Eddie Van Halen’s 1975 Ibanez Destroyer

In this article, I am going to gather some information about Eddie Van Halen’s Ibanez Destroyer and how he obtained it in 1975. For that, I will base myself on the testimony of Doug Anderson. Doug Anderson is a guy who, in the 70’s, accompanied members of the Van Halen band everywhere, and today he is the owner of the “Van Halen Museum” which is located in his musical instrument shop in Pasadena in California, where the legendary band comes from. According to Doug, Eddie Van Halen and Chris Holmes (W.A.S.P.) bought their Ibanez Destroyer at the same time, in the same store. Still according to him, these were the first Ibanez Destroyer who arrived in the United States directly from Japan.

The Ibanez Destroyer was made in “Sen” wood, better known as “Sen Ash”. Some Greco guitars made by Matsumoku Gakki and then by Fujigen Gakki, like the Ibanez of the 70s, were made in “Sen Ash”. Ibanez, wishing to conquer the foreign markets and more particularly the American market, had announced that the Destroyer model was in Korina. Eddie Van Halen and Chris Holmes had no reason to doubt it at the time. In fact, Korina is the name given for this type of amber finish. Gibson manufactured the Explorer and 1958 Flying V models in “African Limba” which is the type of wood used for guitars with a “Korina” finish. In time, Korina became synonymous with African Limba …

Eddie’s Ibanez Destroyer 1975 was equipped with the Maxon Super 70 series pickups. I’m talking more in depth about the Maxon Super 70s in another article. Several songs from the album “Van Halen I” were most likely recorded with the Ibanez Destroyer and his Maxon Super 70 pickups, like “Runnin ‘With The Devil”, “You Really Got Me”, “Jamie’s Cryin'” between other. So we can say that Ibanez Destroyer and Maxon pickups are part of Van Halen’s famous Brown Sound. To convince yourself, watch the videos available on the article dedicated to Super 70.

Ibanez Destroyer VH
Eddie Van Halen and his Ibanez Destroyer 1975. This is Eddie's oldest photo with this guitar and the only one where we can see it still original.
Ibanez Destroyer VH
At the beginning of 1976, Eddie had already painted his Ibanez in white.
Ibanez Destroyer VH
Van Halen - 1976
To customize his guitar, Eddie had put Stratocaster knobs on his Destroyer
Van Halen - 1976
Van Halen flyer on which we can see Eddie with his Destroyer.

The first version of the Shark was still equipped with a Maxon Super 70 pickup.

Not satisfied with the first modifications on his Ibanez Destroyer, Eddie ended up cutting it with the chainsaw and thus created the famous Shark which marked the history of Heavy Metal!

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