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Eddie Van Halen ‘Frankenstrat’ Guitars Hit the Auction Block

Rocker gifted instrument to one of his guitar heroes, Mountain’s Leslie West, in the late-Eighties

Eddie Van Halen in 1984

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One of Eddie Van Halen’s iconic “Frankenstrat” guitar — which the rocker gifted to late Mountain guitarist Leslie West — is set to hit the auction block Sunday.

The “Kramer Striker/Ripley Rosewood Fingerboard Frankenstrat Solid Body Electric Guitar” — one of an arsenal of custom-made guitars that Eddie Van Halen designed and “spray-painted and striped by hand, presumably by hand,” Heritage Auctions said — was made for the guitarist in 1984, and was believed to be Van Halen’s backup guitar on both the tours in support of 1984 and 5150.


In the late-Eighties, Van Halen gave the instrument to one of his guitar heroes, Mountain’s Leslie West, who in turn gifted in 1990 to his bodyguard, who on Sunday will sell the guitar to the highest bidder.

The guitar — which has a Rosewood neck, as opposed to Van Halen’s usual maple necks —comes with a notarized letter of authenticity as well as “various nicks and metal coating wear are known to be from Eddie Van Halen,” Heritage Auctions adds.

Other notable instruments at Heritage Auctions’ guitar-filled sale Sunday include another of Van Halen’s Frankenstrats (this one from 2017), the ESP 400 that Kirk Hammett played in Metallica’s “One” video, one of Prince’s white “Cloud” guitars and Michael Jackson’s Flying V guitar from his “Scream” video.

In December 2020, just two months after Eddie Van Halen’s death, three of the guitarist’s Frankenstrats sold at auction for $422,000 combined.

From Rolling Stone US