Warren DeMartini on the ‘80s: “Everybody wanted to play like Eddie, and every band wanted to hit it big like Van Halen”

Warren DeMartinin mid-solo in '85, and invariably showcasing a vibrato technique he learned from Jake E Lee
(Image credit: Ross Marino/Getty Images)

Nineteen-year-old Warren DeMartini made the move from San Diego to Los Angeles in 1982 just as the Sunset Strip glam metal scene was on the cusp of exploding nationwide. For a young hotshot guitarist looking to get noticed, L.A. in the early Eighties was like a mecca. 

There were clubs teeming with women and A&R scouts. There were parties and strip joints. And there were thousands of other like-minded budding shredders hoping to be the next Eddie Van Halen.

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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.