Eddie Van Halen is famous for what he can do with a guitar, but the rocker himself has shared the ugly truth about what he’s done to a few of them.
For the cover story of Guitar Aficioniado, he revealed that he has destroyed a number of vintage guitars from his collection.
“I’m not the typical guitar collector in the least,” he explained (via hennemusic). “I’ve bought a lot of vintage pieces over the years, but I’ve destroyed quite a few of them. People might think, ‘How could you desecrate the Mona Lisa?’ But I really don’t care what something looks like.”
Van Halen added that he’s more concerned with the functionality and sound of the guitar, which led him to start building his own so they would be capable of doing “what I needed them to do.”
The Van Halen musician also talked about one guitar in particular, his iconic axe known as both “Frankenstrat” and “Frankenstein.”
He added that the guitar has gone through a metamorphosis over the years, adding the Floyd [Rose tremolo] and later the dummy pickup at the neck, but he says it’s still the same instrument.
“What trips me out about this guitar is that when I painted it red, that made it more famous,” he said (via hennemusic). “A lot of people still don’t know that it’s the same guitar as the black-and-white guitar on the first Van Halen album.”
For more on Eddie straight from the source, follow him on Twitter @eddievanhalen.