One of Eddie Van Halen’s Frankenstrats sold at auction for $50,000

Van Halen gifted the Frankenstrat to Mountain’s Leslie West in the mid-80s.

Eddie Van Halen Striker/Ripley Frankenstrat

Image: Heritage Auctions

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.

Last December, three of Eddie Van Halen’s guitars sold at auction for $422,000, combined. Wolfgang Van Halen criticised the sale, alleging the event was “taking advantage” of his father’s passing.

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