Wolfgang Van Halen used Eddie's Frankenstein through his original Marshall amp rig on one track from the forthcoming Mammoth WVH album

Wolfgang Van Halen playing live
(Image credit: Mario Skraban/Redferns via Getty)

Wolfgang Van Halen is gearing up to release his second Mammoth WVH studio album, Mammoth II – an effort that he recently told Total Guitar would feature some of his late father's most notable electric guitars.

But, as it turns out, guitars weren’t the only thing that Wolfgang retrieved from the EVH gear archives while he was putting together Mammoth II: he also called upon Eddie’s original Marshall head and cab from Van Halen's early years.

Speaking to Guitar Interactive, Wolfgang confirmed that the original Frankenstein – a guitar that he also used for Mammoth WVH’s self-titled debut – was once again called into action, but was notably paired with those original amps on just one track on the album.

That track is Take A Bow, with Wolfgang using “basically everything [Eddie] used for those original classic albums” for the song’s yet-to-be-heard guitar solo.

“I think the most fun little detail in terms of tone about that, it was the one moment I recorded on the album with my dad's original Frankenstein guitar,” Wolfgang explained. “And not just the guitar, but also the original Marshall head that he used for the original Van Halen albums, and one of the original cabs. 

“It was basically everything he used for those original classic albums, and you can hear that on certain bends,” he went on. “It's kind of crazy – there are certain notes where it's like, ‘Wow, that sounds like Van Halen I.’”

Unfortunately for us, Take A Bow hasn’t yet been released, and unless it gets a single release it won’t be until the album arrives on August 4 that we’ll be able to hear that solo and those Van Halen-esque tones.

Take A Bow isn’t just notable for the gear it employed, though – it’s also meant to be a significant marker in Wolfgang’s songwriting career, with the guitar star describing the song as an “evolution”.

“That moment when I came up with it was like, ‘Okay, this is one of those evolutions,’” he reflected. “This was not on the first album, and this is a new side of myself that I think you start to unravel and see as time goes on. 

“That’s a really special moment. I think it’s one of the more special things I’ve recorded with Mammoth. I’m very excited for people to hear it.”

As well as the Frankenstein, Wolfgang used a host of other guitars that once belonged to his father on Mammoth II. Back in October last year, he teased on social media that EVH’s radically modified Gibson SG that can be heard on the Dirty Movies slide solo would be featured, as would a Veilette Citron Shark baritone guitar.

So far, Mammoth II has been previewed with two singles: the two-hand tapping-loaded Another Celebration at the End of the World, and Like a Pastime, which played around with polyrhythms.

Mammoth II is due August via BMG Records, and is available to preorder now.

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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.