David Lee Roth Shares How He Helped Made EVH’s Frankenstrat
CHULA VISTA, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: Musicians David Lee Roth (L) and Eddie Van Halen of Van Halen perform on stage at Sleep Train Amphitheatre on September 30, 2015 in Chula Vista, California. (Photo by Daniel Knighton/Getty Images)
The idea of Frankenstrat is synonymous with Eddie Van Halen, but what most people don’t know was how the guitar came to fruition. Frontman David Lee Roth has something to do with that.
A YouTube video shows Roth explaining the origins of Van Halen’s signature guitar. It all came together when fans noticed some similarities between the iconic design to Roth’s painting named “Big Wave.”
“We’ve been getting a lot of cards and letters — digitally, so to speak — in regards to [the fact] that there’s similarities between my work and the stripes on Eddie’s guitar, and that’s because it’s my work,” Roth said in the recorded video. The retired musician also mentioned how Van Halen’s Stratocaster was “eerily reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix’s” white guitar, and he suggested that Van Halen might want to consider applying a linear pattern to it.
Black electric tapes were laid out, but Van Halen didn’t like the idea so much, especially with its weak durability on sweat, so spray paints were a go-to idea. Later on, Eddie added colors to the guitar, stopping by a well-known truck stop in San Bernardino, California. Roth then brought a handful of bubble convex mirrors and the guitar styling ended on a wonderful flourish.
As for the name, it was initially named as “Frankenstein,” but grew into the iconic term Frankenstrat. “I’m just proud to have been part of it. The first part,” Roth said.
Watch the video below.