Van Halen: I Came Up With a Key Component of Floyd Rose, They Fucking Patented It Behind My Back!

Eddie says the fine-tuners were his idea.

Ultimate Guitar
Van Halen: I Came Up With a Key Component of Floyd Rose, They Fucking Patented It Behind My Back!

Eddie Van Halen accused Floyd D. Rose, the inventor of Floyd Rose, of taking a crucial contribution he gave to the locking vibrato arm and patenting it in his own name. Eddie told Total Guitar:

"In '79 [when we played a show in Seattle], somebody goes 'Hey, there's a guy here named Floyd Rose and he wants to show you something.'

"He comes in and goes [with cupped hands], 'You wanna try this?' and I say, 'Sure, what the fuck, why not!?' So I gave him one of my guitars and asked him to put it in because I didn't know how to do it. It was different to the Fender tailpiece and it wasn't a direct swap.

"So I tried it, once it was ready to go and... it was a pain in the ass!

"For one, the Allen screws on the neck were very small, and in order to torque it down you'd either strip the Allen key or the screw would strip. But more importantly, when you're playing the guitar, things bend and they move and the neck shifts a little bit.

"Depending on the temperature of the gig from the beginning to the end, the temperature fluctuates. So between every, fucking, song I had to unclamp and tune! And then Dave and the rest of the guys would be going, 'Is he ready yet?!' It was just a pain in the ass. So first I told him, 'Beef the thing up!' because I kept snapping shit."

Reaching the part with his contribution, Van Halen said:

"So he comes back the next year with a beefed-up model. But there was still the problem of having to tune between every song, so I told him, 'Put some fine-tuners on it. I played a little cello and violin when I was in elementary school and those instruments have finger adjustable fine-tuners. Okay?'

"Then the third year he comes along and goes [cupped hands] 'I did it!' and I go 'No! You fucking numbnut!' Because now you needed a wrench to fine-tune it! So now instead of three, you've got nine, you know?

"I'm going 'No, you idiot, I meant fucking finger tuners! You've seen 'em before!' Then he patents the fucking thing behind my back. Pissed me off... whatever!"

38 comments sorted by best / new / date

    In tomorrow's news: Gene Simmons Says He Invented Fine Tuners, Not Eddie Van Halen, "I invented the fuckin' fine tuners - I invented the whole fuckin' Floyd Rose bridge!!"
    Gene Simmons invented Van Halen, so if Van Halen invented the Floyd Rose it technically still belongs to Simmons. At least in his kind of universe.
    next week: Gene copyrights Eddie Van Halen and charges royalty fees every day EVH picks up a guitar  
    next weeks news:  Gene Simmons says he created Thunderstorms  "it was all me, i'm the firestarter! see you in court God of thunder!"
    Then The Prodigy promptly sue Simmons - They are the Firestarters - Prodigy's lawyer claims...
    He then proceeds to try to copyright Under The Bridge by RHCP because he invented the FOCKIN bridge!
    Also in tomorrow's news: Cory Taylor & Lars Ulrich react to Gene Simmons' claim
    Those 3x Floyd came....he realized: -Eddies always drunk -Called me names each time I met him.....and finally said .....Thanx for the idea Ed!  You're a dick like everyone said you would be.  
    Adding the fine tuners was his idea, I'I'm willing to believe that. But the rest of the design was Floyd's, and the fine tuners already existed on the cello and violins that Eddie played as a kid so what does Eddie really want here? A thank you? A mention? Suggesting an addition or improvement to someone else's design doesn't make it your design.
    It's just a funny story. If Eddie felt strongly about it he would have sued decades ago.he probably thought it was a good anecdote for a guitar related site.
    yeah tbf he did finish with "whatever". dick move by floyd he could've at least credited him. i think having eddies name attributed in someway would've at least boosted sales.. 
    Back then when he was the second coming of Christ as far as guitarists were concerned.... Yeah agreed sales would've jumped
    You make a good point, but it doesn't seem like Eddie is going gene Simmons.... Seems more like he's having a laugh from the past, which is nice to see considering how he used to act
    Way Cool JR.
    I thought it was already a well known fact that Eddie helped perfect the design of the Floyd Rose?  Anyways, the Floyd Rose would not be as great as it is and would have never been as successful as it is if it wasn't for EVH.   
    Oh no... He caught the "Gene Simmons syndrome"...
    Actually, Eddie being Eddie, I'm pretty sure he's not lying on this one. Steve Vai has the same story about split pickups, if I recall correctly.
    What is it with musicians these days, wanting to take credit for inventing things they clearly didn't? Rob Caggiano (guitarist of Volbeat) insists that he invented glow in the dark side markers. Seriously. Make music or fuck off.
    Musicians these days?  This is a story from 35 years ago.
    Not quite. It's Eddie reminding us that he was a prick 35yrs ago also in addition to "these days".
    as well it is also important to additionally add as many adverbs as possible concurrently to appear intellectually insightful... 
    Eddie participe au développement d'accord mais le créateur celui qui crée l'objet s'est monsieur Floyd
    Great .... So Van halen is responsible for the worst thing to touch the guitar since .... No, I got nothing.... It's just the worst.
    I've got a Jackson with Floyd Rose. Got tired of the FR so I locked it. But i love the locking nut and specially the fine tuners , they're a great invention and you really miss them in standard guitars
    Am I the only one who thinks he looks like Hetfield in that pic ? I'm terrible with faces
    Eddie has lost it. He was a visionary player but he has lost his marbles. In fact he lost them sometime back and it is a real pity.....