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  1. #1
    Baluchitherium
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    Default My 27 year old '82 homemade Franky

    Trip down memory lane some of you may get a kick out of.

    Hey all,

    There are so many amazing builders, artists and luthiers that visit this forum.
    I have dug this guitar out for giggles but also because I may salvage the old original Floyd Rose that is on it. I think a lot of you will get a laugh over this.

    sorry if this story is long but I'm getting a kick out of thinking about all this. Digging this guitar out really brings back memories. lol

    In the summer of 1982 I was heading into sophomore year of high school..
    I had already been playing guitar for about 6 years. I was in a band(Mammoth) lol that actually played out some (parties, teen night things etc)but my main axe was an Ibanez Artist. My dad bought it for me at Sam Goody for like $260 bucks in like 80. Remember when Sam Goody sold guitars? lol Well at some point a girl friend's brother had a guitar catalog that had the Charvel Bumble bee in it. He showed it to me and I was floored being the major VH fan. I had already seen them live a few times by then.

    So a week or so later I asked to see the catalog again..I wanted to get one, try and find one..I couldn't remember the name of the company or what they called the guitar. Now in this day there was no internet or anything so imagine how trying to hunt something down like this was. Well he couldn't find the catalog and didn't know the brand. lol So I started calling places from 8th street music in Philly to small local tiny music stores. No one had any idea what I was talking about. One day a place I called said yes...black with yellow striped Van Halen guitar? Yes he have one..It's a Hondo 2. I flipped omg I found one. That weekend we went to get it and to my shock it was not the one in the catalog..the body style was not quite right and the stripes were a mix of paint and some type of tape. It was black with yellow stripes though but had single coils.

    Well I got it anyway thinking it must be an official Vh guitar lol and after awhile it bugged me it wasn't what I wanted. So that summer I came up with a plan..I was going to paint it like the frankestrat. At that point I had a small amount of good pics of his guitar and most had a cream colored humbucker in it. I had also read that he used a chisel to help make the cavity bigger. I had NO idea what I was doing. lol

    So I took it apart. My Artist had cream colored humbuckers so I took one out. I took a chisel and tried to make the bridge cavity big enough to hold it.
    If you look the pickup poles don't even line up on a diagnol with the strings but in the day who cared! lol

    The guitar turned out "not bad" all things considered. This thing was actually a huge hit anytime we played out anywhere especially since we played a lot of VH and hard rock. In late 82 or sometime in 83 my local music store got the brand new Floyd Rose tremolo's in and I had it installed on my "masterpiece". I was so proud of that guitar back then. It's wild to look at ti now especially after seeing all the amazing work guys that are here do.
    Unlike many of you..I never got more into this aspect of guitars. Maybe some of you have similar stories. I'm sure some must have gotten into guitar building this way.

    Well anyway. Here she is in all her ancient, inaccurate and funky glory.

    This guitar had been retired though since about 1985. lol



    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  2. #2
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    HAHA great story.
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  3. #3
    Sinner's Swing! johnnybeane's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 08:03 PM
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    Awesome story man!

    I didn't get into VH till 4 years later and turned a kramer into a VH guitar in 1992.

    Rockin man!
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  4. #4
    Baluchitherium
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    hehe thats cool JB. Have you posted it? If not post it here with it's story.
    Would be cool if others did too. The main reason I posted this is I figured I wasn't alone in this and that all guitar players and long time fans could at least appreciate the story. Like a kid in the 80's trying to desperately hunt down a Charvel VH guitar no one knew wtf it was and then thinking you found one but of course it wasn't it. In fact it was something lame. I've tried to make lemonade out of lemons even since a kid. lol

    I figured people would get a kick out of the guitar and story. I'm sure many builders started out rough like this. hehe

    Last edited by At0micPunk; 06.11.09 at 01:58 AM.
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  5. #5
    Whoa, this is heavy! Jedi McFly's Avatar
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    Ha, that's awesome

  6. #6
    Eruption
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    To think, all you had was pics in mags and posters.
    Knowone will ever see my first Eddie rocker.
    It was frightning.
    Long live the Hondo!
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  7. #7
    Baluchitherium sinner's swing's Avatar
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    12.02.17 @ 07:05 AM
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    It may be "inaccurate" but it has the spirit of the original Franky for sure!! Cool stuff.

  8. #8
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    Greath story man..we're in the same generation..so i can relate... what's msot impressive is the fact that you still have it..

  9. #9
    Eruption
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    Theres just something cool about your VH guitar, Punk. VERY cool story! -Red43j
    Eddie must think I'm a BOZO to want to drop THAT much on one of his new Charvel Guitars!

