From bank-breaking record advances and extravagant arena tours to non-stop parties and girls dancing on cars, a guitarist's gear in the '80s had to be just as over-the-top as his look, whether he was sporting spandex or a nail-spiked armband.
Over the course of the last twelve months, we've once again endeavored to track down your musical heroes and return with the greatest stories, biggest news and best playing tips, all in the name of rock and roll. As a final retrospective on 2012, we picked through our favorite interviews of the year and compiled a list of the best quips, advice and quotes.
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.