Eddie Van Halen-owned Kramer Striker/Ripley Frankenstrat, gifted to Leslie West, goes up for auction

Eddie Van Halen Kramer/Ripley Frankenstrat
(Image credit: Heritage Auctions)

An Eddie Van Halen-owned and -played Kramer Striker/Ripley Frankenstrat, which was originally made in 1984 by Steve Ripley for the late electric guitar god, has gone up for sale at Heritage Auctions.

The guitar has been in the possession of not one, but two guitar heroes, having also been gifted to Mountain guitarist and rock guitar legend Leslie West by Van Halen sometime between 1985 and 1990.

Ripley, renowned for his stereo guitars that Van Halen favored on tracks like Top Jimmy, built the Frankenstrat from a Kramer Striker, and it is believed that the model in question was used by EVH as a backup guitar during the 1984 and 5150 tours from the mid-‘80s.

The instantly recognizable axe was spray-painted and striped by hand, and sports a rosewood fretboard – one of only a handful of Frankenstrats to have been appointed with such a feature, with maple fretboards usually the norm on such models.

A Ripley-embossed headstock, Floyd Rose tremolo and single humbucker pickup complete the model, which has been subtly aged by its time spent on the road with Van Halen.

In 1990, West gave the guitar to "the consignor" – a “noted professional who, for more than 30 years, has worked with some of the biggest names in the music and film industries”, and who operated as Leslie’s personal bodyguard between 1989 and 2001.

Bidding for the guitar currently sits at $10,000, with a minimum next bid of $10,500 required. The auction is set to close in three days time, on April 11.

For more info, head over to Heritage Auctions.

The EVH Frankenstrat isn't the only high-profile axe currently up for sale over at Heritage, with the online auctioneer also listing the guitar Kirk Hammett used in Metallica's One music video.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.