T Nation

Eddie Van Halen

With his separation from Valerie in the news, and the Tour of David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar in full swing, I began to reflect on Edward.

I’ve always felt that he would go down as influencing a whole generation of Rock guitarist. Is that overstated? Is he overrated? I don’t think so…but I value you guys opinions…(…and watch out, world…his son Wolfgang is on the horizon!)

Maybe this is a good thing, since the vast majority of his really good music came from before he was married to her. Go Eddie…

No overstatement, Eddie dominated rock guitar in the eighties. His sound and style were fresh and exciting. However I don’t think it’s really possible to “rate” musicians, or any other artists for that matter. You either like the art or you don’t. As a musician, I respect Eddie for what he did early in his career.

I hope that Wolfgang brings something genuinely new to pop music (I use "pop" in the broad sense, not the "bubblegum" sense). It could certainly use an infusion of creativity.

You know I’ve always liked Davie Lee Roth. Yeah, he may have been (or still is) a cocky sumbitch, but he should have been. What a voice.

Didn't hear about the Eddie/Valerie split. Too bad. I believe Eddie influenced a bunch of kiddies to pick up a gee-tar that inevitably began to try to emulate his "style". But I'm sure the same can be said of anyone else who would be considered a "great guitarist". (Like all that was named in that "greatest guitarist" thread)

Almost forgot…Edward also recently got over hip surgery and a bout with cancer of the tongue…

Anyway…it’s been a rocky road lately…

So…the most influential Rock guitarist of a generation or something else?


He came out of nowhere, and gave rock and roll a much needed kick in the ass. All the Guitar “gods” of the '60s and '70s were either dead, in rehab, or burnt out.Definitely one of the greatest rock guitiarists ever, and a huge influence, especially the '80s adn 90’s.

He will never be considered overrated. I am not saying this because I am a die hard fan, I really don`t like a lot of their stuff pre or post Roth. He just changed the whole face of rock.

Great guitarist, something of a lousy human being. At least according to David Lee Roth. You should read his autobiography, “Crazy From The Heat”.

Overrated?? He is the most UNDERRATED guitarist out there, IMHO! If you’ve ever seen him live you’ll know what I mean. Un - fucking - believable. I’ve been waiting for a friggin’ reunion for YEARS now, though. I’m beginning to doubt that they’ll ever get it together.

I agree with Patricia about DLR (more attitude than voice, though), but Eddie is WAY overrated. The first VH album is incredible, but he faded fast after that. He can’t touch any of the top tier then or now. Yngwie (sp?), Eric johnson, Satriani, Vai, and even Stevie Ray all eat his lunch. That first album sure did kick ass though.

Huck, go see him play live (and then go compare to the others). He absolutely destroys everyone you just mentioned. Just my opinion.

anybody who names their kid wolfgang ought to be shot, imagine how much abuse he’s gonna take for that name.

Whoa, Damici! Eddie better than Stevie Ray Vaughan?! You must be joking. Stevie Ray is only second to Hendrix… and a close second at that. I would say third is Jimmy Page. Ok, ok, wrong thread for this, but had to give my two cents. :wink:

Wow, Damici: we agree on somethin’. You are right in saying Eddie was/is the most UNDERRATED guitarist.

I gotta agree with Tyler. However, it’s all what you like. there are a few guys who I have on my top ten list that most people haven’t heard of. Rory Gallagher, Paul Kosoff. Anyway, Eddie just never did it for me. I will give him his props though, he did influence alot of 80’s rockers. I think the guy from Tesla had more catchy intros and played just as well. It’s all about the song though, not how fast you can play. Hendrix and Page played just as fast but did it in a fashion that produced songs with classic intros, riffs and melodies that will last forever purple haze, voodoo chile, over the hills and far away, stairway, since i’ve been lovin you. Dance the night away or other VH songs are good and have a cool guitar sound but are hardly on that type of level.Just my opinion though, someone else stated in this post that is really unreasonable to judge music or art.

Rory Gallagher??!!! Laundramat, Messin with the KID!! Haven’t heard or thought of those tunes in years. Now I have to get on Amazon and find him. Your comments re: legacy guitar riffs right on time as well. Compared to Hendrix, Stevie, etc Eddie sounds plastic,top 40, and is very forgettable. We’ll be hearind Layla, etc until we are all dead, but VH will fade away soon. (I am sick of Layla though)That first album sure did kick ass, though. Patricia, you are just wrong on this one. Go pull out any of the first three Hendrix albums and try to find ANY VH that compares, just ain’t there. Perhaps your tender age precludes your having a sufficient span of years to perform an accurate comparison.

Hendrix was the king in his time period, Eddie was the king in his, they will both remembered by any kid who want to pick up a guitar and learn to play. I like both, and learned fom both, along with many other blues to classical.

As far as Wolfgang getting flack over his name, yeah right, his dad is Eddie Van Halen.

Huck, that’s the problem – you’re listening to Top 40 stuff like “Jump.” Bad example. Check out his quitar work on Mean Street, I’m the One, Hot for Teacher, the whole damn Fair Warning album, Humans Being, Me Wise Magic, etc., etc., etc. And, like I said, watch him play live. He jams at more exponentially crazy levels than what you’ll ever hear on the records. His tone is second to none. There were a lot of “fast” guitarists out there in the eighties, but none of them sounded very musical/bluesy. They just sounded like buzzsaws. Edward put it ALL together. And he can switch from lead to rhythym (sp?) and back again so fast it’ll make your head spin. As for SRV, I like his stuff, although they’re two completely different styles, but the truth is that Eddie has more tools in his toolbox (and can draw from them all with his eyes closed) than Stevie ever had. I love Stevie’s playing, but no one on earth has ever ROCKED liked Edward. He changed guitar playing as we know it, PERIOD. Not just with eighties players, but with EVERYONE since.

I remain unimpressed. I guess it does just come down to taste. Eddie seems “gimmicky” to me. Kind of artificial, “look what I can do”. I am willing to accept that others will disagree with me. Without people who are wrong, who can I compare myself to in order to feel good? Ko is right about the name – his dad is EVH, and he is a millionaire, no one would care if his name was “Turd”. Just remembered a great quote from Alex VH when they first hit it big. He was asked if they had many groupies and he said " I wish I had two dicks, man!" Done with this one.

Alright!!! somebody else who has heard of Rory! they have finaly re-released all of his albums remastered. you can get them pretty much anywhere. looks like you and I see eye to eye on this topic. The first VH album smoked but compared to these other guys his skills may be comprable but songwriting and style not even close to the same level. I would put Angus Young from AC-DC ahead of Eddie due to songwriting abilities. Back’n’Black, hells bells, thunderstruck, for those about to rock, and about 50 more, much more classic then hot for teacher! another underated great, zz top, there new stuff isn’t main stream, but very bluesy and smokin!!!