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  1. #1
    Eruption garbeaj's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 08:55 PM
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    Default Black Charvel Explorer

    I just wanted to post a picture of Eddie with the black (some people say dark red) Charvel Explorer that I ran across today that I haven't seen before. Some of you have probably seen this pic before, but it was new to me.

    I figured I'd also post a couple that have made the rounds several times before...cool guitar! I like this guitar...I think it became the "Snake" guitar later, but I like it like this better

    Last edited by garbeaj; 07.10.14 at 11:17 AM.

  2. #2
    Eruption garbeaj's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Eruption garbeaj's Avatar
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  4. #4
    Eruption garbeaj's Avatar
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  5. #5
    Good Enough Kevin Dodds's Avatar
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    Awesome. What is with the Danelectro neck though? Is that the same damn one that ended up on the Star and the Rude (at times)? What was wrong with the Charvel neck?

    Also looks like he went a little goofy on the pickup, pickup plate, and knob colors. That's funny. I am positive that it became the Snake. The live footage of it in action is amazing actually -- the Snake was no slouch of a guitar.

    And there it is right there!

    KBD3

  6. #6
    Romeo Delight
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    Sometimes certain necks just feel right. He may have had many of these Danelectros that he used on his home builds, from what you mentioned I think he used them on all of his builds after Frankie until he had Kramer make them.

  7. #7
    Eruption garbeaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Dodds View Post
    Awesome. What is with the Danelectro neck though? Is that the same damn one that ended up on the Star and the Rude (at times)? What was wrong with the Charvel neck?

    Also looks like he went a little goofy on the pickup, pickup plate, and knob colors. That's funny. I am positive that it became the Snake. The live footage of it in action is amazing actually -- the Snake was no slouch of a guitar.

    And there it is right there!

    KBD3
    Yep, this did become the Snake...and just the one Danelectro neck as far as I know...he never had another Danelectro neck.

    Wayne Charvel had a Danelectro lying around the shop...Ed picked it up and played it and he fell in love with it.

    As far as I understand (and I would have to check with jimi on this to be sure) but I believe it was first installed on the unfinished Boogie Bodies/Azusa "Women In Love" intro guitar, then it made it's way to this black (or dark red) Charvel Explorer style body, then back to the "Women In Love" intro guitar for the recording of the second album, then to the "Star" guitar where it received a Floyd Rose nut, then the "Rude" guitar on the Fair Warning tour, then it had wood added to the headstock that was re-shaped into the bizarre form we see when it sat on the Frankenstein during the Brian May & Friends Star Fleet Project EP jacket photos, which stayed on the Frankenstein until the U.S. Festival backstage gag reel with L.A. DJ Jim "Paraquat" Kelly, then it was suddenly replaced with the Kramer beak neck. That's the last time I recall seeing the neck.

    Here is a link to the article where Wayne Charvel describes when he fit the Danelectro neck on the unfinished strat body originally-at least that's how I read it...(Greg Renoff sent me this link in another discussion related to what became of Steven Rosen's aborted Life and Times of Edward Van Halen biography...check out Steven's explanation of what went down in the intro)

    http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/inter...e_charvel.html

    Wayne's memory is hazy and jumbled in a lot of this interview, but read the part where he is talking about the Danelectro neck to mean that they put the Danelectro neck on a strat body (ie. the "Women In Love" intro guitar). The Lynn Elsworth neck that ended up on the Frankenstein had a flat fingerboard radius. I think the story just points out that Ed loved the Danelectro neck and he got turned on to using flat fingerboards because of his love of the Danelectro neck. I can't tell if Wayne took the Danelectro neck off of the guitar that Ed played (that may have belonged to Wayne or Karl Sandoval) or if they simply copied the neck. That particular Danelectro neck does not have the regular 4 screw attachment that are standard on strats. If he did take the original Danelectro neck off of the guitar, they would have had to dowel the original holes and redrill for standard strat 4 holes. They probably would have had to do some other tweaks to make the original Danelectro neck fit on the Boogie Bodies/Azusa unfinished body. They may have simply made an exact copy of the neck except they cut it to fit strat neck pockets? That's a whole other rabbit hole of a mystery to ponder.

    Whatever happened, Ed LOVED that neck. He played it on several guitars between 1977 and 1983.
    Last edited by garbeaj; 07.11.14 at 09:33 AM.

  8. #8
    Eruption garbeaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VH!! View Post
    Sometimes certain necks just feel right. He may have had many of these Danelectros that he used on his home builds, from what you mentioned I think he used them on all of his builds after Frankie until he had Kramer make them.
    Just the one Danelectro neck as far as I know. Most of Ed's builds after the Frankenstein used Lynn Ellsworth Boogie Bodies necks before he hooked up with Kramer.

  9. #9
    Eruption garbeaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Dodds View Post
    What was wrong with the Charvel neck?
    I know that he retired it after the botched Floyd Rose nut install. Who knows where that neck ended up. The last picture I saw of it was where Ed has it hanging between his legs as if it's his johnson...pretty funny picture, but you can clearly see the attempt at making a Floyd nut shelf.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Dodds View Post
    Also looks like he went a little goofy on the pickup, pickup plate, and knob colors. That's funny. I am positive that it became the Snake. The live footage of it in action is amazing actually -- the Snake was no slouch of a guitar.
    Hell yes...the scale length and the flat fingerboard and the slim neck radius really make those particular Danelectro neck extremely easy to play. I have a 90s reissue of the Danelectro DC-59 in Limo Black and that guitar's neck is the same. A dream to play and extremely conducive to fast playing. I think you hear this on the 1980 recordings where he plays the Star. His technique and speed were at a PEAK during this time and when you hear him play this super fast and easy, low action neck...well it is LIGHTNING!

    The knobs are just more examples of his idiosyncracies...the pickup selector plate is standard on Charvel Explorers of the period, but he did put those black and white strat knobs on it. I think the brass Mighty Mite bridge that you see on the Frankenstein on the first album cover may have come from this guitar? Not sure, but it seems logical.
    Last edited by garbeaj; 07.11.14 at 09:53 AM.

  10. #10
    Atomic Punk RRvh1's Avatar
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    Nice looking guitar in it's original form . A few of those photos are new to me as well . Neat stuff . Obviously , Ed favored that neck quite a bit too !

    I'll add an attempt to play Devil's Advocate here , and mention that I'm glad that this morphed into the fabled Snake/Dragon guitar . Something about that design and creation has always floored me in a good way . It's one of the coolest looking axes I've ever seen

    Cheers
    "There's too many people on this basketball that's floating around the sun, who are too afraid to allow themselves to FEEL" - Edward Van Halen
    "Van Halen was never about the singer..." - a very wise fan.
    "Embrace the past. Live in the moment but keep your eyes on the future, and keep on moving forward..." - Richie Sambora

 

 

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