Weber worked with Van Halen as his principle guitar technician between 2007 and 2020, and, like most live industry workers, has struggled over the past year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
With the sale of his “prized possession”, which is being listed by online retailer Five Star Guitars, Weber hopes to financially support himself while the live music scene gets up and running again.
Though there have been an abundance of sales concerning themselves with EVH-owned guitars, Weber’s account of how he came into possession of such a rare piece of rock history is borderline sensational.
Before the onset of their professional relationship, the pair crossed paths on October 4, 1988, in the run up to an Eddie Van Halen concert at Starwood Amphitheater in Nashville, where Weber worked as house audio engineer.
Upon learning that EVH’s acoustic guitar – suspected to be the one gifted to him by Nancy Wilson – had been damaged, Weber arranged a meeting with Eddie through the venue’s Promotions Director Robert Eva, and found something in his own collection of six-strings that the guitar legend could play.
“Introductions were made, and I told Ed that I had a guitar that I wanted him to have,” Weber recalled. “He seemed a bit surprised that this was my personal instrument, and concerned as to my motivation for giving it to him.”
After discussing their mutual interest in Kramers – Weber also worked as a salesman for the brand – the pair spent “the next several hours playing guitar, talking and having a drink or two”, with Weber revealing the only Kramer missing from his 17-strong collection was a Paul Dean signature model.
As the pair parted ways, Weber recalled, "[He] gave me a big hug and he said, ‘There’s not very many people like you in the world anymore. Everybody wants something from me. You’re the first person I’ve run into that doesn’t want anything.’
“I said, ‘Well, the only thing I want is that hopefully at some point we get to be good friends.’”
Well, you can probably guess what happened next. A few weeks later, Weber received a yellow Kramer Paul Dean signature electric guitar that had been signed by Eddie Van Halen himself, carrying the inscription, “Thanks Tom – a lot! I owe you one!”
19 years and a few trial-by-fire guitar setup challenges later, Weber was reunited with EVH, and became his main guitar tech following an impressive audition performance that left Eddie's right-hand man Matt Bruck reeling.
"[After the setup] Matt came through the door, guitar over his shoulder, and said, 'Dude! Big smiles right out of the gate!' I've been with Ed for 18 years, and he's always said that nobody on the planet could tune a guitar for him, but you're the closest one so far!'" recalled Weber.
As for the Kramer in question, Weber says it “represents the very beginning of my relationship with Ed,” adding, “I was lucky enough to develop a friendship with him, eventually winning my dream job – becoming his guitar tech from 2007 right up until 2020.
“He was a true original, and so was this gift he gave me. I’ve treasured this guitar for many years and now it is time for it to become the prized possession of another collector.
“The only reason it is up for sale is the COVID-19 pandemic. We haven’t worked in over a year. I’m trying to make sure I have a house when this is over with, and this is the best way to do it. That’s why she’s [up for sale].”
Weber had previously discussed the stresses live industry workers have faced as a result of the pandemic, stating, "The music industry, we're not just out of work. We're washed off the face of the planet at this point."
Tom Weber's Kramer Paul Dean signature guitar is available now over at Five Star Guitars for $60,000.