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  1. #1
    Romeo Delight
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    Default The Guitar Picks of Edward Van Halen - A Pictorial History 1978 thru 1984

    An offshoot of my being a VH nut since 1978 is that I started a collection of Van Halen guitar picks. Over the years, I've gathered up a fair number of them. I don't think that I have them all, but I can present a fairly accurate picture of the chronology of Eddie's custom picks over the years. Thought some of you might be interested in seeing it.

    Mods - if I posted this in the wrong forum, feel free to move it.

    Eddie's First custom pick:

    The first custom pick Eddie used simply had VAN HALEN on the front of a tortoise shell pick. The back side was blank. Based on photos I've seen, I believe these were used in the 78/79 timeframe.





    Eddie's Second custom pick:

    Another simple design, this one differs from the first in that VAN HALEN is now split over two lines. The back is blank. I believe these appeared around 79.





    WACF/Fair Warning Era:

    Around WACF and the Fair Warning tours, Eddie started using these style custom picks. I think the tortoise/brown color one is from the WACF tour and the black one is from Fair Warning.





    Diver Down:

    The picks for the Diver Down tour were a slightly different variation of the WACF/Fair Warning picks. They had a wider lettering in the Van Halen logo. The back side was still blank.






    1984 Tour:

    Towards the end of the Diver Down tour and during the US Festival, Eddie's first signature picks started to appear. These designs were used throughout the 1984 tour. The front featured the classic VH logo and the back had Eddie's signature.

    Front side:


    Back:


    I'll continue in another post if there is interest...

  2. #2
    Unchained
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    You know, I've read about everything ever put in print about Eddie but I don't recall if he was very particular about the types of picks he used?

    Seems like it could be an important part of his technique, but maybe any old pick will do in the hands of the master.

  3. #3
    Romeo Delight
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    Quote Originally Posted by gman6 View Post
    You know, I've read about everything ever put in print about Eddie but I don't recall if he was very particular about the types of picks he used?

    Seems like it could be an important part of his technique, but maybe any old pick will do in the hands of the master.
    The picks he was using from the first tour through 1984 were fairly heavy, some were almost as thick as a bass pick. From 5150 through Balance, he was using much thinner picks.
    Last edited by lwk5150; 04.01.12 at 01:14 PM.

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  5. #4
    Romeo Delight
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    Default Eddie's Picks - 5150 and OU812 Tours

    5150 Tour:

    For the 5150 tour, Eddie changed up his picks again. The front still featured the classic VH logo (even though the band was switching to the new "ring" logo) with VAN HALEN included. On the back, Eddie's signature changed somewhat to be on one line and it incorporated 5150 in the loop of his sig. Also, these picks were much thinner than those he previously used.

    Front:


    Back:



    OU812 Tour:

    For the OU812 and Monsters of Rock tour, Eddie's picks now had OU812 on the front. The reverse side was identical to the 5150 tour picks.

    Front:


    Back:

  6. #5
    Romeo Delight
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    Default Eddie's Picks - Carnal Knowledge and Live:RHRN Tours

    For the For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge and Live: RHRN Tours, Eddie used a huge number of variations:

    Carnal Knowledge/ Live:RHRN:

    These are the first picks that featured the "ring" logo that first appeared on the 5150 album. Eddie changed up the signature on the back, replacing the 5150 with F.U.C.K.




    The "Sayings" Picks:

    Eddie had a large number of picks with sayings on the back - the front now featured the ring logo and his signature.






  7. #6
    Romeo Delight
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    Default Eddie's Picks - Carnal Knowledge / Live:RHRN cont'd

    The rest of the "sayings" picks that appeared on the Live:RHRN tour:



  8. #7
    Romeo Delight
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    Default Eddie's Picks - Balance Tour

    Eddie continued to use a huge number of variations for the Balance tour.

    These picks were from the North American leg:

    Some of the had a front design that was based on the Carnal Knowledge picks - with the ring logo and signature on front. some just had the ring logo on front. The beige pick in the lower row is interesting in that the print was molded into the pick, not printed on it.






    He also has a set that for each different day of the week - in English and Spanish:





    For the Japanese leg of the tour he came out with a whole new set of picks:

    I was told the Japanese writing on the one picks translates to " I Can't Stop Lovin' You"






    More Balance Japan picks:



  9. #8
    Romeo Delight
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    Default Eddie's Picks - III Tour

    III Tour:

    Eddie had a lot fewer pick variations, basically just two color variations of the same pick. The tortoise shell pick is cool because I actually caught that one in the front row of the Syracuse NY show.





    He also sometimes used the beige molded pick that appeared on the Balance tour.

    I can put the 2004, 2007/8, and 2012 tour picks up n a day or two after I get scans of them, if anyone is interested...

  10. #9
    Good Enough JakeK21's Avatar
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    Cool stuff dude. Definetely update it with the newer picks. I'll have to try thicker picks again. I've been using .60mm forever, but maybe it's time to try something different.

  11. #10
    Romeo Delight
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    Quote Originally Posted by JakeK21 View Post
    Cool stuff dude. Definetely update it with the newer picks. I'll have to try thicker picks again. I've been using .60mm forever, but maybe it's time to try something different.
    The pick he's using live on the 2012 tour is .60mm...

  12. #11
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    Very cool. I would love the picks from 07-08 and the current tour. I try to pretend to 04 tour never happened.

  13. #12
    Sinner's Swing! evhintexas's Avatar
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    Yeah man, post em up.
    Those are some cool pics of the picks !!!
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    Atomic Punk Raldo's Avatar
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    This is a cool thread!!!

    Loved seeing all those picks like that.
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  15. #14
    Romeo Delight pforsell's Avatar
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    Awesome idea!

  16. #15
    Eruption
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    Quote Originally Posted by lwk5150 View Post
    The picks he was using from the first tour through 1984 were fairly heavy, some were almost as thick as a bass pick. From 5150 through Balance, he was using much thinner picks.
    Bass pick? Picks are picks. I've used a 2.0mm for many years for guitar. I prefer no bend whatsoever in my picks. Great photos here!
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