by Jef | 4,3 / 5,0 | Approximate reading time: 1 Minute
Van Halen's FrankenStrat stolen

Van Halen's FrankenStrat  ·  Source: MySanAntonio


Yes, you read that correctly, someone has stolen Eddie Van Halen’s original iconic striped red and white ‘Frankenstrat’ and it looks like they just walked out with it!



The guitar which Eddie made famous by building himself and playing exclusively on most of Van Halen‘s major hit records, was donated to the Hard Rock Cafe in 2004 and is valued at around $100,000.


Well, some light-fingered punter walked on into the Hard Rock Cafe in downtown San Antonio Friday morning and now they are frantically trying to get information on its whereabouts.

According to the My San Antonio news site –

‘Nobody in the restaurant witnessed the theft, police said. It wasn’t until 1 a.m. that an employee noticed the guitar was missing while closing up shop.’

The guitar is signed by Eddie and so would be almost impossible to pass on or sell, without raising an alarm bells. Of course, if you see it make sure you get in touch with the local authorities.

Fender went to great lengths to replicate the original and sold some seriously limited edition  replicas of the guitar back in 2008 and so it will be easy to spot what the original looks like, as it is so well documented, as guitarists have obsessed over it for so many years and it is a modern day rock and roll icon in its own right.


UPDATE 18/11/17

Update at 11:17 a.m.: Officials with Hard Rock International said the stolen Eddie Van Halen guitar has been safely returned to the restaurant. They are now working with local authorities investigating the incident.


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Van Halen's FrankenStrat stolen

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27 responses to “Eddie Van Halen’s $100k FrankenStrat stolen!”

    Phil Moore says:

    It wasnt the original frankenstrat!! The original is locked away deep within eddies home studio.a copy was stolen/retirned,the original would sell for well over a million! like most instruments displayed at hard rock,it was a copy

      pascal barat says:

      If you consider the several D Gilmour guitars sold recently, Ed”s Frankie could be sold more than 10 millions dollars….

      Ken Dahl says:

      Way more than a million. Some other random guitars he simply owned or played on stage were going for several hundred thousand. The original spends its time in a safe under Wolfgang’s control.

      Eric says:

      You are exactly right


      I just saw an online add one for sale $99,000 today April 28th 2023

    Dave says:

    When are you people going to fix that headline…do your damn homework.. IT WASN’T THE ORIGINAL!!!!!! The original frankenstrat is in the Smithsonian…

      z89lu says:

      Actually, that is also a copy.

      Ken Dahl says:

      The original is not at the Smithsonian. They have a replica. The original is with Wofgang Van Halen, and it is kept in a safe. According to Wolgang, it’s not going anywhere, and it will not be sold. If it were up for auction, it very likely would go for the highest price ever paid.

        Jeff says:

        You are correct. You can see the original in his music Dont back down. It and all Eddie’s guitars are hanging to the studio.

      E.L.Kern says:

      You are correct that this is not the authentic Frankie. Indeed; Wolfgang owns the guitar and would never sell it. As for the Smithsonian, that’s not quite correct. It spent some time as the star of an Electric Guitar exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.It is back in the possession of Wolfgang who will never part with it. Cheers Mate!

    Pink Floyd forever says:

    Don’t compare EVH with David Gilmour.
    Shredding like EVH doesn’t mean it sounds better than Gilmour.
    The price of the DG’s guitar was more than honorable. And he still alive!
    Apart of Eruption or Jump, which other songs did success VH?

      GuitarzRule says:

      What rock do you live under? VH had dozens of great songs!!! I love Pink Floyd but pull your head out of your a**! David G is awesome but so was Eddie. Don’t compare the 2.

        WBROCKSTAR says:

        If you would not have mentioned Pink Floyd as being the act that Gilmore was associated with,I would not have even known who he even was.The same cannot be said with Eddie Van Halen.If a thousand people on the street were asked who is Eddie Van Halen & who is David Gilmore,all 1000 will know who EVH is & what act he’s in,but only a few will know the same about Gilmore.Eventhough both bands experienced the same level of success, no comparison can exist between EVH vs DG…….

          Rob Johnson says:

          Pink Floyd has sold almost twice the records Van Halen has.

          Pink Floyd apx 250 million
          Val Halen apx 140 million

          “If you would not have mentioned Pink Floyd as being the act that Gilmore was associated with,I would not have even known who he even was.”

          This is definitely a YOU problem.

            Ken Dahl says:

            Gilmore was great. He played some classic and beautiful solos. He was the guitarist for Pink Floyd, a band that sold more albums than Van Halen. His Fender Strat guitar sold for a few million because he played it. Eddie’s original Frankenstein guitar would sell for many million more because Eddie played it, and because he built it, and because he changed the way guitars were played and built. Gilmore’s Stratocaster was not a game-changer in the world of music.

