Artists, fans and peers slam David Crosby's “disrespectful” Eddie Van Halen statements

David Crosby and Eddie Van Halen
(Image credit: Burak Cingi/Redferns / Kevin Mazur/Getty)

Tributes have been pouring in for Eddie Van Halen since the electric guitar great passed away on October 6 at age 65. But one artist who apparently has a different take on the legacy of EVH is David Crosby – and fans and peers aren’t happy.

On October 10, a fan tweeted at the Crosby, Stills & Nash singer and guitarist, writing, “I know you’re not into metal David, but what’s your opinion on Eddie Van Halen?”

To which Crosby replied simply, “Meh…”

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This, not surprisingly, raised the ire of plenty of other Twitter-ites, among them Testament’s Alex Skolnick, L.A. Guns guitarist Tracii Guns and Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider.

“I appreciate @thedavidcrosby too much for this to get in the way, but a much better answer would have been: 'I know he meant a lot to so many but his sound & style just weren't my thing,'" wrote Skolnick, who also pointed out that punk poetess Patti Smith, who hardly traveled in the same circles as Van Halen, posted an emotional tribute to the guitarist.

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Wrote Guns: “Wrong answer as fuck and rude as fuck!!! There are better ways to say you don't care for someone's music. That was very disrespectful. And yes straight out fuck you and your smug answer."

Following the outpouring, Crosby took to Twitter to clarify his statement… and didn’t do himself any favors with his critics.

“Hendrix changed the world of guitar,” he wrote. “Nobody else really. Look I get it: many of you loved Van Halen… and the one time I met he was nice… and he was talented.”

“[M]eh to me means I don’t care that much… and I don’t. Doesn’t mean he wasn’t good, he was but not for me.”

Which, of course, led to even more reaction in the Twitter-sphere.

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FU-Tone, home of the EVH D-Tuna, tweeted: "I never get involved in negative shit online. Today I will make an exception. Fuck off @thedavidcrosby."

And wrote guitarist Pete Thorn: “David, there were two electric guitar game changers. The first was Hendrix, the second was Eddie Van Halen.

“Just because you weren’t tuned into it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. It totally fucking happened. For millions upon millions of us.”

Amen, Pete. Amen.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.