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Watch Eddie Van Halen Play Ritchie Blackmore Riffs

YouTube's Ritchie Blackmore Channel has always posted a good deal of interesting content. One of the best clips to turn up contains some rarely seen footage of Eddie Van Halen—clearly backstage—playing a few Blackmore/Deep Purple riffs on his guitar.

In the video, which you can watch below, he starts off with Deep Purple's "Hard Lovin' Man" (up to about 11 seconds in—although the bassist is playing "Space Truckin'" at first), followed by a bit of "Speed King," then "Space Truckin'." It's important to note that the original "Space Truckin'" riff was played on keyboards by the late Jon Lord.

In the February 1991 issue of Guitar World, journalists Mordechai Kleidermacher and Brad Tolinski asked Blackmore what he thought of Eddie. Here's his reply:

"It depends on my mood. He is probably the most influential player in the last 15 years 'cause everybody's gone out and bought one of those, what does he play, Charvel, Carvel ... Kramer, with the locking nut. Yes, with the locking nut! And everyone's gone hammer-on crazy! So he's obviously done something. He's a great guitar player, but I'm more impressed by his recent songwriting and keyboard work. I think he's going to be remembered—he could be the next Cole Porter."

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Damian Fanelli
Damian Fanelli

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor, and his non-Pulitzer-Prize-winning stories have appeared in Guitar Aficionado, Vintage Guitar, Total Guitar and countless other publications, including 13.7 metric tons of daily newspapers. 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 and Ty Tabor 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 (one of which appears in the 2015 Disney film 'Tomorrowland' starring George Clooney and Britt Robertson). He's in two NYC-area bands and plays Teles with four-way switches, B-benders and semi-snazzy aftermarket pickups. He quotes Terry-Thomas twice daily.