another guitar great….

i remember being a 7th grader and hearing the opening synthesizer chords to a song called “Jump” and wondered what is this?  then it got to the guitar solo, then i rewound the tape and listened to the solo again.  i remember thinking i might get in trouble for listening to this because the cupid on the album art was smoking a cigarette and according to people at my church, that couldn’t be good, but i listened anyway.  in fact i began to listen to the songs and i would find the guitar solos.  who was this guy?  he was amazing.  i realized he had also played the guitar solo on Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”.

it was none other than Eddie Van Halen.


i began to do a little research and realized that this guy was a classically trained musician and he could definitely shred.  people would tell me that what he was doing wasn’t that hard and i would tell them, then why don’t you do it?  why was he selling out arenas and making platinum records.  don’t tell me it was because of David Lee Roth (although i prefer him to Van Hagar).  no it was because Eddie could make his guitar explode with notes, and emotion and pyrotechnics.  nobody else plays like him.  people copy and emulate him, but you can always tell a Van Halen song by the guitar sounds.

someone once asked Eddie what it was like to be the greatest living rock guitar player, and he replied, “I don’t know, you would have to ask Phil Keaggy” (we’ll save Phil for another post)

so here we go.  ERUPTION and when Eddie was younger before he had all the back trouble, and played on his famous Kramer with his custom tape and paint job (i still would love to have a guitar like that one)



    1. thanks for “Snopesing” it. i actually heard that from a really good blues guitarist in Lubbock one day as I was singing the praises of Eddie. true or not it sets me up for a Phil Keaggy post, because he too is a Guitar Great. maybe i need to do a Patrick Russell post?

  1. The Phil Keaggy thing might be a myth, but it’s absolutely true about Van Halen’s ability though! What comes over with Eddie is a guy dedicated to getting it right. He would practice without an amp between takes and really is a serious musician under all the rock and roll lifestyle. (Like the late and much missed Randy Rhoades!) As to Van Hagar I think it is horrible to hear Van Halen’s playing swamped completely at times on later recordings by singing that is far too prominent in the mix!

    All the best,

    Lisa 🙂

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