“It was like having my dad right there with me” Wolfgang Van Halen on how it felt to use Eddie’s original Frankenstein guitar in the studio

“When I started making the album I thought it would be fun to use a different guitar of his for every solo.”

Wolfgang Van Halen and Eddie's Frankenstein Guitar

Image: Michael Buckner / Guitarist Magazine / Getty Images

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Wolfgang Van Halen has opened up about the surreal experience of using his dad’s old gear while recording Mammoth WVH’s latest album, Mammoth II.

The single Take a Bow, for one, came together with the help of Eddie Van Halen’s legendary Frankenstein electric guitar, as well as one of the original Marshall amp head and cab combos that informed much of Van Halen’s early music.

Speaking to Guitar World about the inspiration behind his Frankenstein-delivered solo on Take a Bow, Wolfgang says, “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.’”

“When I first wrote the solo section for Take a Bow, it started as a looped section of the main riff. As I was recording the solo I sat there for three or four hours and came up with all these fun parts.”

“The solo section got longer and longer,” Wolfgang explains, “which made the whole song longer”—Take a Bow ended up clocking in at six minutes and 54 seconds.

“It felt like such a special moment that I didn’t want to change it,” the rocker says. “So that’s where that whole buildup comes from. And it felt like such a departure, or really an elevation from anything I’ve done before.”

He continues: “It felt like a really special moment to celebrate by using the Frankenstein and the original Marshall through one of Dad’s OG Marshall cabs from the club days at the same time. It was really cool to be able to have that special moment in my career, songwriting and guitar playing marked by something so important.”

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

The young Van Halen also reveals that he used a Variac with the setup, calling it the “authentic secret to that whole combo.”

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