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Smithsonian acquires Eddie Van Halen’s ‘Frank 2’ guitar

Instrument was used on VH’s 2007-08 tour with David Lee Roth
Eddie Van Halen's "Frank 2" guitar (photo by Hugh Talman)

Eddie Van Halen's "Frank 2" guitar (photo by Hugh Talman)

Eddie Van Halen’s “Frankenstein Replica”/“Frank 2” guitar, which he used on the band’s 2007-08 North American tour with original singer David Lee Roth, has become part of the Division of Culture and the Arts at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

“The museum collects objects that are multidimensional, and this guitar reflects innovation, talent and influence,” said Brent D. Glass, director of the museum, in a news release issued Feb. 7. “The guitar moves the museum’s instrument collections into more contemporary history.”

In making the “Frank 2,” Chip Ellis, a master guitar builder at Fender, replicated the details of the instrument that’s commonly known as “Frankenstein,” the guitar Van Halen constructed in the 1970s by combining different elements of long-established guitar designs in order to suit his sound and style.