Words: Matt Innes
Virtuoso guitarist Eddie Van Halen has passed away at the age of 65.
Eddie Van Halen was the ultimate guitar hero. He was a pioneer and musical innovator who shredded away preconceived notions about playing guitar.
That’s because he didn’t just play the guitar, he made the damn thing come alive. From the ferocious tapping techniques to squealing divebombs, and the infamous gut-churning ‘brown sound’ that defines his signature tone.
Eddie Van Halen gave us more than music; he gave guitarists everywhere something to aspire to when they picked up the guitar.
He inspired us to take the instrument, and our capabilities, to their respective extremes. For many, Eddie Van Halen is the reason they learn to play guitar in the first place.
To play like Eddie is seen by many as a badge of honour, representing countless hours of practice mastering the technical proficiency and nuances required to achieve such a task.
The legacy of Eddie Van Halen is undeniable and his influence unmistakable in the playing styles of artists such as Kirk Hammett, Joe Satriani, Slash, Dimebag Darrell and Steve Vai, to name only an elite few.
For the rest of us mere mortals, to play like Eddie Van Halen will always be a dream just beyond the reach of our fingertips, no matter how fast they move.
There will never be another Edward Van Halen but there will be many who carry on in his footsteps, keeping him alive with every tapped triplet and drop of the whammy bar.
Thank you, Edward, for all you gave us. You will be missed.