  10. #10
    Atomic Punk
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    very cool man...very cool!
    Stay out of it, dude.


    I am Van Halen.

  11. #11
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    Cool story At0micPunk!

    We're the same age and I remember when Sam Goodie sold guitars, only back then, it was called "Harmony Hut".

    I have to say ... that guitar would have been THE SHIT 27 years ago!
    I made my first guitar in "wood shop" when I was a sophmore in high school too.
    Nowdays, alot of schools don't even offer wood shop ... what a shame!

    The first guitar I built was sort of a "hybrid" ...
    I sold my very first guitar (a Univox Hi Flier) to a kid in my neighborhood a few years earlier. Years later, I joined a local band and discovered he was the bass player. I asked about the guitar one day and he said the only thing left was the neck and I convinced him to sell it to me.

    I took that neck, plugged the tuner holes and cut down the sides of the headstock on the table saw in wood shop. Then I glued wood to the sides, created my own paddle head, and cut out a V-shape out of the headstock.
    It looked identical to the headstocks used on the Deal ML guitars, but I had never seen those guitars before and I honsestly thought I had come up with something totally "original". lol

    I then made the body out of solid maple.
    Back then, the only resources I had were the local luthiers.
    There was no "internet", so I spent alot of time visiting different luthiers and asking alot of questions. This is when I first learned about bridge placement, scale legnths, setups, etc .. It was really great to be able to sponge off these guys and it offered me alot of hands on experience as well.

    I chose a shape that, at the time, I thought was "original".
    I loved flying V's and Explorers, but I didn't want to copy them.
    I drew up several ideas on posterboard, and when I was finally happy with the shape, I transposed it to the maple plank and cut it out on the bandsaw.
    Irnoically, I would later find that the shape I thought was so "original" was identical to the Dean ML guitar.
    I swear, I had never seen one of these guitars until AFTER I built mine.
    I mean, what are the chances of modifying a neck EXACTLY like that of a Dean ML, and then designing the same exact body to match!?!?!

    Regardless, it was a really cool guitar.
    The neck was off my very first guitar, so it already felt like "home".
    The body was left bare due to the fact that I had no clue how to paint a guitar. It had one pickup (Gibson Humbucker) and one volume control, and it didn't sound thin at all, despite the sold maple body. It actually sounded really, really good!

    Unfortunately, the guitar was eventually sold (yeah, I'm a dumbass).
    I have only one picture of that guitar and I've been looking for it for the last 6 or 7 years now. I know it's somewhere ... I just can't find it.

    As for the "new" EvH Charvels that were available at the time ... I had one.
    I mowed many lawns, and shoveled alot of snow to save enough money to buy it. And yes ... it took that long. lol

    It was $600 new.
    At the time, Charvel was painting them with all kinds of different stripe patterns. I remember spending the whole day, looking at them all, trying to decide which one looked the "coolest" and this is the one I ended up with ...



    Unfortunately, that guitar was also sold, though it was somewhat forced.
    An ex-girlfriend discovered that I had moved on and was seeing someone else. She then came to me and told me she was pregnant and, well ... I was young and scared, so I agreed to give her money for "medical procedures". The only thing I had of any value was that guitar, so ... I did what I thought I had to do.

    The worst part of it is ... I later found out that she was never pregnant.

    Sorry for all the rambling guys ...
    This thread just brought back ALOT of memories for me.
    Last edited by Dino5150; 06.11.09 at 02:49 PM.

  12. #12
    Baluchitherium
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    It's fun to relive that stuff. Thanks for the cool comments.

    Soon that original floyd will be on a pro built Franky with the evh relic pup so finally after all these years I will have that proper EVH guitar. I'm doing this for sentimental giggles.
    ---------------

    Awesome post Dino. Thx for the response. I assumed we were near the same age but thats wild.

    That franky was a huge hit in the day with our peers. VH was catching on, mtv was starting to show them some(Oakland vids etc) and we were kids playing for kids. lol The reaction really surprised me then cause I was just a big fan who wanted a VH guitar. I didn't think anyone would care. People would cheer b4 we even played anything. lol Fun young innocent days. I didn't think it was lame to copy it, I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. It's so silly we were called Mammoth but back then unless you read a lot of VH interviews no one knew the name was VH related. We eventually dropped all that stuff when we were 18ish but Mammoth had a good run. lol

