Summer NAMM 2019: EVH commemorates 40th anniversary of Van Halen II with ’79 Bumblebee tribute guitar

EVH Bumblebee electric guitar replica
(Image credit: EVH Gear)

SUMMER NAMM 2019: EVH has announced the ’79 Bumblebee, a replica of the iconic black-and-yellow-striped electric guitar that stars on 1979’s Van Halen II album, which is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary.

Just 50 instruments will be produced worldwide, featuring all the original’s specs, including an ash Strat body, bolt-on birdseye maple neck with oiled back finish, straight 12” radius birdseye maple fingerboard with 22 jumbo frets, katalox dots and black side dots, and skirted Strat-style “Tone” volume knob.

A single EVH ’79 Bumblebee humbucker appears in the bridge, while the finish and all hardware are relic’d, including the prototype non-fine tuner locking tremolo, brass string retainer, screw-eye strap hooks, side output jack and original period-correct Schaller tuning machines.

EVH Bumblebee electric guitar replica

(Image credit: EVH Gear)

“The ’79 Bumblebees that we’re making sound very much like how I always wanted the original to sound,” says an obviously mad-keen Van Halen. “So it may have taken 40 years, but I now have everything I wanted back then - a bitchin’-looking guitar that plays and sounds great.”

The whole package comes in a custom-made Anvil hardshell case with '70s-era Fender Super Bullets strings, Van Halen '70s tortoiseshell picks, an exclusive Bumblebee collector’s booklet, Young Guitar book Van Halen Live Tour in Japan 1978 & 1979, and several autographed items - a certificate of authenticity, 8”x10” 1979 concert photo of Eddie Van Halen and vinyl copy of Van Halen II.

There’s no word on the price tag just yet, but one thing’s for sure: this won’t come cheap…

See EVH Gear for more info.

Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.

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