There’s one band that is on almost constant rotation on the Daily Squib office stereo and that’s Van Halen, chiefly led by Eddie Van Halen possibly one of the most innovative guitarists of modern times.
If you’re a guitarist you will know of the famous ‘brown sound’ pioneered by Eddie in those early days when he experimented with a Variac on his Marshall amps sometimes melting the tubes, as well as doing crazy things to his humbuckers like adding hot paraffin wax to eradicate unwanted feedback. Eddie also took harmonics and finger tapping to the next level. The seminal Kreutzer Eruption master work defining Eddie throughout his career.
There are whole libraries dedicated to the intricacies of Eddie’s playing style, and YouTube videos of people trying to recreate his guitar wizardry.
The pioneering 1978 album, up to 1984 with Roth, and a few albums with Hagar were testament to a true musician’s musician. When Van Halen I came out, people thought a fucking alien had landed with a guitar, it was truly something different.
Drop D tuning added to the warm sound on the early records, although kudos also has to go to producer Ted Templeman for his ultimate guiding force in shaping those early masterpieces.
This is a sad, sad day, and a great legend has passed. There is not a dry eye in the DS office, even the cat has a mournful look in his eyes.
Rock’n’roll flags are now flying at half-mast…and the Daily Squib office is officially in a state of mourning.
Wherever Eddie is right now, he’s probably noodling around on the guitar whilst his dad is playing on the clarinet.
Eddie Van Halen just died folks…this shit is real!