    Sam Goody was called Sam Goody here then but they sold records, tapes, laser disc players, some stereos i think etc and guitars. That was my favorite part of the store..in the back they had guitars and all types of music books. This is b4 tabs so the music books had only(usually inaccurate) chords/basic melodies and no real way to help you figure out wtf ED was doing. You had to slow down the record with your finger for that. By ear is the best way to develop your ear anyways especially for a kid. Still the music books had awesome pictures eh?...like the VH 1 & 2 one which essentially had the entire VH2 tourbook in it. What a big deal all that was then. At least they had lyrics in them. It would be hilarious to see what they had for Eruption now if they had it listed. Just the few chords maybe? lol

    I sound a like an old man saying..."I remember when a loaf of bread was 2 cents". hehe

    Cool story about your early guitar building days Dino! Yes back then with no net, limited exposure, & info how were you to know your original design was already being done somewhere. Very impressive you started with all that to such a degree so young. I can see how you would get so into it. The work you have posted here is jaw dropping. Everyone thinks so.

    Awesome old picture man! hell yes lol Totally 80's. Those were good times. You had a bumble bee?! Wtf! Deep inside of me is still that kid frustrated I never located one after calling places for weeks and weeks...and you had many to chose from? OMG! hehe

    Seriously though thats sweet. I thought that their headstocks were strat-ish? Were there variations throughout their run? Either way thats the best dude. I'm sure you loved the thing. That guitar WAS the shit back then. I'm sure you had a blast with it. Sorry to hear how you had to sell it and your original. $600.00 was a lot for a guitar back then for a kid!

    Well at least now you can make your own that are even nicer. I still have an itch sometimes to track one down on Ebay just because that thing is still like the lost grail to the kid in me. Last time I saw a real one for sale was Ed Roman's site like 10 years ago..but he had put a floyd on it and wanted over 3k for it I think.

    I don't have a scanner and not sure where all my old pics are. lol I wish I could put something up. You guys would crack up especially over the 80's big hair and my singers old DLR inspired outfits. lmao it was cool THEN( he was actually good and into karate also heh). It's funny as hell NOW.

    Peace guys. It's fun to look back and regress with people. I enjoyed that and hoped many would share these types of stories.. I know I'm(we're) not alone in all this. Thats a huge part of the fun of this forum imo..not only keeping up with VH but sharing past and future memories with fellow Van Halen fans.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by At0micPunk View Post
    It's fun to relive that stuff. Thanks for the cool comments.

    Soon that original floyd will be on a pro built Franky with the evh relic pup so finally after all these years I will have that proper EVH guitar. I'm doing this for sentimental giggles.
    ---------------
    That's gonna to be awesome to use a piece from your original Franky.
    In a way, it's almost like the guitar lives on! lol

    Quote Originally Posted by At0micPunk View Post
    Awesome post Dino. Thx for the response. I assumed we were near the same age but thats wild.

    That franky was a huge hit in the day with our peers. VH was catching on, mtv was starting to show them some(Oakland vids etc) and we were kids playing for kids. lol The reaction really surprised me then cause I was just a big fan who wanted a VH guitar. I didn't think anyone would care. People would cheer b4 we even played anything. lol Fun young innocent days. I didn't think it was lame to copy it, I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. It's so silly we were called Mammoth but back then unless you read a lot of VH interviews no one knew the name was VH related. We eventually dropped all that stuff when we were 18ish but Mammoth had a good run. lol
    Yeah, life was so much simpler back then.
    Those really were great times and I really feel fortunate to have grown up in that era.

    Quote Originally Posted by At0micPunk View Post
    Sam Goody was called Sam Goody here then but they sold records, tapes, laser disc players, some stereos i think etc and guitars. That was my favorite part of the store..in the back they had guitars and all types of music books. This is b4 tabs so the music books had only(usually inaccurate) chords/basic melodies and no real way to help you figure out wtf ED was doing. You had to slow down the record with your finger for that. By ear is the best way to develop your ear anyways especially for a kid. Still the music books had awesome pictures eh?...like the VH 1 & 2 one which essentially had the entire VH2 tourbook in it. What a big deal all that was then. At least they had lyrics in them. It would be hilarious to see what they had for Eruption now if they had it listed. Just the few chords maybe? lol
    There was no other way BUT to learn that stuff by ear!
    My parents used to have one of those huge console TV's with the record player and stereo on one side and a place to hold all your albums on the other. The thing was gigantic! I think it had 12" or 15" speakers on both sides. It was huge.

    I remember the record player had several speeds ... 72, 33, 45, and 16.
    I figured out that if you played the albums at "16", they would play at half speed at almost an exact octave pitch lower. I used to sit in front of that thing for hours learning all the VH riffs. Yep ... learning all that stuff by ear really was the only way back then. And you're absolutely right abought TAB. It was horrible. To this day, TAB just makes me wanna cringe.

