There are guitar players and there are guitar players.
If I had to choose one Van Halen song. One tune which I recall as the first I heard from the original lineup. Runnin’ With The Devil, for me, best exemplifies the sound of Van Halen and the distinct guitar playing of Eddie.
There are many bands with more hits and a greater creative catalogue. Once Roth left – inconsistency was Van Halen’s middle name. Eddie Van Halen’s guitar playing; the lone rock in a sea of unflattering roll.
When Van Halen hit the scene – it was a shot of adrenaline to Rock n Roll. Eddie’s piercing riffs and solos reminded everyone how important an electric guitar was and could be. Chuck Berry made everyone want to play guitar. Jimi Hendrix made everyone want to play with a guitar. Eddie Van Halen made everyone want to do both and loud.
Without Eddie Van Halen – the entire 1980’s invasion of arena rock and hair bands would not exist. Roth’s look and sound, no doubt, very instrumental in the creation of a new Rock movement as was the entire package known as Van Halen.
Like Jagger without Richards. Daltrey without Townshend, Mercury without May and Billy Idol sans Steve Stevens … A Rock n Roll band is nothing without a distinct guitar leading the way. A canvas for a vocalist’s paintbrush.
Eddie’s energy was infectious. His talent matched by few. His appearance contradicting the evilness, the seduction of his six string weapon. Eddie unleashing a power over both friend and foe alike. A raw talent that left noone indifferent.
Rest in Peace Eddie Van Halen.
1955 – 2020