The GUNS N’ ROSES axe-slayer has heaped praise on the late Van Halen guitar legend – who passed away after a battle with cancer in October – for his “phenomenal” technical ability and insisted there aren’t many other “rock’n’rollers” who have that level of nuance in their playing.
In an interview with Consequence of Sound, he said: “Any instrument he had chosen to play would have been phenomenal, because he just had that pure musical talent. And he chose guitar, because that’s what turned him on.
“And for somebody with that kind of musical talent to get turned on to rock‘n’roll guitar was sort of unique unto itself, because most of us guitar players are a ragged bunch of rock‘n’rollers who don’t have too much technical ability or schooling. We just sort of go for this raw thing. And he had that, but he also had this musical, sort of classical gift.”
Slash added: “So he was just an amazing artist, period.”
The ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ hitmaker was among those to pay tribute to Eddie at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony last month.
He said: “His style and his sound were completely unique to him. He had a massive impact on guitar playing. I don’t think there’s anybody who’s picked up guitar since 1978 that hasn’t been touched in some way by Eddie Van Halen’s influence.”
Metallica’s Kirk Hammett agreed, adding: “Eddie Van Halen was amazing. Not since Jimi Hendrix had there been a guitar player that had so much impact and was so inspiring to me. He just explored the most simplest thing: a harmonic on a string and brought it into this realm of technique that no one even thought was possible. He was from a different planet.”
While Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello hailed Eddie “the Mozart of our generation”.
He said: “He had the kind of talent that maybe comes around once a century. Eddie Van Halen inspired me to practice 20,000 hours to try to get within 100 miles of his inspired mastery of the guitar.”