Eddie Van Halen is one of the best guitarists of all time that changed Rock music by the end of the 70’s with feeling and his technique. Back in 1979, after the release of Van Halen‘s second album, the guitarist talked in an interview with Steven Rosen about how Eric Clapton influenced him.
Eddie Van Halen talks about how Eric Clapton influenced him:
It sounds like there are Ritchie Blackmore influences in your playing?
“Since the last five or six years I really haven’t been into any one guitarist. I like everybody. I’ve listened to Blackmore and [Jeff] Beck and especially [Beck’s album] Wired, I like some of that stuff. Before that I just never really got into him. I didn’t like him with Beck, Bogert & Appice. But the main guitarist I’d say that influenced me to play the most was Clapton.”
Eric Clapton was really the guitarist who did it for you?
“I used to love the way he played. He was real smooth and a lot of feeling. Every review I ever read of the album or my playing, it’s always Blackmore, Beck and Page influences. But I never really sat down and copped their licks like I did Clapton. I guess a lot of people think I sound like Beck or Blackmore because I do use the bar and they do also. So it kinda gets the same kinda sound.”
“The only thing Blackmore got me hooked on was the whammy bar. Because I never really liked the way he played that weird staccato stuff. But I feel a lot of my licks are different than theirs. Like the wide stretch things I do, I try and make it sound a little bit different.”
You do that one thing during Eruption where you’re hitting a note and…
Right, right. It’s like having a sixth finger on your left hand. Instead of picking, you’re hitting a note on the fretboard.
Born in Nimegue, January 26, 1955, he is an American guitarist, composer and music producer born in the Netherlands, co-founder of the band Van Halen. In February 1962, his family moved from the Netherlands to the United States, settling in Pasadena, California.
He was elected the 8th best guitarist of all time, by Rolling Stone magazine.