Wolfgang Van Halen plays Eddie's legendary Frankenstrat guitar on the Mammoth WVH album

Wolf Van Halen, Eddie Van Halen and Frankenstein guitar
(Image credit: X1 Records/Future/C Flanigan/Getty Images)

Wolfgang Van Halen has revealed that he plays his father's famed "Frankenstrat" guitar on two tracks on the upcoming Mammoth WVH album.

In a new interview with Total Guitar magazine, Wolfgang is asked if he used any of the late Eddie Van Halen's equipment during the recording of the album, and responds, "Yeah, a handful of it. I played the original Frankenstein on the solo on Mammoth and on Feel.

“You feel the history. It’s kind of terrifying holding it, just because arguably it is the most famous guitar in musical history. It’s definitely quite the thing to hold it.”

Wolfgang also reveals that Eddie didn’t have much respect for the instrument he'd originally assembled well before Van Halen became famous. 

“When we were pulling it out of its safe, Dad picked it up and he was just noodling with it for a second,” Wolfgang adds.

“He’s like ‘Yeah, feels about the same’ and he tossed it onto the couch. Everyone just gasped when he did that. To Dad, it’s just a little piece of junk that he built himself, but to us it’s the most famous thing in the world.”

Eddie Van Halen started work on the first Frankenstrat In around 1973, when he was looking for a guitar with the playability and balance of a Fender Stratocaster but the warmth and power of a Gibson Les Paul. He pulled out a Strat body from a pile of seconds at Charvel's factory in California, bought a cheap neck, wired in the kind of fat humbucker pickup more usually found in a Gibson, applied the trademark striped paint job, and the rest is history.

Wolfgang Van Halen released Mammoth, the sixth track from the upcoming Mammoth WVH album, last week. The album is out in June 11

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.