A 1984 Kramer Striker/Ripley Frankenstrat once owned and played by Eddie Van Halen, and subsequently gifted to Leslie West, has been sold at auction for $50,000.
Put up for sale by Heritage Auctions, the guitar began life as a Kramer Striker, but was later modded by luthier Steve Ripley, whose stereo guitars were a favorite of Eddie's (he used one most famously on "Top Jimmy.") The guitar is believed to have been Eddie's backup for Van Halen's 1984 and 5150 tours, before he gifted the guitar to West at some point between 1986 and 1990.
West subsequently gave the guitar to "the consignor" – a man who operated as West's personal bodyguard between 1989 and 2001 – in 1990.
The hand-spray-painted and -striped guitar notably features a rosewood fretboard, in place of the maple fretboard found on a typical Frankenstrat. It also features a Ripley-embossed headstock, a single humbucker, locking nut, and a Floyd Rose tremolo.
For more info on the guitar, head on over to entertainment.ha.com.
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Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.