastard

    www.tangentkings.com

  15. #15
    Good Enough VanEdge's Avatar
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    04.27.16 @ 05:35 PM
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    Donor

    warmoth - how are the necks on those guitars?

    my buddy bought what is apparently one of the actual striped 5150 Kramers EVH built himself in New Jersey. It came with a certificate of authenticity, too. I don't know, but the thing looks and sounds amazing.

    Anyway, I have 2 EBMMs and a Peavey Wolfgang, and the neck on the 5150 is nowhere near either the EBMM or the Wolfie.

    EVH said the EBMM was modeled exactly off his 5150 neck, which is nothing like the neck on my buddy's EVH Kramer. The Kramer neck is really thick and big. Every EBMM neck I've ever played pretty much felt the same - all small & narrow.

    What were Zeke's like???
    -VanEdge
    1992 EBMM EVH (Translucent Red)
    1993 EBMM EVH (Translucent Yellow)
    1999 Peavey Wolfgang (Translucent Purple)
    2005 EVH Art Series Charvel (Red/White/Black Stripe)
    2009 EVH Wolfgang (Tobacco Sunburst)


    THE INTERNET HAS BEEN GIVEN FAIR WARNING... VHLINKS/FORUMS WILL NOT DIE!!! - VanEdge

    "Eddie Van Halen could fart into a microphone and make better music than anyone else." - VanEdge

    "See, all I do is make music..." - EVH

    "Look at all the people here tonight!" - DLR

 

 

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