Eddie was amazing, an innovator and wildly and deservedly lauded. Being in a similar rock band in the 80's, with a guitarist who had much similar style and lyrics, I can tell first hand how influencial he was. RIP Eddie, an amazing talent and we were lucky to have you. And luckily we have video and tons of recordings to remember and still learn from.
One thing hit me yesterday. As it was announced, I remembered the OTHER thing that I always was drawn to when seeing anything with Eddie, either live or any interview he ever did, also the one time I met him, for a very short minute "hello" at the NAMM show in New Orleans. The non ending cigarette and the continuous waft of smoke around his head. He even made it part of his act by blowing smoke rings during his extended amazing guitar solos. It was a part of him. Also, the era he (and to a degree myself) lived through, the late 70's and 80's rock lifestyle) it was frankly amazing he made it as long as he did.
I had a small taste of it when the first time I did, (shall we say illicit substances) was with the actor Gary Busey, which led to a three day binge of total insanity. I can see what was so alluring with all of that. Fortunately, my own uses, were very limited, but the lifestyle that rock stars, actors, celebrities, etc. are exposed to and you wonder "how did any of those make it past 30?"
But with Eddie, he seemed to perservere and continue to always be creative and innovative. To learn he fought Cancer for 20 years and very few knew about it, spoke to his indomitable spirit. But when that took the lives of so many, most notable to me, being George Harrison, you'd think that giving that up might have been a good idea. Sucking black tar into your lungs is never a great idea.
At any rate, he was and is a legend and should always be revered. RIP Eddie. We hardly knew ye.
Yeah, he had the respect of just about anybody in music, including jazz greats and classical musicians.
When I was learning guitar in the early 80's, I was having a hard enough time playing Keith Richards solos, or even Jimmy Page or Hendrix, they were impossible , then this guy comes along, and I'm like Whattttt? Is this for real?
This was so cool, yet so deflating, its like I have no idea what this guy is doing and everybody seems to love it. Now, people would ask you to play eruption, and I'm like ....how bout brown sugar? Lol
I mean it was that foreign. Mesmerizing tapping, fluid, so fast, yet clean.it was like it was so easy for him. He's also an amazing piano player.
I still prefer the other guys, but if somebody wanted to call him the greatest guitarist of all time, I wouldn't have a problem with that.
I always thought he was too good for that music he was playing. I mean a world class musician playing jump or hot for teacher ?
For those interested, this is a great interview, and clinic
My problem with EVH's solos is that you could take the one from Beat It and switch it with the one from Jump (or, frankly, any of 'em) and it wouldn't make a difference. a blast of lightning fast notes. You can't do that with the solos on Layla. The ones on Little Wing would make no sense in Tell the Truth. The ones in Key to the Highway would make no sense in Why Does Love Got to Be So Bad. Clapton's solo in While My Guitar Gently Weeps doesn't belong in Spoonful.
Through no fault of his own, I always thought EVH ruined rock guitar. Most of what followed was guys trying to play really, really fast in bad songs. Which is 99% of Van Halen's tunes.
In many ways, that's rap. Pinheads talking really fast. Trouble is, they're not saying anything.
I'd rather hear what Charlie McCoy played on Desolation Row than anything EVH ever played.
RIP Eddie. I loved Dance the Night Away and liked Jump.
Well I tell ya, I tried to discredit him, early on, I didn't want him to be better than my heroes (better in music doesn't exist, though )
I never learned to play his style, mainly because I didn't really dig the music . certainly fun, and party music, some friends in high school loved that style.
I don't think he ruined rock n roll, he changed it. and sent it to a new and different place. His style was so unique and creative, you know people talk about how revolutionary Hendrix was, and rightfully so, but this guy completely changed how guitar was played.
Doesn't make it better per se, but when it comes to innovation, and doing something different, which most guys who come from the blues model...ie Clapton, Hendrix, Page, didn't REALLY change the instrument. Hendrix more than the others. Like entwhistle on the bass. He completely changed how bass was played .
