“Rod Stewart wooed me to come out on tour and I agreed – then I decided not to do it. He said, ‘Oh, I bet you’re going out on tour with Robert’”: Eddie Martinez on playing with Blondie, Run-D.M.C. and that solo in Robert Palmer’s Addicted to Love

Eddie Martinez
(Image credit: Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

“There’s a time when the phone’s ringing and burning up, then there comes a time when the phone doesn’t ring as much. That’s just reality,” Eddie Martinez says. “I think every guitarist experiences that in one way or another, especially when you’re in the studio session scene. You have your period when you’re hot, and then the time comes when you’re not. It is what it is.”

For the better part of the 1980s, nobody was hotter than Martinez. Thanks to his arena-quaking rhythms and paint-peeling solos on Run-DMC’s groundbreaking single Rock Box, the guitarist’s prodigious skills – everything from walloping crunch to buttery-smooth grooves to whacked-out, explosive leads – was sought out by the likes of Robert Palmer, David Lee Roth, Steve Winwood, Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger and a host of other music legends.

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Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar World, Guitar Player, MusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.