Eddie Van Halen was featured on the cover of the January/February issue of Guitar Aficionado, which took an in-depth look at the legendary guitarist’s extensive collection of instruments.
Of course, that collection includes “Frankenstein,” which Van Halen created himself over many years, tweaking the wiring and paint schemes until he got to the red, white and black model known around the world.
“What trips me out about this guitar is that when I painted it red, that made it more famous,” Van Halen explained in the article. “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. On the first record, it had a stock vintage Fender Strat vibrato, then the Floyd came around, and then I added the dummy pickup at the neck. I kept changing it because I was tired of people copying my guitar.”
Van Halen noted that his tastes when it comes to gear are still constantly evolving.
“I used a Wolfgang Stealth with an ebony fingerboard on our entire 2012 tour,” he stated. “Before that, my main guitars all had maple fingerboards, but one day I tried a guitar with an ebony board and thought that it felt pretty good. For the 2012–13 tour, I modified my 5150 III amp heads because my taste had changed again a little and I wanted to continue the evolution of the amp. We’re putting out the limited-edition 5150 III S with that mod, for anyone who wants what I am currently using. I just keep pushing to see what I can get out of something. Spinal Tap made a joke about things going to 11, but I’ve spent my whole life pushing things to 11.”