THANKS TO ITS appearance on the front and rear cover of Van Halen’s 1980 album Women and Children First, the guitar that Eddie Van Halen called the “Shark” ranks as one of his top five iconic early instruments along with his homemade Frankenstein, black and yellow “bumblebee” Charvel and “5150” Kramer. The Shark started life as an Ibanez Destroyer with an ash body finished to look like korina, but Ed made several modifications such as painting it white before using it to record several songs on Van Halen’s debut album. After that album, he cut a huge chunk out of the lower bout, painted the body silver before applying masking tape and a top coat of burgundy Schwinn bicycle paint to create his signature stripes and experimented with a wide variety of different pickups and hardware. Due to popular demand, EVH has replicated the Shark guitar in its classic Women and Children First configuration.
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