Eddie Van Halen’s Charvel Star

This guitar was first seen in the famous “pickaxe” photo taken by Neil Zolzower, showing a collection of Eddie’s guitars in 1980. The guitar was assembled by Eddie, using parts from Charvel, and a neck from a Danelectro.

First Incarnation

The initial version of this guitar was finished in a plain white color and had what looked like a DiMarzio X2N or a Schaller humbucker in it. It also had a standard Stratocaster non-locking tremolo. This was the state of the guitar in the mentioned “pickaxe” photo.

Not long after that, the pickup was changed with a plain black humbucker of unknown origin, and the guitar was fitted with a Floyd Rose tremolo.

Second Incarnation

Sometime in 1980, Eddie painted the guitar using a similar technique that he utilized when painting the Frankenstein. He wrapped the white body around with painter’s tape, and also wrapped the edges of the guitar – which left them white, after painting the visible parts with a black spray can.

It seems that on the Star guitar he also added some details like the skull and bones on the top right of the pickup. He also wrote “UBAB TWO” on the back of the body (if you happen to know what this means, post it in the comments).

Apart from that, he also changed the black humbucker with a white one, possibly a DiMarzio or a Gibson PAF.

Star Today

The guitar was used in this state during the 1980 World Invasion Tour. After that, Eddie fully disassembled it, and was seen holding the Start’s body, with no neck and electronics, during a photo shoot for a magazine (if you happen to know the exact issue, please leave a comment below).

Eddie with the Charvel Start body, pretending to play the neck.
Eddie with the Charvel Start body, pretending to play the neck.

From that point, it’s unknown what happened to the body of the guitar.


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9 months ago

Apparently the idea to paint the guitar like that came from David Lee Roth and Ed’s guitar tech; according to DLR. Ubab Two was some kind of inside joke. There was quote by DLR about “creating” this guitar.