Wolfgang Van Halen recalls how his dad’s handling of Frankenstein made “everybody in the room gasp”

“Dad picked it up, played it for a second and then sorta just tossed it on the couch.”

Wolfgang Van Halen on stage, he's singing into a mic and playing guitar

Image: Scott Legato / Getty

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Wolfgang Van Halen has shared a closer look at his father’s relationship with his legendary custom guitars, revealing that the shred legend was far more casual with his creations than many may have expected.

Speaking to Guitar World about his upcoming Mammoth WVH album and the use of the Frankenstein on two tracks, Mammoth and Feel, Van Halen discussed what it was like to play the Frankenstein, sharing, “Well, if anyone’s ever played the EVH Bumblebee reissue, it’s very similar to the Frankenstein profile. Dad was developing that neck at the same time, and hell, with the Frankenstein reissue it’s pretty much one-for-one. It’s very faithful to the original, which is obviously a lot older.”

“You can feel the history sort of emanating out of the Frankenstein. Picking up that guitar is almost a religious experience, even if you’re not a religious person. You just kinda hold it and feel the history right there in your hands,” he said.

Van Halen then shared how the revered instrument was just one of many to his late father: “It’s funny, when I started recording with it back in 2015, we pulled it out and Dad picked it up, played it for a second and then sorta just tossed it on the couch. Everybody in the room gasped! Because to us, it’s quite literally the most famous guitar in the existence of music, where to him it was this little piece of junk he put together. So that divide in opinion over it was funny to see!”


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