Steve Lukather pays tribute to Eddie Van Halen: ”The worst thing that could have happened to Eddie would have been guitar lessons”

Steve Lukather and Eddie Van Halen
(Image credit: Robert Knight Archive/Redferns)

I first met Eddie at the CaliFFornia World Music Festival in 1979. Van Halen was headlining one night after their first album. Toto’s first album was out and we had a hit with Hold the Line. I loved him from the moment we met. It was like I’d known the guy my whole life. 

I was close with Ed for 40-plus years. And he was more than my guitar buddy. Of course, we played each other whatever we were working on, just showing off our shit and going, “Look what I’m doing!” But we didn’t speak about guitars a whole lot.

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Guitar World Staff

Since 1980, Guitar World has been the ultimate resource for guitarists. Whether you want to learn the techniques employed by your guitar heroes, read about their latest projects or simply need to know which guitar is the right one to buy, Guitar World is the place to look.