10 Famous Guitars

Eddie Van Halen's 'Frankenstrat'
Eddie Van Halen's custom "Frankenstat" is part Gibson Les Paul, part Fender Stratocaster and part Gibson ES-335. Fender

Van Halen. The name alone conjures light-speed virtuosic guitar solos. But when Eddie Van Halen started out, he couldn't find the guitar he needed to make the sounds he heard in his head. So, he made one himself.

Van Halen took apart a Gibson Les Paul, a Fender Stratocaster and a Gibson ES-335 and combined them, adding a humbucker to boot. Then, with the help of some masking tape and spray paint, he finished the whole thing off with the "Frankenstrat's" now famous crazy red, black and white striped design [source: Project EVH].

Van Halen donated his iconic guitar to the Hard Rock Café in downtown San Antonio where it originally went on display. But in November 2017, somebody stole it. Although the famous axe was valued at $100,000, whoever took it would never be able to sell it without bringing the law down on their heads.

In any case, the guitar quietly reappeared at the Hard Rock almost before it was missed. Maybe somebody just wanted to see if they could shred it like EVH and when they realized that was impossible, they decided to do the right thing and give it back.