Legendary Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen may be thought of as a god among guitar players, but that doesn’t mean he’s always treated his instrument with the same reverence. In a new cover story for Guitar Aficionado, Eddie admits, “I’m not the typical guitar collector in the least. I’ve bought a lot of vintage pieces over the years, but I’ve destroyed quite a few of them. People might think, How could you desecrate the Mona Lisa? but I really don’t care what something looks like. I’m more concerned with a guitar’s functionality, sound, and playability.”
- Eddie adds, “That’s why I started building my own guitars. Other guitars wouldn’t do what I needed them to do, so I made my own.”
- Eddie’s most famous guitar is his homemade red, white and black-striped axe, known as “Frankenstein.”
- A copy of that guitar now resides in the Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.
- Eddie said about his creation, “A lot of people still don’t know that it’s the same guitar as the black-and-white guitar on the cover of the first Van Halen album. That guitar went through a lot of different phases and changes.”
- Van Halen wrapped up its live work in July in support of its first album in 14 years, 2012’s A Different Kind Of Truth.
- Frontman David Lee Roth, who returned to the group in 2007 after 23 years away, recently revealed that the band is in the early stages of working on a new album.