EDDIE VAN HALEN-Owned Guitar, Previously Gifted To LESLIE WEST, Goes Up For Auction

EDDIE VAN HALEN-Owned Guitar, Previously Gifted To LESLIE WEST, Goes Up For Auction

A Frankenstrat guitar originally owned by Eddie Van Halen has gone up for sale at Heritage Auctions.

The instrument was made for Eddie circa 1984 by Steve Ripley, who was renowned for his stereo guitars that Eddie used on songs like "Top Jimmy". Built from a Kramer Striker very early in the Ripley/Kramer era, as it does not have stereo, the instrument is believed to have been used by Eddie as a backup guitar on the "1984" and "5150" tours in the mid-1980s.

The guitar features Steve Ripley's custom-made, dark-colored Rosewood neck, which is extremely rare, as Eddie typically used light-colored maple necks. Only several Rosewood Frankenstrats were made for Eddie, this being one. The body has been spray-painted and striped by hand, presumably by Eddie himself, given the instrument's vintage. The white painted stripes are tinged with a light yellow, or cream color, both from age, and extensive exposure to cigarette smoke while on tour with VAN HALEN in the 1980s. It has a Floyd Rose tremolo.

The guitar was given to the consignor in 1990 by rock guitarist and vocalist Leslie West of the group MOUNTAIN, who had received the instrument as a gift from Eddie Van Halen several years prior. Van Halen cited West as one of his primary musical inspirations. The consignor is a noted, professional bodyguard who, for more than 30 years, has worked with some of the biggest names in the music and film industries. Between 1989 and 2001, he worked as West's personal bodyguard, spending a considerable amount of time with Leslie both on and off the road. The guitar's various nicks and metal coating wear are known to be from Eddie Van Halen.

Last December, Eddie Van Halen's son Wolfgang criticized an auction of three of his late father's guitars. The instruments were sold for a total of $422,050 through Julien's Auctions as part of a larger music memorabilia event called "Icons & Idols".

The 30-year-old said the sellers were "taking advantage of my father's passing", and he had "nothing to do with" the sale.

"I don't EVER plan on selling any of my father's iconic guitars," he said.

Image credit: Heritage Auctions

COMMENTS

To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).