Three of Rock’s Most One of a King Guitars

Dangelico guitars

Chances are your guitar was one of the musical instruments for sale in a music store, yard sale, or other retailer. Perhaps you’ve done a little work to it — added a new pick up here, maybe scalloped the frets there — but it’s more than likely that you didn’t actually build the sound equipment yourself like some of rock’s biggest heroes did.

Here are a few of the most famous guitarists who refused to play the same instrument as someone else, and built their own guitars.

The FrankenStrat

It’s a debate as old as hard rock itself. Which is the superior brand of guitar: Gibson, or Fender? Instead of taking a side in the debate, Eddie Van Halen decided to combine the best parts of each and build his own Fender/Gibson hybrid. Taking various parts and pieces of sound equipment, Van Halen built his own FrankenStrat, which no one else has yet been able to replicate, despite what you may see in some online guitar shops. Rumor has it that he even added fake dials to the sound equipment to throw off imitators.

The JagStang.

Just as Van Halen couldn’t decide if he liked Gibson or Fender sound equipment more, forefather of grunge Kurt Kobain couldn’t decide if he liked Fender’s Jaguar guitar or Fender’s Mustang guitar more. As the story goes, Kurt designed the custom piece of sound equipment through a series of polaroid pictures, which he then pitched to Fender. Oddly enough, though, Cobain rarely used the guitar after Fender built it for him.


Back in 1970, people didn’t have the luxury of using online music stores to get great deals on guitars. They had to go to an actual store to buy their instruments. Though that might seem like a hassle, it actually worked out in Eric Clapton’s favor one day. Deciding to visit a little music shop in Nashville, Clapton stumbled upon a rack of old Fenders, which were each priced at about $100. Taking advantage of the bargain, he bought all six pieces of sound equipment. He gave three away to his friends Geroge Harrison, Steve Winwood, and Pete Townshend, and then took the other apart. He took the best pieces of sound equipment from the three, disassembled guitars, and combined them to make Blackie, the Super Strat.

If you know of any other weird, patchwork guitars, feel free to share in the comments. Read this for more:

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