The true origins and evolution of Eddie Van Halen's legendary Frankenstein guitar

Eddie Van Halen
(Image credit: Fin Costello/Redferns)

The legend of Eddie Van Halen’s Frankenstein guitar is almost biblical: “In the beginning, Eddie Van Halen went to Charvel and bought a Boogie Bodies neck and body. 

He installed thereupon a PAF humbucker and Stratocaster tremolo, then cut by hand a pickguard from blackest vinyl and painted the body with black and white stripes, representing the forces of darkness and light. He plugged the magnificent creation into his Marshall plexi amp, and proclaimed ‘Let there be rock!’ And it was good.”   

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Chris Gill

Chris is the co-author of Eruption - Conversations with Eddie Van Halen. He is a 40-year music industry veteran who started at Boardwalk Entertainment (Joan Jett, Night Ranger) and Roland US before becoming a guitar journalist in 1991. He has interviewed more than 600 artists, written more than 1,400 product reviews and contributed to Jeff Beck’s Beck 01: Hot Rods and Rock & Roll and Eric Clapton’s Six String Stories.