          Bilky DAgs says:

          Both are OUTSTANDING guitarists and if either one read these comments, they’d be laughing. I KNOW both had the utmost respect for each other’s UNQUESTIONABLE talent.

      Delta says:

      DUDE! You’re my hero! How can you post and breathe at the same time? You’re Awesome!

      U suck says:

      I can think of plenty, panama,hot for teacher, running with the devil,atomic punk, dance the night away,buitiful girls, dead or alive, ain’t Talkin bout love, dreams, you really got me, pound cake, unchained, mean street, everybody wants some, little dreamer, I don’t think your guitar player built his own guitar, sounds, finger tapping, speed picking, and legendary band, pink Floyd is just another brick in the wall.

    Boba Fett says:

    I have held a replica of Eddie Van Halens guitar. And i wish i was as famous pink Floyd!!!!

    Ric says:

    Whenever Eddie Van Halen was asked these provocative or pigeon-holed questions does he see his greatness; he was the best of this that or the other.. blah, blah, blah, blah???
    What always caught my attention is that he never appeared to let it go to his head. I think it has everything to do with his multicultural upbringing. His mother was from the Dutch Indonesia his dad was from the Netherlands. He and his brother were born in Amsterdam and came over to the U.S. on a cruiseship the family playing music to pay for their passage.
    They were dirt poor for most of his early life, but they had a tightly bound and united hime life. These are the reasons that I believe that he always marched to the beat of his own drum and he never tried to compare himsrlf to others. When people figure out that each one of us is great and we don’t need to compare ourselves to anyone only then can we become our greatest and inspire others.

      YIT says:

      Never knew that about Eddie but that would explain why he always seemed to be a rather down-to-earth guy in his music videos, not stuck up and full of himself.

    ;Chris Mitchell says:

    Eddie Van Halen was one of the best in the world

    H.L. SMITH says:

    There seems to be alot of passion in people’s opinions. That i beleive is important in developing one’s taste for styles. Just don’t tune out other bands or other genres , just “because they dont have THE BEST GUITARIST or DRUMMER etc. Try to enjoy some of the amazing bands and performers while there still playing gigs and recording . Willie Nelson still plays 150 shows per year, NEVER will another be! Judas Priest w/Halford still hitting those high notes across the globe…Even Aerosmith soldiers on. With recent losses of EVH, Lemmy, Eddie Money, Charlie Watts, Dusty Hill it should be clear we rapidly losing all-time great influencers, not only music but some of our SPIRIT ! Thanks for the GREAT MEMORIES and the SOUNDTRACK of our lives 🙂

    Jay says:

    I own the original…. sorry

    E.L.Kern says:

    All of this bickering with very sparse facts. It’s been established that the guitar in this story was a replica of one of EVH’s guitars. As for the REAL FRANKENSTEIN (EVH called it his baby), it belongs to Wolf Van Halen, who has stated the he would NEVER part with it.

    Now for some FACTS about Ed’s Baby:

    EVH built it in 1974 using a blemished Strat body and a very high quality maple neck the he purchased from Boogie Bodies for $50 for the body and $80 for the neck. Using a hammer and chisel, Ed roughly made room for a Humbucker in the bridge position. Eddie wanted the sound of a Humbucker and the ergonomics of a Strat. This was not available commercially in 1974.

    Baby was initially painted just black using Schwinn bicycle lacquer. It stayed that way for a week or two, then Eddie (with some help from a roll of gaffers tape and a can of white bike paint converted the look of the guitar to the black and white guitar we see Eddie holding on the cover of their first album. Soon there were white stripped guitars everywhere EVH looked… More tape and some red bike paint resulted in the most iconic guitar in Rock history. As for the name; Edward never referred to the guitar as “Frankenstrat”. He would call it Frankenstein in public.
    EVH used his Baby until 1985 when it was retired due to some minor structural weakening.

    Edward Van Halen changed guitar Music, Composition, Design, Techniques, Rhythm playing and much more. He will be remembered for hundreds of years, much like his favorite Classical composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

    EVH took piano lessons as a young child but never learned to read music. Yet still won a huge L.A. area piano competition a couple of years in a row. He never took a guitar lesson in his life. He started out by teaching himself Clapton’s parts from Cream albums. His piano background gave him that percussive influence loved all around the world. Thank God he never took lessons. Eddie did not know there are “supposed” limitations and rules.

    AS for the REAL Frankenstein , if it were to be placed up for sale; would easily cause a feeding frenzy like no other. The most important electric guitar in history. $10M to $100M is completely realistic. The bottom line is it is the most important electric guitar, a guitar that changed guitar forever, and to top it all off it was played by the most innovative, gifted, accurate, charismatic, influential Rock/Metal guitarist since 1978 who continues to influence young players today, and likely for centuries to come. Edward Van Halen is the greatest player in history. And that guitar embodies everything about him.

    Sorry for the long post. Cheers!

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