The Frankenstrat and Our Celebrity Obsession


fstrat1Today I got to touch a piece of rock and roll history.  An by touch, I mean it was a quick “feel” because there is no friggin’ way I’m going to be the guy who accidentally dropped one of Eddie Van Halen’s Frankenstrats.

I mean really, if I’m going down in history for anything, it will be because my eugenics experiments went horribly wrong and kicked off a zombie apocalypse.  A guy has to have his standards.

But as I beheld the awesomeness of this particular guitar…an instrument held by one of the greatest guitar players, one thought went through my mind…

…”this thing is a total piece of crap”.

Eddie may be one of the best players out there, but he was a half-cocked amateur when it came to using a soldering iron and duct tape.  Geez, I don’t think even HE knew what he was doing.

It got me thinking about our societies desperate quest for fame, even it it means simply rubbing up against something that was in contact with a celebrity.  Have we always been this obsessed?  I guess even when I was a kid I thought guys like Mark Hamill and David Hasselhoff were just about the coolest dudes on earth.  If I had an indestructible car and a robot hand that never got tired…uh, maybe that wouldn’t have been such a good thing.  Nevermind.

As I handed the $25K guitar back to the store owner, I came to a realization.  Eddie forged ahead despite his bad soldering skills and made a name for himself with hard work and practice.   Then he trashed his brain on cheap 80’s dope, so my object lesson sort of falls apart at that point.  I guess my point is that he didn’t take the shortcut to cheap, disposable fame by eating worms on TV like so many wannabe media whores out there.

Maybe we all can take a lesson from that.  Because if we did, there would be a lot less “reality” television.


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About Author

John Paul Parrot ( aka. The Dysfunctional Parrot ) is a disgruntled Systems Analyst who wanders the Canadian wastelands saving small villages with the power of Kung Fu.  His chair is also a little too close to the twenty year old microwave.  As you can well imagine, this has had certain side effects.

  • I agree with you man.Eddie most famous guitars are utterly pieces of crap and never cost him more than 150 bucks or something!Unfortunately nowadays people think that the success only comes with being in a reality or a TALENT show-well according to TV standards!- in the right place at the right moment.
    All that is not gold!

  • Jim

    Eddie’s guitars were pieces of crap because they were home-made, and they exist in that condition for two reasons:
    1) so that they give the sound the guitarist wanted, and
    2) because the guitarist played them into the ground! The repaired them and did it again!
    As real as it gets.