    Quote Originally Posted by At0micPunk View Post
    I sound a like an old man saying..."I remember when a loaf of bread was 2 cents". hehe
    Yep ... we have become our parents. lol

    Quote Originally Posted by At0micPunk View Post
    Cool story about your early guitar building days Dino! Yes back then with no net, limited exposure, & info how were you to know your original design was already being done somewhere. Very impressive you started with all that to such a degree so young. I can see how you would get so into it. The work you have posted here is jaw dropping. Everyone thinks so.
    Thanks so much! ... that's an awesome compliment considering all the talented builders who post here.

    It's sorta funny .... I later learned that alot of the stuff I did on that first guitar, like plugging the tuner holes and making a paddle head, are the same exact methods alot of the pros were doing (Kramer with the 5150, Sandoval and his V's, etc..) and still do! I had no clue what I was doing ... I just wanted something different and figured that was probably the best way to do it. None of the local luthiers in my area were doing stuff like that. They were extremely knowledgable and taught me ALOT, but they mostly did minor repairs, setups, and that sort of thing. Nothing really "outside the box".

    Quote Originally Posted by At0micPunk View Post
    Awesome old picture man! hell yes lol Totally 80's. Those were good times. You had a bumble bee?! Wtf! Deep inside of me is still that kid frustrated I never located one after calling places for weeks and weeks...and you had many to chose from? OMG! hehe

    Seriously though thats sweet. I thought that their headstocks were strat-ish? Were there variations throughout their run? Either way thats the best dude. I'm sure you loved the thing. That guitar WAS the shit back then. I'm sure you had a blast with it. Sorry to hear how you had to sell it and your original. $600.00 was a lot for a guitar back then for a kid!
    Funny thing about the headstock ...
    When I first saw those guitars, they all had strat style headstocks.
    Like I said, I mowed lawns, shoveled snow, and did all kinds of odd jobs for a LONG time. When I finally had enough money and went back to the store, I learned that Charvel no longer offered the strat style headstock and all the VH guitars in the store had pointy headstocks .... man, I was bummed!
    But I had worked really hard to save for it and nothing was gonna stop me from buying it, with or without the strat style headstock!

    A couple years ago, I joined the Charvel forum and offered a reward to anyone having any information leading to it's return. Someone claimed to have seen it in a repair shop in Texas, but they never gave me any information on the shop to help me contact the owner. It would have been cool to get it back after all these years but I guess it just wasn't meant to be.


    Quote Originally Posted by At0micPunk View Post
    Well at least now you can make your own that are even nicer. I still have an itch sometimes to track one down on Ebay just because that thing is still like the lost grail to the kid in me. Last time I saw a real one for sale was Ed Roman's site like 10 years ago..but he had put a floyd on it and wanted over 3k for it I think.
    Yeah dude ... those things go for some serious cash nowdays.
    I would be happy just to build an exact replica of that guitar, but unfortunately I don't have enough pics. Remember, those were the days when you had to go to the local PhotoMat and have them developed. lol

    Quote Originally Posted by At0micPunk View Post
    I don't have a scanner and not sure where all my old pics are. lol I wish I could put something up. You guys would crack up especially over the 80's big hair and my singers old DLR inspired outfits. lmao it was cool THEN( he was actually good and into karate also heh). It's funny as hell NOW.
    You've GOTTA find a scanner dude ... I'd love to see those pics.

    Quote Originally Posted by At0micPunk View Post
    Peace guys. It's fun to look back and regress with people. I enjoyed that and hoped many would share these types of stories.. I know I'm(we're) not alone in all this. Thats a huge part of the fun of this forum imo..not only keeping up with VH but sharing past and future memories with fellow Van Halen fans.
    Thanks for the cool thread AP!
    It's always nice to go back and take a trip down memory lane.

  14. #14
    Eruption
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    I absolutely dig that pic of Dino.
    Screams 80's all the way.
    Man, were old.
    There's times I wish I didn't get fucked up all those years of my life. Who knows what I coulda done.
    But without those years, I wouldn't be so happy today.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron4406 View Post
    I absolutely dig that pic of Dino.
    Screams 80's all the way.
    Man, were old.
    There's times I wish I didn't get fucked up all those years of my life. Who knows what I coulda done.
    But without those years, I wouldn't be so happy today.
    Thanks Ron!
    My mom made the appointment at "Olan Mills", a photography place that used to be in my area (hence the stupid pose). I absolutely hated having my picture taken (still do!) but she literally begged me to go.
    So I made a deal with her...
    I'd agree to go and get my picture taken on the condition that she'd let me have the picture taken with my guitar.

 

 

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