Vh didn't sound like anybody else, he changed how guitar was transcribed, they had to invent a new way if writing sheet music for his style called tablature .
He physically changed the instrument by reconstructing guitars, and how the industry made pickups if you watched the video above.
And besides all the technicality, he was cleaner , than Clapton, Hendrix or Page, and no doubt faster.
I marvel at the ability, and the creativity, and the technique , but he's not somebody I listen to a whole lot. And as I said, I think the songs he played don't match up to led zeps catalogue, and he didn't t have this signature riffs, that become classic. That's why people might push him down the list.
But if you were played an ole bootleg of page, Clapton and Jeff Beck playing, you might get confused who was playing what. If Eddie played, you'd have no doubt. He took rock guitar to a different place.
You don't hear him improvising for a half hour on some ole Blues tune, so you can't really compare him to Clapton, but he loved Clapton.
Heres Pat Metheny, one of the worlds greatest jazz guitarist speaking of Eddie.
I really think he is a great player and someone i always enjoy hearing. there was a time i went to vh shows as much as possible just to check him out. one time, i got to go back before a show and hear him warm up - which was absolutely mind blowing - he played more incredible music in that 30 minutes of warmup time than he did in the all the vh "shows" that i heard rolled together. he is so creative - it would be great to hear him expand into other areas - especially now that "heavy metal" is about as dead as it could possibly be (who would have thought that that would happen in 1984?) eddie is more like a jazz guy anyway to me - he is always searching for sounds and ideas it seems.
They don't all sound the same, you don't have ears. If you don't get a genre, you won't get the guitar player either .
Sounds that way to you because you cant follow it. And worse even, try playing it, if you can't even follow it.
Singability is important, and doing something simple is just as valid as off the charts, but from a musicianship level, he's right up there
Yeah what would a world class guitarist like Pat Metheny know about guitar playing??????
Lol, he cant write....hey, I don't think he's on anybody's list, musically, your lost in your own world to say what you said. I'd say he's written some very strong hard rock songs, are U gonna put him up against Kris Kristofferson as a songwriter?
I prefer Keith and Clapton too, they were composers on guitar, keith without his composing skills would be a struggling guitarist in some bar right now.
But I'm also smart enough to know how freaking amazing vh was.
You don't have to love something to appreciate it.
It’s completely tragic that we have lost him,” he adds. “He was not just an innovative and stylish player with great taste, he was also a laidback virtuoso showman who just blew us all away every time. Every shredder today has lost their Master Teacher and Guide.”
: "Eddie was a guitar wonder, his playing pure wizardry. To the world of music he was a special gift. To those of us fortunate enough to have met him, a very special person. He leaves a big hole in a lot of hearts. To the Van Halen family my heartfelt sympathies."
"Eddie is an innovator. When I grew up we had a lot of guys from England who were great players, like Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck. And then, of course, when Jimi Hendrix came along, he changed the game. I'd put Eddie in that category of being an innovator like Hendrix. He changed the game for his style of playing. When Eddie came along, he spawned so many imitators. Like Hendrix, suddenly you started to see people wanting to buy the same guitars he played and also play his licks. He turned the rule book upside down in terms of his approach. There was a lot of experimentation to his playing. Eddie also crosses into that avant-garde thing, which puts him in the same category as Hendrix.
Brad Paisley weighs in...( its starting to look like couch doesnt know what he's talking about , not saying he doesnt, but its starting to look like that...lolllllll)
"I am so sad to hear we lost @eddievanhalen today," Paisley writes alongside a picture of Van Halen playing on stage with his trademark uniquely painted guitar, his usual smile on his face as he performs for fans.
"I loved everything about the fire and style he brought to the guitar. I studied him, heck everybody did, we all wanted to play just like him. But no one did it quite like him," Paisley states. "Thank you Eddie for being a pioneer. It’s unimaginable what the guitar would be without you."