One of Eddie Van Halen’s Frankenstrat guitars, which he gifted to the late Mountain guitarist Leslie West, has sold at auction for $50,000.
The guitar went on the block yesterday (11 April) at Heritage Auctions’ “Guitars and Musical Instruments Signature” event.
According to the auction house, the guitar is “believed to have been used by Eddie as a backup guitar” on Van Halen’s 1984 and 5150 tours during the mid-80s. It’s covered in “various nicks and metal coating wear”. After receiving it in the mid-80s, West gave the guitar to his bodyguard in 1990, who brought it to auction.
Created by guitarist-inventor Steve Ripley, the instrument began life as a Kramer Striker with a Floyd Rose vibrato.
It has a custom-made rosewood neck with a dark hue, noted by the auction house to be “extremely rare” as Van Halen favoured light-coloured necks.
The spray-painted finish was striped by hand. Its white painted stripes have been “tinged with a light yellow” from “age, and extensive exposure to cigarette smoke”, claims Heritage Auctions.
Other instruments sold at Heritage Auctions’ Sunday event include Kirk Hammett’s ESP 400 which he played on the music video for Metallica’s One and Michael Jackson’s Flying V from the music video for Scream.