Hear Eddie Van Halen Play Eric Clapton's "Crossroads" Guitar Solo Note for Note

(Image credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

For many years—I guess before Eddie Van Halen and "Eruption" came along—Cream's "Crossroads" was THE song to pull out at parties to impress friends, girls, uncles, cousins, neighbors, rescued farm animals, etc.

Below, you can hear Van Halen play Eric Clapton's famous guitar solo—pretty much note for note, we might add—during an 1984 interview with Lisa Robinson for a show called The Inside Track.

Legend has it the interview took place in Van Halen's hotel room, which is where he's sitting when he plays Clapton's guitar parts.

Robinson starts things off by saying, "You can play many different styles of guitar, can't you? You were telling me before you can play 'Crossroads' note for note."

Van Halen takes it from there. Not that you need to be reminded of how brilliant Clapton was during his Cream years, but be sure to pay attention to the phrasing of the solo as you hear Van Halen play it without bass and drums.

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas, was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron, a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums. He now plays in two NYC-area bands.