Make no mistake. Eddie Van Halen can still kick your ass. The man who single-handedly changed the face of rock is still mean, lean and sharp as a tack. And if you dispute the ownership of the crown, try to imagine a world without him. I came to pay my tribute, sneak a peak at that famous Marshall and meet the man I most wanted to be at 17.
After nearly half a million total votes were cast, Eddie Van Halen has been named the victor in Guitar World's first-ever Greatest Guitarist of All Time poll. The tournament-style readers poll began in April with 132 guitarists, including four — Malcolm Young, Nuno Bettencourt, Jake E. Lee and Chet Atkins — who were voted in by readers.
What a long, strange trip it's been. Back in early April, we set out to determine your choice for the greatest guitarist of all time. A bracket was made, players were ranked — a few were voted in — and we kicked off our Greatest Guitarist of All Time readers poll. It was a mammoth 132-guitarist tournament that would span nearly six months and log close to a half-million votes when all was said and done.
With only 16 guitarists remaining in our massive tournament to crown your choice for the greatest of all time, we decided it'd be nice to take a break this week and take a good, close look at the men who have made it through three grueling rounds to make it to our Sweet 16, which is being brought to you by Sweetwater Sound.
On the first leg of Van Halen’s A Different Kind of Truth tour, toward the end of the band’s set, there was a moment during the middle of Eddie Van Halen’s solo spot in the show where the world seemed to stop spinning. Even the techs, security staff and backstage production personnel would stop what they were doing to focus on the celestial sounds emanating from the stage, with huge smiles on their faces that mirrored Ed’s beatific grin as he unleashed a staggering cascade of notes. At that particular point in Ed’s solo, it was clear that there was no place in the world that they’d rather be.
The current version of Van Halen is to music what a street rod is to the automobile. With David Lee Roth back as the band’s frontman, Van Halen has restored its classic appeal, but at the same time the addition of 21-year-old Wolfgang Van Halen on bass has modified the band with a significant boost in power and style.
Before Van Halen announced the cancellation of several summer 2012 tour dates, Guitar World got the chance to spend several days on the road with the band, especially with Eddie Van Halen. As it turns out, he's happier, healthier and playing better than ever. As Eddie tells Guitar World in this exclusive in-depth interview, he has a lot to be thankful for, including his band’s latest album, A Different Kind of Truth.
Ross Hogarth played an integral part in the recording of Van Halen’s A Different Kind Of Truth. His expertise, coupled with an innate understanding of studio dynamics, helped to create the long-awaited album.