Lynn Ellsworth – Birdseye Maple Boogie Bodies
July, 1977 to February, 1979
March, 1979 to April, 1979
~November, 1979 to June, 1980
Photo: Young Guitar
April, 1979 to ~November, 1979
June 9, 1979
The final sighting of the neck in-use on any of Ed’s guitars is the above ~January, 1980 photoshoot, dubbed the ‘Pickaxe Shoot’.
In June, 1980, Ed decided to attempt to retrofit the Frankenstrat for a Floyd Rose himself while on the road in Europe. On the body, he managed to drill the pilot holes for the screw posts in the wrong location and all the way through the body and out the back. As for the neck, he managed to botch the install, likely by cutting the shelf too low, ruining the through-holes, or some combination of the two. Undeterred, he grabbed another neck and tried again. This time, it worked well enough, and he continued the tour with the Frank, newly equipped with its first FRT-1, as his primary instrument. The unlucky neck that was ruined in this process was the original Lynn Ellsworth neck that had been the primary companion to the Frankenstrat body since July, 1977. Above, you can see Ed striking a humorous pose with the ruined neck, which was still in his collection of tour gear, as this all occurred on the road. He would leave the neck at home at some point, and it was never used again.
Above is the neck prior to the attempted Floyd Rose nut conversion. The Gibson logo was installed as Ed fancied the idea he was cross-breeding a Fender and Gibson. The Gibson logo was a gold, reflective sticker and would often ‘blend in’ with the surrounding maple depending on lighting conditions. The sticker was removed in March, 1979, when Ed thoroughly sanded the face of the headstock, presumably to remove all of the oils from his use of 3-in-one on the brass nut to improve tuning stability for the 1961 Stratocaster Tremolo that was used at the time. See the pic at the top of the page, showing the neck installed on the Dragonsnake from June 1979 to see the sanded headstock.
One of the final sightings of the neck, hanging on the wall in 5150 in 1998.
In 2014, Chip Ellis found the neck in a box labeled ‘BURN’. Realizing what he was holding, he made arrangements to bring the neck in for measuring in order to duplicate it. Ed got some early prototypes, one of which was installed on one of his Fender Frankenstein replica guitars, above, and another on the Smithsonian ’78 replica, which was as a prop in his February, 2015 Smithsonian speech/presentation. It is presumed that the original still resides with Chip Ellis – perhaps, a gift from Ed for him finding, rescuing, and duplicating the original. This event eventually propagated into the ’78 Eruption’ replica series by EVH, which was released in 2018.