Guitar Great Eddie Van Halen Dies At Age 65
Category: EntertainmentBy: john-russell • 2 weeks ago • 21 comments
Van Halen's son announced his father's death on Twitter today
Rolling Stone article upon Eddie Van Halen being named the 8th greatest guitarist of all time
Eddie Van Halen
When I was 11, I was at my guitar teacher’s place, and he put on “Eruption.” It sounded like it came from another planet. I was just learning basic chords, stuff like AC/DC and Deep Purple ; “Eruption” really didn’t make sense to me, but it was glorious, like hearing Mozart for the first time.
Eddie is a master of riffs: “Unchained,” “Take Your Whiskey Home,” the beginning of “Ain’t Talking ‘Bout Love.” He gets sounds that aren’t necessarily guitar sounds – a lot of harmonics, textures that happen just because of how he picks. There’s a part in “Unchained” where it sounds like there’s another instrument in the riff.
A lot of it is in his hands: the way he holds his pick between his thumb and middle finger, which opens things up for his finger-tapping. (When I found out he played that way, I tried it myself, but it was too weird.) But underneath that, Eddie has soul. It’s like Hendrix – you can play the things he’s written, but there’s an X factor that you can’t get.
Eddie still has it. I saw Van Halen on their reunion tour two years ago, and the second he came out, I felt that same thing I did when I was a kid. When you see a master, you know it. By Mike McCready of Pearl Jam
Key Tracks: “Eruption,” “Ain’t Talking ‘Bout Love,” “Hot for Teacher”