Frankenstrat or Frankenstein? Wolfgang Van Halen confirms official name of Eddie Van Halen’s legendary guitar

“Dad never really had a name for it, it’s just what people called it.”

Eddie Van Halen with Frankenstein… or is that Frankenstrat? (Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

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Let it be known that Wolfgang Van Halen has officially put an end to the age-old “Frankenstein” vs “Frankenstrat” debate surrounding his father Eddie Van Halen’s legendary guitar.

The rocker recently appeared on Foo Fighters guitarist Chris Shiflett’s Shred With Shifty podcast, where he was asked whether the iconic instrument is in fact named “Frankenstein” or “Frankenstrat”.

“Officially, on the case, it says Frankenstein,” Wolfgang explains, “but people call it whatever they want.”

He adds that Eddie was never all too concerned about the guitar’s name, saying “Dad never really had a name for it, it’s just what people called it.”

“But officially on the case, for the nerds that really want to know, it says ‘Frankenstein,’ so that’s what I say.”

During the chat, Wolfgang also reflects on the guitar’s evolution over the years, including how at one point his father “put a floating trem on it but he didn’t like that it went back so he wedged a quarter” into the guitar’s body.

“He drilled a quarter and put it in there – It’s still there,” Wolfgang adds.

As for the most recent big mod that the Frankenstein has received, Wolfgang reckons that it’s “most likely the bridge”: “The Floyd [Rose] looks like it’s from this century,” he says. The strings were apparently last changed in 2015 as well.

Check out the interview below.

Speaking about using his dad’s gear to record Mammoth WVH’s second studio album, Mammoth II, Wolfgang said that “When I started making the album I thought it would be fun to use a different guitar of his for every solo. But then it turned into, ‘Let’s just boil it down to one moment that feels really special.’”

He added that it felt “really special” to celebrate by using the Frankenstein and the original Marshall through one of Eddie’s OG Marshall cabs from Van Halen’s club days at the same time.

“It was like having my dad right there with me.”


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